The path to wellness begins with acceptance

I have recently run into someone who has some significant mental health issues. It is evident when you are around her that there is something going on. She descends into depression and copes poorly with it. The last time I saw her she was ecstatically happy. She was over the top. She has been diagnosed as bipolar but she is unwilling to take care of herself. She talked about how the psychologist she sees knows nothing and how she quit taking her meds because she doesn’t need them.

Acceptance-2

This is not new. She has struggled for a long time. It is sad to see her and hear that she is still in denial.

It is so difficult when someone is unable to cope at all with their illness. This is not only true of mental health issues but also with physical problems. As a nurse I have known diabetics who totally ignored the problem. One is a physician.

It seems to me that the path to wellness begins with acceptance and a willingness to help yourself. It is hard to discover something that you have to live with forever. I wrote recently about how my mother coped with a chronic illness that completely changed her life. She struggled at first learning how to live with the changes to herself but learned to manage and lived a long and fruitful life.

Each of us has something that we have to accept. I have had ups and downs with my IBS and anxiety but I feel that my life has given me much and I keep on keeping on. I read the blogs of people who not only cope with their problems but are also willing to share their failures and successes with the community. Their strength and openness inspires others and gives hope to many.

sharing hope

We can learn to live a full life in spite of our particular issues and reach out to others who have problem.

The latest drug fad

hallucinogenic-morning-glory-seeds-are-readily-available-at-garden-stores-and-nurseries-for-aroundYesterday I read an article about the newest drug craze. People are buying flower seed and using them as drugs. Apparently some seed have an ingredient that is similar to LSD. I guess it is far enough away from the 60’s for them to not remember how those drugs work. LSD was a big deal in the 60’s. Timothy Leary was the guru who encouraged people to try the drug.  He wanted everyone to “take a trip” and experience altered reality. For some people it did what was advertised. For others it produced a “bad trip” and not only did people do things like try to fly off of buildings but some kept experiencing “trips” for years after using the drug once.

I have never wanted to be out of control. That may just be an issue for me but I had no desire to try mind altering drugs. Native Americans and primitive peoples have used various plants to reach an altered state. However, I don’t think they have done it for fun but as a religious experience.

I am sad that there is such a culture of drug use. There is a big problem with opiods. Some of the drugs that we use for anxiety and depression are being abused by those who don’t have any problems. It worries me that so many people need to escape their lives by altering their brains.

healthyI don’t know if the problem is any worse than it has been in the past. Maybe we have shifted from emphasis on drugs like morphine and invented new ways to dose our bodies. Whatever is the problem, abusing out bodies is not what life is about. I have no idea how to help but I wish I could.

Sleep: the balm of hurt minds

no sleepI couldn’t get to sleep last night. There was nothing wrong I just couldn’t sleep. It goes without saying that today I am tired and not functioning at 100%. I have two granddaughters who have sleep problems. One of them has struggle her whole life with it. As a child she would be awake in her room all night.

Shakespeare spoke about it in Macbeth – “the innocent sleep; Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem. It causes so many parts of our body to be in crisis. The following list is from WebMD.

 

In addition to this list is the problem of brain drain. Our brains don’t work well without sleep. Our memory doesn’t work well and we have mood changes. We are also prone to accidents, weakened immune system, and lowered sex drive. We need sleep. Anxiety can easily cause us to not be able to sleep. We have too much adrenaline running and can’t slow down.

The opposite problem is too much sleep. Depression is one thing that can set us up for this. We just want to pull the covers over our heads and drift away from the feelings. The odd thing is that this can cause almost the same problems and health issues as too little sleep.

When we suffer from mental health issues we can swing from too little sleep to too much sleep in a heartbeat. There are many ideas about how to get to sleep. Sometimes routine can help. Staying away from TV or cell phones helps some people. Strangely enough I get to sleep faster with a dumb TV program on low. I guess it keeps my mind from wandering.

counting sheep

The trick is to find what works for you. Sleep is an important part to maintaining our health. Sleep truly is the “balm of hurt minds.”