5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Being Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder
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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Being Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder

Everything comes down to you and your choices. It's your life, take it and make it your own.

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Being Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder
Your Mental Health Matters

I remember, very vividly, sitting in my pediatrician's office at fifteen, when I was prescribed medication for general anxiety disorder and mild depression. "These are just temporary," she said. "There's nothing wrong with you, you just need extra help being yourself. " Over the years, the dosages went up, different pills were prescribed and life just got harder. But recently, I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and I wish I could help every person through there own personal battles.

Being diagnosed with a mental disorder or illness is life changing, no doubt about it. It's scary, it's a life long battle, and it's misunderstood in many ways. Below are five things I wish I knew before being diagnosed with a mental illness.

1. Life doesn't stop. Ever.

Just because you are experiencing one thing, doesn't mean the whole world is experiencing it too. So life will continue. Your classes will continue on even if you have a severe panic attack, your friends will still want to hang out when your depression hasn't let you leave bed for a few days, and your fish will still need to be fed even if you don't want to feed yourself.

It's hard to remember, when you're so deeply consumed by your own thoughts, that the sun is still shining, and people are still living. Just because you may not feeling like being fully functional. doesn't mean you can just expect everyone else to stop.

2. People will judge you no matter what.

The first person, besides family, that knew I was on medication for a mental illness was a close friend; I could trust her with anything, but the second the words "anxiety disorder...depression" came out of my mouth she ran. Understandably, many people are scared of a mental illness, not knowing what is in store; even those who are suffering from the illness are terrified: no one knows what to expect on a day to day basis.

There is an undeniable stigma attached to any and all mental disorders- and no matter who you are, or what you do, people will look at you differently when you are open about your struggle.

Just remember that you are stronger that the "well it's not that bad..."'s and the "no way... you???"'s that will get thrown your way.

3. There is no cure other than changing your own thoughts.

I always thought that the medicine was what was keeping me here, keeping me alive; but that is not true. The pills, and therapy only regulate thoughts and emotions-- they don't create them. YOU are in charge of your OWN thoughts, emotions and feelings.

It's hard to come out of a funk, and it always will be. There comes a time when you have to realize who you have been, is not who you are right now, and it's not who you're going to become.

Positive thoughts, even fake ones, will eventually become real ones. When you start looking for the happy, the love, and the laughs, your life will improve.

4. What worked for your friend isn't going to work for you.

Walking into my first counseling appointment by myself- I asked for a certain medication, because so-and-so had it and she is happy. WRONG.

That's not how it works. That is one of the many hardships about treatment for mental illness, its ALL ON YOU. Everyone is different, and what worked for Sally-Mae will probably not work for you. Every level of hormones is different in every person, every person takes care of situations differently, and everyone reacts to something differently.

If you take longer to heal than Sally-Mae, that's okay. You're you, and that all you have to worry about being.

5. Not everyone is going to be able to handle it.

There are going to be people you open up too, and those people may let you down. There's going to be people who tell your secrets, and there are going to be people who support you, and that is okay.

What Billy-Ray can handle, isn't what Milly-Kay can handle, and that's life. Who chooses to support you, and stay in your life through the hardships, are the people that deserve to be there.

The greatest thing about life is the vast differences everyone has-- and sometimes people have the emotional range of a teaspoon, and sometimes they are an entire 2,500 gallon pool of emotional range.

There is honestly nothing I can tell you to do, or not to, to help make your diagnosis any easier. There is nothing I can do or say that will prepare you for what you will go through and feel. There is nothing anyone can do, in this case, except you.

You are strong. You are valid. You are more than a label. You are wonderful.

Fight what you can, and don't be afraid to ask for help. There are going to be so many trials and tribulations you will go through, it is entirely up to you how you handle it. Remember this is your life and no one can take that away from you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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