MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AND WELLNESS – WENDY BLANCHARD, M.S., CHHC, CPS

“One of the most jarring experiences I’ve had of late is observing a grown man living with an irrational mind and serious mental health challenges display the authenticity of “mania” but refusing help…Is he aware of his disorder, or is he unable to connect to the part of the mind that understands the depth of this illness…

This man cried and sobbed, holding his head, repeating over and over, “Im so broken!…”as he escalated in his symptoms,  and refused to allow himself the connection to  support. I had witnessed behavioral patterns in the past that raised red flags so many times…and of late, more information has come to my attention that has shed a bright light onto the seriousness and duration of his disease…

As I continue to lead by example and to be a guiding light thriving in my own recovery for those with strength and determination who wish to live in recovery…this reality will forever be etched in my mind…We cannot even lead one to the water…those living with mental health disorders must be ‘dying of thirst” in order to take a drink…Even then, some live with deep delusions and in isolation and cannot see the depth of their disease… and loved ones pretend not to notice due to fear and stigma… being uninformed… being misinformed…and the “not in my family” mindset. We must continue to have an ongoing open dialogue to raise awareness and eliminate stigma…This is a brain disease that is progressive and chronic…and the great news is that it is diagnosable, treatable and manageable, if we are willing to be proactive in achieving and sustaining wellness.

Mental Health is a part of every human being. Fearing your symptoms, and fearing other’s perceptions of this disease and/or treatment, leads to lifelong struggles that result in a disability that is far more paralyzing than physical illness…some mental health disorders such as “Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar, are far more debilitating than Paraplegia.” This is one of the things that I teach as an educator in MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID.

If you or a loved one is living with a mental health disorder, you may contact your primary care physician, psychologist, nurse practitioner, or your local N.A.M.I. Chapter ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) or Mental Health Association, for support and resources. Mental Illness is diagnosable, treatable and manageable for those who are willing to embrace change and hard work to reset ones mindset, to take action, and to practice commitment to wellness. Each person will heal at their own pace, and in their own way…When we begin to practice wellness, we stand in our power in recovery, so that when we have recurring symptoms, we can immediately implement these wellness practices to reduce, and manage our symptoms.

I have managed my SUD (Substance Use Disorder), which has been in remission for six years, through my self care and Wellness practices using only natural and organic solutions.  Others may need  medication, therapy, etc. Whatever it is FOR YOU that offers wellness, that is what you do to heal.

With ongoing support and treatment, we recover, we thrive, and we have the ability to live, laugh, love, and learn. Life is to be lived in every moment, and life is beautiful and meaningful in recovery. It is available to anyone who is ready to LIVE.

Love and blessings,

Wendy

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