Mental Illness: Do Not Treat Yourself (pt 2.)
My last blog focused on the importance of not diagnosing your mental health symptoms yourself! This blog will focus on not treating symptoms of relapse without consulting with your mental health care team first. Yes, I know, this post might seem a little boring but it's important so please keep reading--note: you can leave me a comment stating you fell asleep around 300 words. I will refrain from being offended.
Attempting to Treat Mental Health Symptoms Without Consulting With a Professional
What do I mean by attempting to treat symptoms?
>If you believe you are currently in a depressive episode you might decide you are suddenly a psychiatrist (or is this just my innate narcissism?) and move a medication up without consultation with your mental health care team.
>Self-medicating symptoms with illegal drugs. Please, do not do this. I have nearly died from doing this and drugs never--ever--make symptoms better. You will die before they will stabilize you.
>Self-medicating with prescription drugs. Example: A person takes an anti-anxiety medication daily or as needed. Depression hurts and a state of mania makes life frightening. It can be tempting to take a medication--often in excess--to mellow the pain or stop the spinning of mania! These drugs have a high rate for addiction and once your body relies on them, well, getting off them is difficult.
>Mentioned in part one of this post--do not diagnose and attempt to treat symptoms based on information online!
The list goes on and I hope you are still reading (nearly at 300 words) because it's important to explore ways in which we can treat symptoms of possible relapse with the help of our mental health team and family and friends. And self-care!
Treating Symptoms with Self-Care. . .And Psychiatry!
First things first: Make an appointment with your mental health team! Right. I have written about self-care a lot---really, quite a lot--because it's important. Maybe it's boring, sure, but it can save your life. If you're struggling with stability try a couple of these methods:
- Exercise. Jeez, I cannot lie, I really hate this one because it really works but it can be the most difficult to accomplish. Try ten minutes of walking--outside. This can help the isolation associated with depression and boost a low mood. If you're flying a bit high walk as long as you can. So long as it's healthy. Channel any excess energy.
- Make sure you are taking your prescribed medication properly! I have, when experiencing symptoms of depression, taken the wrong medication. I can get confused. Ask for help.
- Go to the damn appointment! If you're having a high level of anxiety, as many people do when depressed, ask a friend or family member for a ride. You need to go!
Of course: eat healthy, drink water, sleep normally. You know the drill.
Take care of yourself and actively work to become well again. You will.
Champagne, N. (2013, January 7). Mental Illness: Do Not Treat Yourself (pt 2.), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2013/01/mental-illness-do-not-treat-yourself-pt-2