Is Your Diagnosed Mood Disorder a Life Sentence?

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

photo-24753803-steel-bar-window-in-tuscany-townYou’ve been told by a mental health professional you are not psychologically normal. Your diagnosis is Mood Disorder of one sort or another. Is this a life sentence?

It depends. We do not yet have the “penicillin” for chronic mood disorders such as bipolar and major depression, among others.  No medication has been made available that will perfectly and always maintain brain chemical balance for each person. By that definition, there is yet no cure.

Still, we are in control over how well these diseases are managed in our day-to-day lives. My experiences and those of others I’ve met indicate we have much more input than is often perceived.

To start, a person has to become aware of a problem and accept a need for help. Statistics show that only about 60% of persons with a mental disorder seek or receive treatment, while as many as 90% of treated cases move on to enjoy healthier and more satisfactory lives. If there is no medical cure, why the massive numerical difference between untreated and successfully treated patients? The answer is in a person’s ability and willingness to learn and apply healthy coping skills.

From this insiders viewpoint, depression (more than sad) and anxiety (much more than worry), are constants restrained from taking over by my use of management skills. These skills, I might add, are spiritual, physical, and mental in nature. I grow weak in the fight; some days are good, others are not, and many are a mix of extremes.

It is in the slow process of awareness, learning, and applying that I have gained more control over how depression and anxiety interferes with goals, relationships, and daily functioning. Being as we each have differing levels of need, an infinite variety of life experiences, and more or less ability to grow, my strategies are not one-size-fits-all solutions.

Ultimately, no diagnosis of a mood disorder is a life sentence. We seek treatment. We try new coping skills and deepen a relationship with God. We learn to function within the challenges, to make choices within our control and allow for limitations.

We move beyond victim and become victors.

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Comments are always welcome (see tab below) NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*pictures from Kozzi.com

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