Step 2 continued:When doing a self assessment we should use a common sense approach. The methods I am sharing can be used with any mental health disorder, but you need to be the judge of your own emotions and feelings. My goal is to help you find ways to move forward in a positive way, but this cannot happen if you are experiencing overwhelming issues and emotions/feelings that are completely out of your control. We need to get them under some sort of control first.
If you are dealing with an overload of past problems that continually plague your thoughts, or if you have issues that require medications to control, these need to be dealt with first. This is where professional help of some kind is a must in order to stabilize your situation. You could be dealing with depression or social anxiety that feels crippling at times; there is a root to these issues and there are people out there specifically trained to help you through these in a safe manner.
If you were to come into my office and start telling me about past problems that are affecting you, I would listen briefly and explain to you where you could get the best help that I know of. I tell people that I don't deal in the past because that is not where I want to specialize. There can be a multitude of demons to deal with in your past and you will want calm them so you can move forward with your mental health healing.
We all suffer mental health issues in different ways and at differing levels. You need to assess what level you are at or have a mental health professional help you to do so. Our past issues control much of who we are now and hold us back. There are toll free crisis lines just about everywhere that can help you if you don't know where to start or if you want to remain anonymous. Don't be afraid to ask for help, this is your health you are dealing with!
Once you have dealt with your past or at least found ways to keep it from holding you back, you have the ability to move forward and find some peace and happiness. For those who know me well, I am all common sense. I am a natural problem solver and rational thinker, and I use this ability to help others where I can.
If you are dealing with milder forms of mental health issues and are somewhat stable in your thinking then you can use your own common sense to improve your health. I don't have all of the information to help you move forward but much of that information is at our fingertips. You need to have an idea of what your issues are and where to look for help during this step.
If you came to see me and told me you feel that you are depressed, I would ask you few open questions about your life and your support systems, and then I would ask why you think you are depressed. You can ask yourself the same question. Find out what thoughts are causing you to be depressed and then ask why again. If you can't get a helpful answer after the first few 'whys' then the problem could be hidden deep and you may want to seek help.
If you start finding answers though, think about your answers and begin to determine whether you should be holding onto the sadness they are creating. The more questions you ask about yourself, the more answers you will find. Usually we are afraid to dig too deep, but without digging a little you won't find any other the answers. I will keep saying the same thing over and over, start somewhere.
Nobody can fix what is wrong with you but you. I am also saying that you should ask for help if you need it. If you are having worse thoughts as you progress, stop and seek help from a mental health professional. If you are able to control the line of thinking and want to keep going, be careful and handle with care. Remember to care about yourself because you deserve to be cared for. Feel free to email me if you hit any glitches along the way and I will be happy to offer you some helpful options.
I will finish up step 2 over the next article or two and then on to stage 3. My program is a very common sense approach where I offer ideas but you have to do the work. I think you are up for it though!!