There are many stigmas and stereotypes regarding mental health, whether individuals are viewed as dangerous or temperamental. One of the most common stigmas people with mental illness face is being seen as lazy. Mental illness can be debilitating. When someone is dealing with anxiety, depression, or other conditions, simply getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult.
We want to let you and our residents know that you are not lazy. Those who perceive you as lazy or make other derogatory comments do not understand the scope of your condition. Part of living with mental illness is accepting yourself and learning your limits. Each and every task you complete while coping with a mental disorder is a victory.
If you are facing a mental illness but are afraid to seek treatment because of this stigma, know you are not alone. You can rise above the stigmas and achieve the life you want today.
Living With Mental Illness
Mental health journeys have a lot of highs and lows. If you are currently living with mental illness, you can definitely relate. For individuals just starting out and recognizing the signs of mental illness, the highs can feel really high, and the lows can feel devasting. That is a typical way to feel. Early mental health treatment is about learning and getting a foothold in life. So, if you are struggling with a new diagnosis or lapse in well-being, that is okay.
Anyone living with mental illness knows it can be hard to keep thoughts straight, especially when they are intrusive and harmful. What makes it more challenging is hearing the opinions of others, especially those who do not understand mental illness. These individuals continue to perpetuate stereotypes, including the stereotype that people with mental illness are lazy. You are not lazy – you are a fighter. If these people knew how challenging it is to live with a mental illness, they would think twice before sharing an opinion or using the word lazy.
Addiction and Mental Health
Stigmas and stereotypes also have a heavy presence when it comes to addiction. Addiction and mental health have a complex – and sometimes toxic – relationship. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) are at an increased risk of developing other chronic diseases. That includes mental illnesses. In fact, their 2018 National Surve on Drug Use and Health indicated about nine.2 million adults in America struggled with SUD and mental illness.
Developing a mental illness in addition to, or vice versa, is a co-occurring disorder and typically requires a dual diagnosis. Some mental disorders seen among individuals with SUD include depression, anxiety, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. In many cases, the development of these conditions is related to trauma. So, learning to live with mental illness and SUD while discovering your limits may require you to dig deep and uncover the root of that trauma.
Mental Health Treatment
Several treatment options can help you if you are struggling with mental illness, SUD, or both. Some of those options include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy that focuses on changing a resident’s way of thinking to understand their behaviors better. Other psychotherapies can be equally effective when treating mental illness.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy helps residents learn to stay in the present moment through meditation, yoga, and other holistic practices.
- Group therapy helps residents connect with each other and bond over shared struggles and experiences. This can also help individuals broaden and strengthen their overall support system.
We encourage you to reach out or visit our website to learn more about our programs.
Learning Your Limits
The further you are in your mental health journey, the more you will learn about your limits. Now, limits are not a negative thing. Limits can guide you as you focus on improving your overall well-being. For example, when abstaining from substance use or working through past trauma, triggers can be detrimental to recovery. Learning your limits is necessary as you navigate your triggers, how much exposure you can handle, and where your breaking point is.
Limits also help you set boundaries. Boundaries are vital to your mental health because they force you to prioritize your well-being, even when it’s hard. That may include saying no to a social event when you’re emotionally drained or explaining to a boss that your workload is straining your mental health. These conversations are tough, and setting boundaries is not always easy. As you learn your limits, you will begin to see they are necessary.
Not Letting Mental Health Define You
Lastly, you must create or hold onto your identity outside of treatment. You are so much more than your illness. Ignorant people will perceive your limits with an uneducated perspective, but you know who you are and what you have overcome. Remember, you are not lazy – you are a fighter, and fighters continue to rise.
People with mental illnesses – such as a substance use disorder (SUD) or co-occurring disorder – are no strangers to the unfair stereotypes on the topic. Unfortunately, those with mental illness may be seen as temperamental, dangerous, or lazy. Though these stereotypes can hurt, feeling empowered not to let them or your disorder define you is key. Learning to live with mental illness requires learning your limits and setting boundaries. Only then can you understand what you can handle and effectively manage your symptoms. Consider seeking treatment if you are struggling with a SUD and mental illness. Here at Villa Oasis San Diego, we have the resources and professionals to help you. Call (619) 373-9792 today.