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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mental Illness | My Psychiatrist Says My Mental Health Is Improving

It had been about five weeks since I last saw my psychiatrist. Almost immediately, he commented, "Boy, do you look a lot better." Our visit ended with my psychiatrist saying that my mental health was improving.

I've come to really like my psychiatrist, Dr. Cohen. He's a diminutive bespectacled elderly doctor with a full head of wavy gray hair that is neatly combed back. At first, I had to get used to the fact that he's so small. I'm 6'1" and he barely comes up to my chest. I guess that's why they call him a shrink.

He asked me, "What's been going on?"

I told him that a big change started when I began blogging relentlessly on March 7th.

Blogging gives me a sense of purpose and keeps my mind off my troubles. I love to write and attack my keyboard with passion every day. In a little over two weeks, I've created 23 blog posts. The average blogger produces one to three posts a week.

Blogging also helps clarify the thoughts in my mind. I've written about the steps to recovery from mental illness and the importance of groups in recovering from mental illness. When I saw my psychologist on Tuesday, she applauded when I told her about the article on groups.

"People don't realize how important group support is in recovery. I'm so glad you wrote that," she quipped.

She's also helped me with relaxation techniques for sleeping. A problem I'm still suffering from. 

Part of the recovery process was identifying what was important to me. I'm not at a point where I can work right now. So, I had to find a place to channel my energy.

Over the last month, I've been active with my support groups and have been socializing with several of the members. One guy, Jeff, is really interested in doing stand-up comedy. I was a road comic and Vegas regular for nine years, up until 1997. I've been coaching Jeff and it's gotten my wheels turning. I'm thinking of new crazy ideas all the time. I started to crave the stage. However, I don't want the road life anymore. So blogging became an outlet.

I told my sister, "I have too many words in me. I need to get them out." Since I began ad libbing jokes with my new friends and writing whatever pops into my head here, I've felt a lot better. 

What you can take away from these examples are - Find something you love and pursue it. You'll find a lot of joy in the process and keep your mind doing something positive.

Last time I visited Dr. Cohen, we adjusted my Lithium level up a bit. That might also be helping.

Prior to today's visit, Dr. Cohen said, "Every time you came in here, and don't take offense to this, you looked like death warmed over. I see a noticeable difference. We don't need to change anything."

What has also helped me feel much better over the past five weeks has been me getting my medical armada in place. I now have a psychiatrist I like, an absolutely stunning personal physician (I see her next week - yeah!!), and I have a very pleasant psychologist. Last week, I had a colonoscopy and all is right with my rectum.

Recovery from mental illness is a process. You take small steps when that is all you can do. Eventually, you can take longer strides and progress even faster. I'm just glad my psychiatrist says my mental health is improving.

I don't know if I'll ever be "normal" - Hell, I've never been normal, that's what makes me special.

PS - I absolutely love the picture I found for this post. Click on it for a larger image. It's hilarious.

Related articles on this site:
Five Steps To Recovery From Mental Illness
Recovery From Mental Illness Should Include Groups
Mental Illness | My Psychiatrist Says My Mental Health Is Improving
The Stigma Of Mental Illness
Mental Illness | Mentally Ill Live Lives Of Quiet Shame, Anger Or Pain
Mental Illness | Catherine Zeta-Jones Treated For Bipolar II Disorder
How To Sleep Better By Using A Relaxation Technique
Mental Illness | Dealing With Symptoms of Panic Attacks And Anxiety Disorder

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