In Search of the Positive: Seeking Help for Mental Health
Sometimes, it is hard to find the positive in our day-to-day life... The things that give us joy and help us to feel better. Some days are better than others (unless all of your days are filled with only positive or negative thoughts and feelings). To be honest, mine are a grab-bag that runs the gamut. Normal? I don’t know how normal it is (whatever normal is), but I think it comes down to extremes. Feeling very sad or very happy are what I would call the extremes, and all the shades of grey between are mostly what I experience in the average day.
Understanding mental health
There is no question that how we feel affects our outlook, and there are times when the fittest and pain-free among us will not feel optimal; But does that mean that we let it get us down? Or, are we just down most of the time, no matter how we feel physically. Is it constant or severe pain that brings you down and makes feeling positive difficult or impossible? Is it an imbalance in our brain chemistry, and what is the cause of that? There can be any number of causes, and it could be a temporary condition or chronic.
Is it depression, or just a series of bad days? This matters. Often longer-lasting, clinical depression is often treated with pharmaceuticals; Many people find a great deal of relief and quality improvements in their condition with the right medication and dose. If you believe this may help you, it is a conversation you should have with your doctor. This is not always a simple one and done approach and there may be added benefits from talk therapy. There are all kinds of people who offer up talk therapy, and some are very good while others are, simply put, just rubbish. However, this is once again a subjective opinion based on what I see as useful or beneficial. It is up to you, and if something is not helping you, it is at the least time-wasting, if not harmful.
One should not discount the value of support from family, your community, and peers. I understand that we don’t always have an easy time sharing our hep C status because of the ever-present stigma around hep C. This affects who we feel comfortable talking to and seeking support from, and that is where peers can help. Peers know what it can be like dealing with sadness and all the other common effects that can be present with hep c. As I would say with therapists, I think peers that have experience and training in this area are the best bet. It is not an ability that we all share, with the best level of empathy, understanding, and knowledge.
The thing is that we all seek a more positive life, unless of course we already have the best of all that keeps us buoyant and our life is in balance, recognizing that there is a range of feelings that are quite normal for us all. Simple phrases and platitudes rarely last long, and I am not anti-positive messaging by any means, but realistically, it may not do the trick over time. There is no shame in asking or seeking help. I have, in my own search for the positive.
Did you experience early symptoms or warning signs of hep C?