animation of a woman half submerged in water as she manages her mental health hiv

Managing My Mental Health

Our mental health is an important aspect that affects our quality of life. Like many things in life, the mental health disorders we have can affect us differently and the techniques that help us manage the issues can vary as well.

I have previously written an article about titled Mental Health Issues, about my major. depressive disorder diagnosis. This article will focus on how I manage my mental health disorders.

Managing with my mental health

I do have a handful of mental issues that I have to manage. I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and insomnia. I also deal with the internalized stigma around my HIV and my mental health issues.

Reaching out for help

It can be hard to admit that you need help from other people to manage your mental health issues. But once you come to terms with needing other people, a great resource is created.

Professional

One of the most important ways, that I manage my mental health, is by using a psychologist and a psychiatrist. The psychologist allows me to talk through some of my problems and helps me see things in multiple ways.

On the other hand, the psychiatrist assists me in managing my mental health issues through the use of medications such as antidepressants, antianxiety, and mood stabilizers.

Friends/Family

When my symptoms start to get the better of me, especially with my depression, I reach out to a select few people that make up my support group. Unfortunately, not everybody in my family believes in mental health issues.

Besides this, I know I can always count on my momma and my two best friends. They will always listen if I need to vent, yell, scream, or cry; then they give me advice, rather I want to hear it or not!

Learning to say no

While it was a hard lesson to learn, I eventually found the importance of saying NO at times. I used to feel obligated to always stop what I was doing to help somebody else every time they presented an issue they needed help to handle.

I distinctly remember sitting on my kitchen floor, with my knees to my chest, and crying from being so overwhelmed. While I was in that position, physically and mentally, my aunt kept calling me. When I finally answered she told me that she needed me to go get a sun hat for grandma.

My aunt had this task for a month and never handled it. I told her no. I could not do anything that day. She was mad for a few days, but she got over it. That’s when I realized, I can tell people no and they will get over it.

This was a good realization because it allowed me to say no when I needed to for my mental and physical health.

Self-care

There are many things that somebody may do that would be considered self-care. Normally self-care is used to decrease stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

One of my favorite methods of self-care is taking a hot bath with some lavender Epsom salts. I use this time to not talk on the phone or message anybody. Other times I find a cozy spot to curl up, drink some hot tea, and read a book.

Sometimes my self-care also involves my dog. Taking him somewhere to run and play or simply sitting with him and petting him can both be calming and relaxing.

Our mental health is definitely linked to our physical health. It is important to maintain both forms of health in order for us to thrive.

How do you manage your mental health issues?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The H-I-V.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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