Accepting your Mental Ailment

If my own experience is any indication then you may have difficulty in accepting that you are suffering from depression (or any other mental ailment).

I would not like to go too much into specifics regarding the events that led to my being diagnosed with schizophrenia. I had some family troubles and (what else) some disappointments in a relationship with a woman. I could accept that I had trouble with my family but I was completely unwilling to admit that my romantic relationship was over. I was so attached to the lady in question that I refused to accept that I was suffering from an ailment.

Also, society – in India – does not sympathize with mentally disturbed or challenged persons. Too admit to yourself and to the world that you need some treatment is difficult for that reason. There is a stigma. You face difficulty in your career and in your relationships. People are unwilling to employ anybody with a history of mental ailments. You may face difficulties in getting married also because of the stigma.

For all these reasons you may find it difficult to admit that you need treatment. But doing so is essential in order to manage – and if possible – cure your ailment.

Medical science has made great strides and many ailments which were beyond treatment earlier can now be cured. And even if there is no permanent cure for your ailment most likely it should be possible to manage the problem.

For example – I am suffering from schizophrenia. There is no cure for the ailment. It is similar to diabetes in that respect. Just as a diabetic needs to watch his diet and take medication daily, a schizophrenic needs to be on medication for the rest of his life. But the medication will enable the schizophrenic to lead a normal life, which is what I have been doing.

Also, if you refuse to get yourself treated, your ailment might cause you to behave in eccentric ways. This can lead to catastrophic mistakes which may ruin your career or social life. I am speaking from experience.

For all these reasons it is essential that you seek professional help if you think that there is something wrong. Go to a trusted general practitioner first. He should be able to make a diagnosis and refer you to a good mental health professional.

This chapter is especially relevant for the family of the distressed person. My family had to go to great lengths before I was able to accept that I had a mental ailment. If you think that someone in your family is suffering and needs treatment then take the help of a counsellor. A counsellor is a person who listens to your (or the patient’s) problem, suggests remedies and promotes behaviour change and optimal mental health. You should be able to get your loved one to see a competent psychiatrist if you go to a counsellor first.

So, this is the first and most basic step. Once the problem is admitted we can proceed to its management or cure.

Hope this helps someone. Please explore this blog for more articles on Politics, Spirituality and Self Help. If you liked this article then please share it on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to post your comments or contact me. Link to contact is below.

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