Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Refuse to Be Sick-Make a Decision

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Feb 28, 2013 4:12 PM

I know that much of mental illness cannot be controlled and isn't anyone's fault. Yet, there is such a fine line between overwhelming paralyzation from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, obsessive behavior and the like and choice to change behavior. At first, feelings come on so strong that there just doesn't seem to be a choice but to cave. Gradually, the patient comes to understand the dynamics of her problems. Eventually, he learns to think and behave in a healthier way, supporting renewed self-respect and personal power. Yes, the feelings may still come and go, with and without medication, but there does come a point when a person bent on health realizes that self-destructive behavior, whether in the form of staying in bed all day, phyical harmful acts, substance abuse, overeating, or social drama can't be an option.

In this light, I remember a father who stopped drinking and started parenting, parents who stopped fighting, a woman who took charge of her life, a teenager who quit drugs and studied instead, a bully who learned to discuss issues, and many others who made big changes not because of biochemical difference but because of decision-making. A new commitment to health and life is a beautiful thing.

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