Restorations Therapy Blog

Living With a Mental Illness

by on Friday, August 20th, 2021

Millions of Americans either face the reality of living with a mental illness every day or deal with a family member or friend facing such a situation. Millions more may have a mental illness and not realize it, suspecting they have one but not knowing how to deal with it. Having a mental illness doesn’t mean someone is crazy or needs to be committed to a psychiatric ward, though.

What Is a Mental Illness?

A mental illness is a health condition(s) that involves changes in one’s emotions, thinking, and/or behavior. Mental illnesses often cause problems for people in their ability to function in social, work, or family activities. Mental illness is very common: the American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that almost one in five adults in the United States experiences some form of mental illness in their lifetime, and just over four percent of the U.S. population has a serious mental illness.

Diagnosing the Illness

Among the many kinds of mental disorders are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder. No matter the diagnosis, mental illnesses are usually brought on by different factors, such as a person’s family history, brain chemistry, and significant life events like trauma or the death of a loved one. 

To make matters worse, mental illness doesn’t only affect the person with it. Everyone around them, particularly the people they live with or have a close-knit relationship with, is affected. Colleagues, friends, and even strangers can feel some of the angst, anger, and agitation that can accompany another person’s mental illness. 

Living With Mental Illness

There are several things you can do to better manage your illness, including:

  • Getting a professional, licensed counselor. Talk with them about the best form of a treatment plan. Therapy can help you better understand your illness and find ways to have greater control over your life.
  • Talk with your therapist about the different medications you may be on. Ask them to help you understand their differences, as well as any potential benefits or side effects. It’s also important to know how they may interact with other medications you’re on and any supplements you may be taking. 
  • Getting plenty of sleep and doing some kind of physical exercise is important to your overall health and well-being.
  • Learn whatever you can about your disorder. With greater understanding comes the ability to take an active role in your treatment.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to family or friends when you’re feeling your illness is getting the better of you. People who love you will want to be there for you. Don’t shut them out. 
  • If you feel you’re not making progress, talk to your therapist about it. Perhaps something in your treatment plan needs to be tweaked. 

If you are among the millions of people in the United States who are suffering from a mental disease or disorder, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. One in five adults will suffer some form of mental illness in their lifetime. It is important to get into treatment of some sort to begin to understand your illness and have better control over how it affects your life. At Restorations Therapy, our licensed counselors can help you start down the best possible path of treating your disorder and helping you feel in control of your life, rather than your disorder having control of you. Call us today at (720) 446-6585.

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