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Life is Always Worth Living

Updated on March 26, 2012

PTSD and Living

Many people in America today suffer from some form of mental or emotional illness that sometimes dramatically affects their life, and their ability to function in today's society. Often times a person begins to feel as though they are a misfit of society, unable to ever fit the societal expectations to live a normal life. These burdens can become over bearing to the point of breakdown, causing someone to lose their ability to work, socialize, or maybe even become hospitalized or worse. Feelings of helplessness, panic, depression, and fear can dominate a person’s mind to the point of complete desperation causing irrational judgment and poor decision making, bringing additional hardships on the sufferer. Panic disorders are becoming common place in today’s world, and through a lack of understanding a person finds they must go these episodes alone.

For those that do not understand, learn. There are many opportunities for educating oneself on mental or emotional illness that should become the responsibility of all those who know someone suffering in this area. Wanting to help is admirable but tragically ineffective to those that are not understanding and properly equipped to help. I am not criticizing those desiring to reach out to the sufferer in a crisis, but offering an opportunity to become more affective through education and understanding.

For those that suffer, There is a hope! People that have never experienced a feeling of helplessness or complete desperation, or those that are not open enough to admit they have, tend to contribute to a person’s helplessness more then they realize. Education and understanding is required with any illness, both physical and emotional, and that’s where everyone should start. The concept of peer advocacy is becoming a very powerful tool in helping people overcome their difficulties, since the peer can often times relate to those feelings of desperation and fear. Sometimes a peer support system can take you over those humps, making it through to the next hurdle, teaching new coping skills along the way.

A person should create a Wellness Plan, which is a plan that will help recognize areas of strengths and areas of weakness. A peer could be a great source in assisting with this plan. This plan should include activities that promote a positive effect on both a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. There is an author Mary Ellen Copeland, that has created a “Wellness Recovery Action Plan” that is very helpful in maintaining a daily strategy for a continued path to recovery that I would very much like to recommend.

In addition to peer support, a person should find that strength and love in a spiritual strength greater than our own. I believe in the power of prayer and the reliance on a power greater than my own. I believe in the strength’s of having hope and a purpose, and believe that these Biblical truths can lift a crushing burden and carry someone through these difficulties.

And last, physical wellness can strengthen and add to mental wellness, so eating the proper foods can assist in being mentally healthier. Though I am clearly not a medical professional or an expert on mental or emotional illness, I am a sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have been through those fearful times of complete panic and desperation that can make a person wonder if they can make to the other side. And I have learned to recognize triggers that I need to manage before they manage me. I have set my goals on healthy things like exercise, eating right and getting enough exercise, and focused on avoiding those stressors that attack my mental and emotional wellness. I’ve learned that one can live a normal life, free from the burdens of panic and dismay by recognizing strengths, reaching out to those that can help, and trusting in a power greater than we can ever imagine.


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