Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
I saw a motley crew of patients today. To the untrained eye, some of them could seem hopeless. These folks have been in the medical and mental health system for years. They've been arrested, psychiatrically hospitalized, surgically operated, fired, kicked out of school, divorced, traumatized, abused and abusive. Their paperwork reads like multiple horror films.
So, how could I leave the office satisfied? The most obese is going to start to lose weight based on his new fear of his medical reality. The former child abuser and criminal has stopped drugging, drinking and smoking and lives to see her children some day. The guy who got fired for having seizures at work has started taking the right meds and they work. The wrongly-diagnosed and wrongly-medicated depressed person will get new doctors and an appropriate counselor. The "slow learner" will capitalize on his good mechanical skills. The violent kid will go back to school with a better attitude.
Sometimes, people just need to accept the idea that they can change something, even just some little thing. It would be entirely overwhelming to change entirely and their whole life isn't going to be perfect, just better. Hope leads to motivation, which leads to improvement.