Embracing Help and Hope: A Journey to Better Mental Health

As I continue to share my journey with depression, it is important to emphasize the value of seeking help. In my previous post, I shared my experiences and the daily struggles that I face as a result of my mental health conditions. In this post, I will delve into the steps I took to find help, the support systems that have made a difference in my life, and the coping mechanisms that have been integral to my healing process.

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My battle with depression and separation anxiety has been a long and difficult one, stemming from a traumatic event when I was just 10 years old. This experience causes me to have a constant fear that my wife will leave me. Despite these challenges, I have found solace in various outlets and support that have helped me manage my mental health. I want to share these experiences with you in the hopes that they may inspire others to seek the help they need and find the strength to keep pushing forward on their own paths to recovery.

Recognizing the Need for Help

Eventually, I began to understand the root cause of my poor mental health. I had always felt different and empty as if something was missing. One afternoon, while sitting in my home office chair contemplating suicide, it dawned on me. The trauma I suffered as a child was the catalyst for my depression and severe separation anxiety. It was at that moment that I knew I needed help. My daily life had become increasingly challenging to manage, and the emotional turmoil had finally reached a breaking point. Moreover, I recognized that my constant fear of abandonment was affecting my overall well-being and personal development, underlining the necessity for change.

Speaking with a Medical Doctor

After recognizing my need for help, I made the crucial decision to discuss my mental health with a medical doctor. Initiating this conversation can be intimidating, but it’s an indispensable part of the journey toward healing. Keeping our struggles bottled up will only lead to an eventual explosion. Imagine vigorously shaking a can of soda and then dropping it on the floor; the result will be a mess.

For me, opening up to my doctor about my struggles with depression and separation anxiety was a pivotal moment. I shared my experiences, fears, and concerns, hoping to gain a better understanding of what I was going through and how to address it.

One of the outcomes of my discussion with my doctor was the decision to try medication. My doctor prescribed 50 mg of sertraline, a medication often used to treat depression and anxiety. This dosage had very little effect, so we increased it to 100 mg and finally settled on 150 mg. This has stabilized my mood however, setbacks happen.

I want to encourage those facing similar challenges to reach out for help when they need it. Remember that seeking help is a testament to your strength, not a sign of weakness. There’s no shame in seeking support.

Coping Mechanisms and Support Systems

In addition to medication, building a strong support system is equally important. Friends, family, and community members can provide a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on when needed. It is crucial to develop coping mechanisms and establish support systems to help manage depression and separation anxiety. In my experience, I’ve found several coping mechanisms that have been particularly helpful:

  1. Digital Art: Drawing has been proven to help people in many different ways. In my situation, engaging in digital art allows me to express my emotions, release tension, and focus on something creative. This provides me with an escape from negative thoughts and feelings.
  2. Support from my Church and Family: My church and my family have been instrumental in providing emotional support, understanding, and encouragement throughout my mental health journey. Their constant presence and reassurance have helped me navigate through challenging times.
  3. Writing in my Blog: Sharing my experiences and thoughts on this blog has been both therapeutic and empowering. An additional bonus is hearing how my words have helped others. My life’s goal is to help, and when I hear others say that my writing or drawings have helped them in some way, my heart is warmed.
  4. Writing a Novel for Publication: Working on a novel has given me a renewed sense of purpose, allowing me to channel my energy into a meaningful project. The act of writing can be incredibly healing, as it fosters self-reflection and growth. I am pouring everything I have into a murder mystery titled “Deadly Secrets of the Outer Banks.” The story follows an FBI agent sent to the OBX to investigate a crime, only to become entangled in an even bigger investigation.

Closing

For a long time, I felt alone in my struggle with depression. However, throughout my journey with depression and separation anxiety, I’ve understood the significance of seeking help and exploring different treatment options.

To those who feel they are alone in their mental health journey, I want to offer words of encouragement and hope. Remember that you are not alone. Like me, there are many others who face the seemingly simple task of just getting out of bed. It may be a long and winding road, but with persistence, determination, and the right support, you can make significant strides toward healing and personal growth.

Please remember that everyone’s experience with medication is different, and it may take time to find the right dosage or type of medication that works best for you. For me, sertraline has been an essential part of my treatment plan, helping me manage my symptoms more effectively.

In conclusion, I’d like to stress the significance of coping mechanisms and support systems in addressing mental health challenges. Cultivating healthy habits, participating in creative pursuits, and fostering a robust network of friends, family, and community members can have a positive impact. Keep in mind that it’s the integration of these strategies, together with professional assistance, that can result in enduring change and an enhanced quality of life. Remain steadfast, continue moving forward, and never lose hope.

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If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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