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Monday, February 15, 2016

Mental Health Responsibility

Certain kinds of stress in our life can cause anxiety within our mind and can translate into physical ailments.  Your mental health is just as important as your physical health--that is part of taking care of your body.  I believe that all of us have a responsibility to do that.  If you know you have a mental disorder and do not seek treatment ,nor take the medications prescribed to you--then you are not only putting yourself at a disservice but also those around you because those close to you are affected.  *Note:  Do not read what I just wrote and tell yourself, "I am a burden to others.  I need to leave this world so no one has to worry about me, take care of me, be a burden to them."  THESE ARE LIES!  And you and I know where lies comes from--the biggest liar of all, Satan.  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV), "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor 10:3-5 NIV).  It's easy for us to take someone's comments and turn them into negative thoughts.  I know, I have been there; done that :-)

Currently, I am going through a Bible study with a new group of friends since moving to a new town.  They are wonderful, by the way--thank you, Lord!  It is called The Daniel Plan written by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life.  If you haven't heard through the media, Rick and his wife lost their son in the recent past to suicide.  They were devastated, as you can imagine.  As a mother, I cannot imagine such pain.

The Daniel Plan focuses on 6 areas: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, Friends, and Living the Lifestyle.  You can read more about it through the link above.  I am overweight.  I have been overweight for some time and I know it's not good.  Some of my weight is caused by a medication for sleeping.  God has been leading me to take responsibility for what I eat and need to do for my body.  I want to be around when I have grandchildren in the distant future.  I want to feel better physically.  Then, a friend mentioned she was wanting to go through the plan--so I joined up!  With this plan, losing weight is more of a by-product because as you learn to eat clean and better, your weight will come off.  It is such a different approach to all the 'diet plans' out there.

To summarize what I said at the beginning--we have a responsibility to take care of our whole body--physically and mentally.  For the first time in my life, I have learned how to eat better and actually put it into practice.  I waited 48 years to do it.  Don't stop taking your meds if you have been prescribed them.  If you are having problems with side affects or whatever, contact the prescribing doctor ASAP.  The tendency of some mental health patients is when they start taking the medicine prescribed, they start to feel better BECAUSE OF THE MEDICATION WORKING, usually--then stop them because they may think, "I'm feeling better so I don't need those meds."  Think about that--you are feeling better because you are taking the medication.  DON'T STOP TAKING YOUR MEDS.  Obviously, if you have a bad reaction, call your doctor ASAP.  You may even need to visit the ER to get it straightened out.  One of the biggest reasons people came to the psychiatric ward at the hospital where I would have to occasionally go was because they needed a medication adjustment.  But, they needed to be monitored while it got straightened out.

Work toward ALL of you being healthy.  My advice, based on personal experience has been:  taking psychotropic medication WITH Christian counseling is the best recipe for a healthier you.  More on this later.