Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Acceptance of Anxiety and depression as any other sickness

Living Victoriously with Anxiety and Depression:  That sounds like an oxymoron, but is it?  When people struggle with mental health, they tend to live a defeated life, a life where it is almost impossible to get up in the morning and put one foot in front of  the other.
I have been there and I know how hard it is to get out of bed, shower, get dressed and comb your hair because your arms feel like rocks.
Yet I have also experienced a full life where I am able to function like other mothers, wives and ministers.  There are several things that have made a difference and I'll share the first one in this blog: accepting anxiety and depression as any other sickness.
The first part of the battle is won when we accept that we have a sickness in the brain which needs treatment. Some people suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and many other sicknesses.  People with these diseases seek treatment and expect others to acknowledge their sickness. But mental illnesses are usually seen in a different way. It is common to hear someone say, "Just snap out of it" when speaking to someone with depression. I have learned that this is not helpful and it only produces guilt. If you struggle with anxiety and depression do not allow anyone to condemn you or let the stigma of mental sickness settle on your shoulders.  Recognize that just as there is dysfunction in the body when other diseases attack us, in the same way there is dysfunction in the brain when we struggle with anxiety and depression.
When we accept this fact then we are on the way to Living Victoriously with Anxiety and Depression!