You were victimized. You’re tired. You feel damaged. You’d rather sleep than jump out of bed and enjoy your day.
What’s there to enjoy, right?
You feel ashamed. You feel depressed. Some of us even feel bipolar and/or borderline.
You have exhausted all of your inner resources. You can’t seem to snap out of this indifferent state of being.
And because you keep reading websites and books, you’re convinced you suffer from PTSD and are depressed or bipolar or borderline.
So you contemplate visiting a doctor whose job it is to diagnose you in order to fix you.
You think if you get that diagnosis, you can be prescribed that pill that can fix you.
(Really? You think a doctor who doesn’t know you can figure you out in a single session, prescribe you a medication and then you’re magically fixed? Does that ever work?)
For many of us, the diagnosis, the label placed upon us by our doctor, can often be our downfall. We initially think getting labeled will relieve us and that taking that pill will get us through our day.
I think the opposite is true. I think being labeled can destroy our psyche even more. I think in our search for empowerment, we become even more disempowered and dependent, because once the diagnoses hits our ears, fear sets in. Receiving the diagnosis and prescription can act as triggers in many cases.
So what do we do? We need to know what’s keeping us stuck and how we can get unstuck. We desperately want answers and a solution to our pain.
I think it’s as simple as changing our expectations and accepting that the diagnosis, whatever you discover it to be, is temporary.
We must stop relying solely on what that first doctor tells us and what that first doctor prescribed.
We must stop defining ourselves using the diagnosis as a mental crutch:
>>You aren’t anxiety; you suffer from feelings of anxiety.
>>You aren’t depression; you suffer from feelings of depression.
>>You aren’t PTSD; you suffer from symptoms of PTSD.
None of these diagnoses are permanent, and there are many alternatives to taking prescription medicine.
So first and foremost, don’t just go to any psychiatrist or family doctor. If you can, find a doctor or counselor who specialized in trauma as a result of relational harm and/or domestic violence situations.
And unless you absolutely can not perform simple daily tasks, reject the prescription. (You CAN do that!) Instead, ask your doctor for alternatives to medication. Ask your doctor about holistic approaches to treating your depression and your PTSD triggers.
Your doctor may be clueless! If your doctor is clueless, ask for a referral. But great doctors who are being continually educated on treatment methods and approaches will be thrilled that you’re open to something unconventional.
Search for holistic health centers or integrative medicine clinics or programs in your area.
If you take a medication that makes you feel numb, fuzzy and not yourself, talk to your doctor about the possibility of coming off the medication while simultaneously trying something more natural or holistic as a counter balance.
You may discover that simple changes to your diet, cutting out alcohol, experimenting with various forms of exercise or changing jobs can have an enormous, positive effect on your emotional health.
(Yoga and meditation have done wonders for me. Maybe Pilates or running or kayaking is your thing. Experiment!)
We are all very different and require varying degrees of care and attention. Some of us have many, many years of untreated trauma to wade through and medication is often necessary for the short term. It is!! Absolutely, it is.
But remember that this is your body, your mind and your future. When you feel like something isn’t working for you, tell your doctor. Don’t be afraid or intimidated to ask, “What else can I do to regain my emotional health?”
And don’t be afraid or intimidated to shop for a new doctor.
You’re not damaged; you’re temporarily broken. But with an open mind, a conscious effort and doctors and/or counselors you trust, you really can heal and become transformed.
(Image source: http://piccsy.com/mobile/2012/06/picc-iqf6yoyt6)