Despite what people think, a mental-health condition can’t be cured by advice… But I sure wish it could be.
“I can handle you in small doses.” I often find myself hearing this statement in my mind. But to whom am I referring? Well, the wider world of course. Does this sound familiar to you? I’m sure it must for some. And if so, I hope you are able to get the help you need to make the world more bearable.
In my case, ever since going off work for PTSD, I have worked very hard to find a way back to the living. By that I mean, being able to look the busy world in the eye and say “Today, I own you, not the other way around.” Even though I would love this to be true, it is in reality, not so.
Regardless, I carry on. Often, I hear, “You just got to,” followed by some well-meaning advice from a well-meaning person. But regardless of what they think, the harsh reality is that PTSD, rather a solution to its debilitating effects, is not cured with advice.
How to talk to someone with PTSD
While this is true, what’s equally true is that I don’t have to justify to anyone why I am not working. Furthermore, I can’t control what others think, so why try?
What I must focus on is the actions I am taking. For instance, I have spent the last few years in therapy trying my best – working to get me into a place where I am functional enough to live again.
While normality is my goal, it is looking less and less like the socially-acceptable norm of a Monday to Friday is possible. Now, this idea terrifies me. Why? Because I want to work, I want to be free of the nightmares, flashbacks, sleepless nights and inability. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be?
Complete list of PTSD symptoms
However, despite the fact that I don’t need advice, I do wish that people would not jump to their own, non-professional conclusions. A mental-health condition can’t be cured by advice. Additionally, each person’s journey is different. Oh, and just because, you “had a struggle” and you “got over it” is not, whether you think so or not, a valid reason for you to think that others can too.
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You see, this is where non-clinical, individualist experience doesn’t help. The reasons for anyone’s given struggles that are different from your own are much more complicated. With that said, if one has overcome their challenges and has been better for it, I am truly happy for them. I also can’t help but envy them a bit…
The role of genetics in mental illness
Although I can’t be cured by advice, I can continue to go to therapy, make improvements in my diet and exercise. Maybe one day I will get there, maybe I am as healed as I’m ever going to be. Whatever the case, I will continue down the road to mental wellness.
If you are struggling, please go here for help: Talk Suicide Canada