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Overcoming Mental Health Setbacks

Today we’re going to be discussing mental health setbacks.

It’s a new year – you’d like a new start but we have been through that difficult seasonal period where you may have felt alone, abandoned, didn’t have family or friends, maybe self-medicating more. You’ve had some setbacks and we’ve all been there but what we’re going to look at today is how to recognise and deal with these things so we can move forward together positively and become stronger together.

► Step 1 : Talk to someone First of all if you do feel yourself slipping back and your mental health symptoms starting to re-occur the best thing that you do is talk to somebody whether it’s a family member, a friend, your doctor, calling a helpline, you’ve got to make somebody aware of what you’re going through and the fact that you need help and you need to be able to hear yourself say those words out loud because they are so big in your head. It seems like such an insurmountable situation but when you talk about it out loud you can rationalise it, see it for what it is and start to deal with it.

► Step 2 : Seek professional help If you don’t have anybody close your first recourse might be professional help but you need to get in touch with your doctor, a mental health professional, psychologists, psychiatrist – whatever is available to you but you need to help yourself to make that first step. It’s very important that you look after yourself, take care of yourself when you recognise that things are starting to become difficult again so if you can talk to somebody close to you initially that’s great but if not talk to your doctor, talk to a mental health professional, talk to somebody who can put you in touch with services and advice that are going to let you be the best you can be. The thing about setbacks is you feel like you’ve failed but if you hadn’t got to a place further on than you were when you started you wouldn’t be able to take those steps back. It’s not the end, you do need to ask for help and you do need to access that.

► Step 3: Keep on trying and don’t give up It’s going to take a little while for you to be able to access the services that you need, there’s going to be a lull there for a minute where you have to take full responsibility for yourself. Recognise that you’re going through problems and that help is on the way but you’ve just got to hold on and don’t give up and if the first service or whatever you’re able access isn’t the right fit for you and doesn’t feel like the way you’ve been moving forward don’t let that dissuade you – keep on trying and keep on pushing, you will find something that suits you, that’s going to help you that you can work with.

► Step 4 : Don’t be afraid to say no! Not everything’s going to be for you, not everything’s going to work the first time so don’t feel like it’s some sort of personal failure if you have to take a step back and find something different that’s going to encourage you to be the best you can be. You don’t have to accept negatives only focus on the positives, if something isn’t working for you bin it off, find something different, find what works for you and stick to it.

► Step 5 : Be ready to be surprised You’r on a journey here and you’re seeking answers, you don’t have them all to begin with because if you did there would be no journey – you’d already be at the destination so you’ve got to allow yourself the opportunity to learn about why you behave the way you do. Maybe theres harmful behaviours that you’r using as coping strategies and you can recognise that they are harmful and find new and positive ways to cope. It’s just about keeping an open mind and allowing yourself to learn about yourself, as I’ve said it’s a journey and we can all move forward together positively. Just allow yourself to be and allow yourself to be open to learning.

► Step 6 : Allow yourself to be proud Give yourself credit for the achievements you’ve made. The only reason you’re facing the setback is because you’ve moved forwards in the first place so every incremental gain to get to were you go, give yourself credit, be proud, you are making a difference. You are making a difference in your own life, You’r making a difference in the lives of the people who care about you, you’r making a difference in the world!

Whenever you’re going through a tough time remember that and allow it to give you some perspective.