The Crossroads Of Uncertainty

The Crossroads Of Uncertainty. Another opportunity to improve my mental health has come to my attention. However, it could be the riskiest one I’ve ever taken.

Today I sit at the crossroads of uncertainty and as I stand in the intersection, I am frozen. Each road that lies in front of me is one that I have never been down before. All I know is, I have no choice but to choose a direction. The question that keeps playing in my mind? “Do all these paths eventually lead to the road to mental wellness? Similarly, I find myself asking, “What am I going to do?”

Yesterday, during an appointment with my general practitioner, she suggested that perhaps I try a different anticonvulsant. For those of you who don’t know: I have epilepsy and the meds I take for it, render the behaviour meds useless. (Read: Medications – At An Impasse).

Since I’ve been seizure-free since 1994, this decision requires a lot of thought; it’s a decision I can’t take lightly. With so much uncertainty, I find myself sliding into a depressive episode. Unfortunately, in these moments I am incapable of making good decisions.

Don’t you wish that sometimes there would be somebody else, some magical being that would make these decisions for you? I sure do. However, when I look around as I stand at the fork in the road, there is only me. And at the end of the day, it is up to you to make the best possible decision for your own mental health.

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Photo by Domen Mirtič Dolenec on – The Crossroads Of Uncertainty

So, if I choose the route of a different anticonvulsant, what does it do? Will it only partially protect me from seizures? What if it doesn’t work, and I end up disabled from epilepsy and PTSD? There are so many questions. And despite that fact, I can’t live like this forever. There’s so much to consider. I know I will have to do something.

At this juncture, the mental pain from the nightmares and the constant startle response are way too much. For example, a crowded restaurant is enough to traumatize me for an entire day, sometimes longer. While I’ve learned mindfulness and other strategic coping tools, they have proven to be useless in scenarios like this.

The biggest painful aspect? The world itself has become way too loud. In fact, the world is so loud and so busy that many places where I seek refuge, are inundated with some noise in the background. A loud muffler, a Harley motorcycle booming off in the distance, and then sometimes you catch a ringtone, a song or video from some other hiker… What’s a fellow with PTSD to do?

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While it’s true, that my future remains uncertain, I know I have to choose a path.  Fortunately for myself, I’ve been battling mental illness long enough to know that I must make an informed decision. Furthermore, I need to base it on the help of the medical and mental-health professionals. For example, I will now consult with my psychiatrist after talking to my doctor. The takeaway here? When it comes to your health, mental or physical, you must be armed with the best possible knowledge. While this can be overwhelming, it can be less so if one draws up a plan.

So, for example, for now I will put the options my doctor gave me up on a shelf and wait for my psychiatrist appointment. I want to see what her expert opinion is. It’s okay to be in purgatory while you wait for some good information on how to proceed forward. The idea is to heal, not cause more mental pain.

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In conclusion, I think it is best for all of us to make informed decisions. And the best way to do this is to understand your particular type of mental illness. For example, PTSD can cause one to make some impulsive decisions. Knowing that, it’s even more important that I listen to the experts. Well, ultimately your path is yours to choose. What I am suggesting is that you choose it wisely. After all, you deserve to have the best shot you can possibly have to get better. I’m rooting for you.

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Categories: Mental Health, PTSD, Wellness Store

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