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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.

Treatment options

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.

Finding support

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Tash
    4 weeks ago

    I agree with klynel! I always love reading your posts the most. Luckily I had a very supportive mental health doctor from the very beginning of being diagnosed with hep c & he is still my mental health doctor today. He recently asked if he could run a hep c viral load test just to see & I told even though it’s not really necessary that why not? He even let me pick some tests to run in exchange to agreeing to let him check on my hep c levels which they did come back all negative & I’m still cured 4yrs later after taking the cure. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without having such a supportive mental health doctor though, I’ve had some pretty nasty ones in the past that only made everything (I have ADD, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, & depression) worse. I always say to close friends & family that having hep c & mental health disorders combined would’ve been catastrophic if I didn’t have a doctor who treated me with respect, listened to anything I had to say no matter how ridiculous it may have sounded, & never made me feel like I was less of a person for anything that happened in my life, he simply just wants to make sure I’m doing good mentally. I know I got extremely lucky since I said before I’ve had horrible mental health doctors in the past & I’ve told people who have mental health issues to stand up for themselves & make sure they have a doctor that treats them well, I left my last horrible doctor only 2mon before I found out I had hep c but I took a chance for myself & my own sanity to go to a different doctor & explain everything to him why I wanted to switch to him & he took a chance on me. A month of switching everything over to my new doctor I was diagnosed with hep c & he did help me a lot get through the process without any judgment or stigma attached even when he admitted he didn’t know too much about hep c besides the basics but took the opportunity to learn more through me so he could be even more knowledgeable in the future if he had another patient with hep c & I respect him very much for that. I have a friend who is suffering from hep c & mental health disorders right now & he can’t get into a mental health doctor right now (well that’s what he claims I’m not sure if he actually tried or not honestly) but I can see how much he’s slowly going downhill because of it, I did finally get a text from him last week saying he hopes I’m proud of him because he got his approval letter for a hep c cure. Told him that’s great news & I hope he’s proud of himself. I only care about my friend & his health so I hope it’s the start of not just getting cured but getting help in all departments. I agree that as hard as it may be sometimes, asking for help can have a positive impact in the long run. It did for me anyways.

  • klynel
    1 month ago

    Its always nice to read your posts. You seem to have a knack of knowing what is relevent. With the holidays approaching its always a hard time for me and many others. Your post is a reminder for me to take extra care of myself in order to get through the family activities. Whether its with extra rest or reaching out to work through my emotions. So many of us feel “off” during this time. Not only dealing with our health issues but with family issues and financial issues. Being able to reach out to someone during this time is so very important.

  • Daryl Luster author
    1 month ago

    i am glad you enjoyed my writing klynel, there are many of us who deal with multiple issues and not all physical. You are right to recognize the importance of self-care, especially during the holidays. The expectations we have on ourselves and those put upon us can compound the stress, and we know how that usually only makes things harder. Reach out any time, it is always good to share and it sure does help me to know I can reach out to others too.

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