Living to the Fullest With a Psychiatric Diagnosis

By Nancy Virden (c)2021

You’ve been told by a mental health professional you are have a diagnosis.  Is this a life sentence?

It depends. We do not yet have the “penicillin” for mood disorders such as bipolar depression and major depression. No medication has been made available that will perfectly control symptoms of schizophrenia or without fail maintain brain chemical balance for each person. By that definition, there is yet no cure.

Still, we are in control of managing our wellbeing. My experiences and those of others I’ve met indicate we have much more input than is often perceived.  The question might not be “Is my diagnosis a life sentence?” but rather, “What’s next? How will I live life to the fullest possible?”

To start, a person has to become aware of a problem and accept the need for help.  Statistics show that only about 60% of persons with a mental disorder seek or receive treatment, while as many as 90% of treated people move on to enjoy healthier and more satisfactory lives. If there is no medical cure, why the massive numerical difference between untreated and successfully treated patients? The answer is complex, but a person’s ability and willingness to learn and apply healthy coping skills play a large part. 

From this insider’s viewpoint, diagnosable depression and anxiety are restrained from taking over one’s life by the practice of management skills. These skills are spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental in nature. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

One man I know walks 10 miles a day to keep depression under control (not always with success). I and many others take medications. Talk therapy for longer or shorter terms will help if we do the work. Word searches, reading a good book- these can take our minds off racing thoughts.

It is in the slow process of growing awareness, learning, and applying, that I have gained more control over how depression and anxiety interfere with my goals, relationships, and daily functioning. Being as each human is unique, the strategies written above and those that work for me are not guarantees for anyone else. Help is available though, and no psychiatric diagnosis must be a life sentence.

We learn to function within the challenges, to make choices within our control and allow for human limitations. We can move beyond feeling like perpetual victims and become more contented victors. -COMMENTS WELCOME

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 57:2 ESV

I cry out to God Most High,
    to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

How the Difference Maker Lifts You Above Depressive Thoughts (c)2020

Stay at Home and Thrive! (c)2020

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.


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