Whether tis better to Accept or Deny Mental IIlness
To accept an ill state of mental health is a difficult thing to do. First of all who wants to lose. I mean, who wants to be the one with the short straw. Don’t pick on me! Don’t call me the sickest!
The Grief Cycle
Acceptance doesn’t mean believing less of ourselves but it does mean being honest and logical about the situation we are in. I think other stages in handling grief are important in coping with illnesses. This involves anger, bartering, depression and yes finally acceptance and then going on to teach others. These stages educate us by forcing us to use tools so we can gain strength. Acceptance on the other hand is more of a stabilizing part of the cycle. We can stay in this place for longer. Through using skills learned from the grief process we can come to a place of homoeostasis in our acceptance.
We Are More Than Our Illnesses
I’ve never been sure of this need to name illnesses. I’d rather be confident in the health that remains. That’s health that can be found through making important choices, health that can be found through making changes when necessary, health that can also be found through sharing complaints and triumphs with family and friends.
I find with a mental illness I am often telling myself I am more than this illness and my other skills are important. Strengths, are more important at times and people with illnesses do have them. In some ways I don’t accept the word illness, it makes me feel sick and I want to be strong. I want to feel that I can cope with my life.
On the other hand, if I’m going to accept this mental illness do I have to tell people the name of it. I’d rather tell people I lose some sense of reality from time to time or I see pictures and hear people talking in the background sometimes. You may have guessed, the name my illness has been given is schizophrenia which I presently refer to as the ‘S’ word.
People want a name for it. They crave a name. They would get down on their knees and beg me for a name so that it can be in a neat little category. It’s not like that. Sometimes just being around me is as close to finding out about the mental illness as you are going to get. This is because you can, in all fairness see my strengths; my strong listening skills, my caring nature and my vivid imagination. This makes it fair. I’d like to make a rule, you only get to refer to mental illness if you get to know me for my strengths.
There Are Some Advantages to Accepting Mental Illness
When I accepted this illness on some of my own terms there was room to accept more sympathy. I like that. I also like to hear understanding. A friend’s poetic ideas that show acceptance are also significant in making sense of my imagination. By talking to others, I come to a more manageable perspective. This is a skill I’ve learned to help me cope with bizarre experiences.
I accept that I can’t participate at times, that I have to take a back seat in loud boisterous discussions. This helps me value the quiet thoughtfulness in myself and in others. Accepting illness feels wrong, and yet, when the evidence points towards pain and hardship and needing help, it would be easier for me if I could just accept the ‘s’ word and talk to others about it. I need people to keep in contact and to help us keep our connection. I need people to show their caring feelings. I need people to help me stay interested in my life. My desparation at times might need a label but I also have the capacity to find success in life. I long to share that with you.
In my view, having a mental illness is getting to be more common. By accepting that it brings hardships, I can better prepare to face the illness. Will you accept some of your unpleasant realities? Or is ignorance bliss? Or is there both, a time to ignore the illness and a time to embrace the illness?
Posted on December 17, 2012, in Balance, Emotions, Happiness, Self Esteem and Positivity, mental health, New Age Psychology, Relationships, schizophrenia and tagged acceptance, alternatives to medication, anger management, empowerment, healing, identity, labels, meaning, mental health, mental illness, music appreciation, schizophrenia, self-knowledge. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.