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Has being 'Mentally Ill enriched your life?

Jun 12, 2009 - 7 comments

mentally ill

Seems that most, if not all anti-depressants have similar side effects. I can tick most boxes when I read the leaflets that accompany the drugs. In spite of memory loss (short term memory affected mostly, I think?No joke intended) tremors, loss of sex drive, raised heart rate, eye problems et al I prefer to ignore them & concentrate on the benefits. Doing some fairly active things outdoors in all weathers does bring a buzz & improves my mood control. CBT does seem to work, it took a while for it to click in, but it's very useful to remind yourself to avoid the negative thoughts as they inevitably appear. We're all different, but have 'mental problems' in common. Hearing people that have had cancer etc say ' I'm glad I had it, my life's been enriched etc maybe OK, but in no way can having Severe Anxiety/Depression enrich my life ~ but I now accept that I'm stuck with it & am learning to live with it ~ taken almost 20 yrs to do it. Been 'well' for some weeks now, the CPN's worried that I'm manic, but as long as I feel well the 'forced being positive' attitude will continue. Can never be sure how long these moods will last, but I'm enjoying the present thanks to your posts & the support from the people on this site. The drugs/therapy contribute too. Hope you're all feeling Positive. Best wishes.

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561706 tn?1333947274
by Lizz67, Jun 12, 2009
Wanted to answer your title question.  I have a pretty good life, but Coulda done without it.

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by ILADVOCATE, Jun 12, 2009
As for myself I've managed to make a close to full recovery from schizoaffective disorder but being a person with a psychiatric disability and allowing me to interact with other people with disabilities has created a community I can feel part of. None of the symptoms were positive but it was what I did with my life after that (including follow up with medication and talk therapy of course) and how I defined myself that mattered.

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by SophieShine, Jun 15, 2009
Ooooh YES!!! Definitely.
I am still struggling but my traumas made me the person that I am.
I learned to "let go" and stay positive no matter what. I could crawl back under my shell but I decided to live and to enjoy life. It took me many years to understand and to turn things around but it is so worth it.
It is when I surrendered to myself and the ones I'll never please that I felt the pressure go away and I allowed the sunshine back in my life.
All the best to you. xoxoxox. sophie.

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by gofio, Jun 15, 2009
Way to go Sophie! Being positive's a wonderful gift or something to be striven for. Positive + prescribed drugs etc gets me through the 'dark times'. At my age I don't have the worries that the young like you have ie. How do I find a house, how do I pay for it, what's cool, what will others think of me & all that stuff. I can travel free on buses here in England, get good tax allowances etc. But I'd trade the 'benefits' of age to be your age again anytime ~ a Faustian contract's not been offeredd, but |'d surely take one if I could. Guess I'm an exercise freak, always liked endurance events ~ speed was less important. Am lucky to  be able to still do what I always could. Didn't need the traumas to make me feel positive, would have done anything to avoid them, but now it's a kind of test. Will never say I'm cured ~ too many relapses for that. But can say I'm living OK wih it now.
Lucky folks can laugh at whatever life chucks at them ~ losing eyes/limbs or whatever & they come back happy. How envious I am of their courage. Best wishes & I'm sure you'll stay a bright shinning star, as you are now. George

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by paranoid_cataclysm, Jun 15, 2009
I feel like in ways life wouldn't be as interesting if I didn't believe things like people were reading my mind or aliens were going to be standing outside my window but in other ways like with depression I could of done without because it's totally disabling.

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by Ariom63, Jun 15, 2009
I wouldn't say having anxiety/panic attacks has enriched my life.  From the day I found out what was really going on inside of me, due to thyroid problems I was not going to allow myself to bury my head in the sand.  I was always full of life and still am!  

Sophie, I applaud you as well for continuing to shine even when you feel as though you can't.  Our minds are very strong, and with hope and believing we can overcome numerous obstacles.  I would not allow my doctors to bury my emotions and feelings on anti-depressants. I have tried them, but got really tired of switching.  I just said NO. Life is too short to be thinking about this stuff every single day of my life. I go out and do all the things I want to do..I travel....and nothing will stop me.  But I can totally understand how hard it may be for some who have suffered very traumatic experiences in their lives.  For me I found it alot easier...after having my thyroid removed....alot has changed. The anxiety is still there..almost underlying..this is the only way I know how to explain it.  But I log on here and chat and post for a bit.  But I am not going to revolve my life around it.  Don't get me wrong, I love this forum.  It has helped me when I needed info on gastro issues..had to have surgery to remove my gallbladder and one day decided to enter and read some posts on Anxiety.  I personally have been on 1 benzo since..and take it only when it gets sort of tough!  But I am okay with that.....I can either sit here and lock my self inside my home and live in fear..or I can do something about it..and I have!  I live day to day and find that life really isn't that bad!  It is wonderful and I feel blessed.  This is the one life I was given....why watch it pass me by?

Keep shinning!  

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by sleepsound, Jun 20, 2009
In answer to your question...yes having a mental illness has enriched my life.
A strange answer you might say...but i was diagosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder a year ago..was living in a society where I was not accepted because of my ever changing ( daily, hourly weekly) moods...I was seen as different and not worth bothering about.
But now I have made friends with many people who have mental health problems..I am accepted , am no different, cared about, missed when I'm ill actually begining to enjoy life in a different way from before.
I still get very ill but now have friends round me who want to help and that makes such a difference to life
I don't work because of my illness...was bullied for years....but now there is so much in my life I wonder how I ever fitted working into it
keep safe and stay well

sleepsound xxx

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