Seeking help and support. This was my Mt Everest. Without the resources, tools and insights, I received from professional support, the barriers faced during my journey would have been more difficult to navigate, but at the end of the day it was up to me how I used this wisdom. It's a daily battle to want to survive! It is worth it when you can look back at it. Don't give up, don't take away the opportunity of looking back and celebrating your achievements.
Doctor: it was important to me, that I had a general practitioner, psychologist and psychiatrist I could trust. This can take time. This is my journey and I need support people I can trust and be confident with.
Empower yourself! Use your voice. Communicate issues in your treatment and take control. We are the experts in our own recovery. You know how things are, be honest and disclose these issues!
My delusional thoughts and hallucinations couldn't hurt me they weren't and aren't real, they have no control or Power over me.
Power of positive thoughts = introducing positive thoughts, encourage more positive thoughts, leads to a more positive outlook and Hope!
Start with one positive thought a day and believe that negativity will only bring you down. This is challenging when you’re in your dark place, but is possible.
When I was stuck in the darkness of depression with assistance I made myself get out of bed, open the curtains, let the morning light shine in and started the day! This was very difficult at times and some days I failed. I kept trying because I knew from past experience I felt better for doing it.
Diary - I learnt to keep a diary to document my good days/hours and triggers. This provided me evidence that some happy times were occurring and triggers to avoid.
Set a goal, something attainable and start working on achieving it. Give yourself reasons to get up!
Find something attainable to aspire too, this will give you purpose! Look at someone you can aspire to and/or get inspiration from, believe if they can achieve things, you can and begin your journey.
It might be one step forward and two steps back for a while, but you are moving forward whether you feel that you are or not. Congratulate yourself for this, it’s a massive achievement, for you to be in this place!
Remember, only you can change the way you think! At the end of the day, you can talk to people and learn strategies, but you are the one, with the power to make the changes!
Exercise; exercise was important to me, but I didn't have the energy. Without it I was a mess. I needed it. I started with 5 minutes a day of moderate exercise- push ups and the like and slowly built it up. I still have periods where I lose energy and continue to use this strategy to reintroduce exercise.
Belief: Believe in yourself. Believe this is possible. Believe the evidence you see in other's!
# It's okay not to be okay, at times. Allow yourself your down days - everyone has them. Resist the feelings of guilt associated - this will only bring you further down. Accept these times and use them to reflect. Continue to talk with people, even if its to say you're not feeling like talking. Try hard, not to isolate yourself and push yourself to get up and do something! You will feel better after.
Trauma! Investigate historical events that may have contributed to your diagnosis. Psychiatry will assist with the medical component's of your ill health, via medication. Partner that with psychotherapy, to address the psychological components of your condition!
Learn to manage your stress levels. This is something most people fail to do. Don't feel down about this. I'm still learning this myself.
It is important to keep this very much, in the forefront of your well-being, as excessive stress will impact negatively on you, as it does me. Stress can be a trigger to further depressive episodes and anxiety etc.
Take time out to manage and reduce your stress levels. This isn't your excuse to pull out of life though, remember there's stress around us all the time. Work on building your resilience via exposure, but be aware of your limits! You will build more resilience in time: Baby steps!
Don't live your diagnosis/label, eg; you're not a schizophrenic, you're a human being!
You will be, what you see yourself as being. Your thoughts and diagnosis don't need to define who you really are!