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Simple Ways to Empower Ourselves to Define Our Mental Health Journey

What I Learned About Defining My ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Throughout My Mental Health and Recovery Journey

By Sandy Pace Published 19 days ago 3 min read
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Simple Ways to Empower Ourselves to Define Our Mental Health Journey
Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

What does it mean to define our mental health journey? For me, defining my mental health journey is deeply personal. It has empowered me to foster a resilient and self-compassionate approach to how I relate to my Generalized Anxiety Disorder and ADHD diagnosis, treatment, and challenges.

Why is it important for us to define our journey? A well-defined journey empowers us to overcome unhelpful advice and various stigmas related to mental health and neurodivergent conditions. For example, defining my journey helped me better understand my strengths and weaknesses within the context of my diagnosis. It also empowered me to confidently seek out therapists and other supports who specialize in neurodivergent conditions and tailor interventions to my specific needs.

Defining our journey enables us to make healthier decisions about our support systems, interventions, and overall well-being. Most importantly, it helps us feel less powerless. In other words, it empowers us to normalize our experiences, reduce stigma, and encourage openness. It allows us to define our language around our mental health, challenges, and progress in relatable terms, fostering a sense of agency and empowerment.

What are some ways within our sphere of control relating to how we define our mental health journey?

By Choosing How We Define Goals

When we empower ourselves to define our progress, we put ourselves in the driver's seat of our lives. We understand our role in our journey by validating our unique experiences, both positive and negative, rather than basing them on other people's interpretations of progress.

Consider this: Do you see your challenges as signs of failure or opportunities for growth? How we perceive our thoughts and experiences, especially the challenging ones, profoundly impacts how we define those moments. Instead of being harsh on us, we can reframe those moments using tools like strength-based language. These lessons empower us to become more resilient, self-compassionate, and self-aware.

By Choosing Where We Get Support

You often hear about the importance of seeking mental health support, a crucial part of your journey. However, choosing the right places and qualified professionals to provide this support is equally important. It's essential to seek help from knowledgeable and empathetic sources. Additionally, creating boundaries around not-so-helpful people and prioritizing resources that have your best interests at heart is crucial.

When you take this approach, you adopt a proactive stance that fosters personal growth and normalizes mental health care. When you take this approach, you create a more realistic, compassionate, and informed way of relating to your mental health.

By No Longer Gaslighting and Invalidating Ourselves

Throughout my mental health journey, I have noticed constant invalidation whenever I talked about my mental health and my various diagnoses. Why? People are uncaring. I am sorry, but it is true. I am not saying there are no helpful people out there. It is important to validate and hold space for not just for others but also for us, so we do not let others define our challenges, experiences, treatments, or diagnoses.

By validating our experiences, we honor our emotions and challenges and foster a deeper understanding of ourselves and our needs. It empowers us to gain self-awareness and guides us in making informed decisions about our mental health care, including seeking support, setting boundaries, and pursuing activities that nourish our well-being.

Final Thoughts

In a world with so much information, both online and offline, it is more important than ever to take charge of your mental health journey. By defining your journey and wielding the power of self-compassion, you can navigate challenges, celebrate victories, and become the architect of your well-being.

Remember, you are not alone on this path. Numerous resources are also available to support you, and many helpful sites are free, such as The Mighty, an example of an online site. Empower yourself to seek them out and build a network of encouragement. For this reason, it is important to reclaim our narrative around how we view things like seeking help or taking medication and our thoughts and emotions in a way that fosters accountability, compassion, self-trust, and self-advocacy. So, we learn to focus on what matters, the things and people that build us up.

References and Resources

BetterUp (2023, August 10). The journey to mental health: When you approach your well-being with curiosity and care, you start to feel better than you did yesterday. https://www.betterup.com/blog/journey-mental-health#:~:text=When%20you%20learn%20to%20approach,better%20than%20you%20did%20yesterday

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (2022, August 11). How to Find Success in Your Mental Health Journey. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care - HaPi Guide. https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/hapiguide/how-to-find-success-in-your-mental-health-journey/

Therapist Aid. (n.d.). Strengths-Based Therapy. Therapist Aid. https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-guide/strengths-based-therapy

The Mighty: https://themighty.com/

panic attackstreatmentstraumatherapysupportstigmaselfcareschizophreniarecoveryptsdpersonality disordermedicinehumanitydisorderdepressioncopinganxietyadviceaddiction
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About the Creator

Sandy Pace

I’m a freelance writer with ADHD and anxiety. Who’s passionate about mental health awareness and other related topics. And has written for publications like ADDitude Magazine, Thought Catalog, TotallyADD, and other publications.

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