Eventually, if one is invested in the advisement of their caretakers for long enough time, they discover what positive coping habits, ideas, and sayings, help them most.

The system standardizes us unrealistically. But we don’t have to live that way.

Recovery is furthermore, again, not linear, but by working the steps, one can move in a forward direction. I found a good analogy to be while climbing Mount Everest. One moves forward three feet, and back two (from the ice).

It’s also helpful to keep in mind that no one is perfect, and that everyone has problems. For instance, Thomas Jefferson, quoted below, owned hundreds of slaves until the day he died, even despite speaking out against the menace of slavery.

This image captures a lot of traits of emotionally well people…

  • No major, inhibiting irrational beliefs or feelings
  • Considers life significantly engaging, joyous, and fulfilling
  •  Has a healthy, positive and balanced self-image
  • Attempts employment at a job that they’re naturally good at, and that they’ve practiced enough to be exceptional at completing
  • Independently maintains their responsibilities
  • Has intimate, and fruitful, social connections

If you believe you can get there, things become much easier. The following are personal practices that have gained me significant traction in reaching my higher goals.

  • Being 100% open to mental health professionals
    • Telling them about your past
      • All drug use
        • Recreational
        • Prescription
        • Supplements
        • Substances “not labeled for human consumption”
    • Honest thoughts and feelings
      • Dishonesty sabotages the doctor, which sabotages the patient, making recovery more remote
      • Major trap: setting out to be prescribed certain medications
        • A basic inquiry is fine, but it ought to stay that way
        • Be lax and attentive
        • Treat the doctor as a fellow human
        • Hold respect for the doctor’s skill and experience
        • Especially with stimulants in the US, seeking stimulant prescription is a serious emotional wellness trap
    • Health information from past treating mental health professionals
      • Including all forms of therapy, such as:
    • Highly emotional situations from the past
      • This requires bravery
      • In all its callous nature, the sooner it comes out, the sooner can closure be had
  • Abiding by all of your doctor’s recommendations
    • If you don’t agree, voice your reasoning, recognizing yourself as a layman, not a professional
    • Taking medication as prescribed
      • Even medications that work within an hour (stimulants and tranquilizers), can take a few weeks of regular use for ideal results
      • Most antidepressants need at least four weeks of daily use to begin working
    • Except for emergency situations, always consult your doctor before changing a regimen. Their art is a delicate one.
      • This is how people can…
        • Get hurt
        • Get hospitalized
        • Develop treatment-resistance when medication is resumed
          • A higher dose may be needed
          • The medication may not work at all
    • Taking medications at roughly the same time of day, every day
      • As needed medications need not apply
      • A steady stream, constant concentration, is the goal here
        • Stability on the inside and outside
    • Taking certain supplements, or none

  • Seeing a therapist weekly
    • If a person is too ill to make it to therapy, it may be wise to consider hospital evaluation
    • A lot of people sabotage themselves on account of pride, for example… 
      • “My illness is biological, it can only be helped with drugs”
        • There is by now plenty of evidence for how non-pharmaceutical therapy techniques can beneficially alter one’s brain
      • “I’m not sick, society is”
        • This statement leaves us nowhere. Understanding that we won’t be the next Napoleon, we must adapt to society.
        • From my viewpoint, playing by the system to gain collegiate degrees will have more people listening to me closer when I speak out against the stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • Socializing
    • Just as therapy, productive socialization can be difficult for people who are battling symptoms
    • Something I recently learned: small talk can be anything but small.
      • It can make us truly happy
      • It otherwise has value!
    • Excessive isolation is the best indication of mental illness
      • As stated elsewhere, we are quite social beings.
      • Even the relatively antisocial person will need to socialize, lest they become more emotionally unwell.
    • I remember first getting out of a somewhat lengthy hospital stay, friendless. A few people reached out to me – strained small-talk over coffee. They were motivated by pity.
      • Now, they’re good friends. The connection is symbiotic, healthy, and strong.
      • The important thing here is the initial nature of a relationship is less important than consistency, attempts to qualitatively improve it.
    • Some will not think mental illness is real. These people are not material for a healthy relationship. Sadly, I had to end longstanding relationships because of being treated as less than human.

  • Completing acts of daily living (ADL’s)
    • Bathe
    • Brush
    • Floss
    • Shave
    • Have hair cut regularly
    • Do laundry, including bed sheets
    • Clean up after yourself

  • Cultivating an exercise routine
    • Indisputably health-promoting
    • Built slowly, adding to in a likewise slow manner
    • One of the most healthy, non-social activities
  • Cultivating a meditation routine
    • Please see the essay I wrote on the benefits of meditation for more information
    • Some forms of meditation can be harmful to those with psychotic disorders
      • In this case, perhaps a practice that centers on one stimuli
    • Similarly to exercise, much evidence exists on how it benefits the mind, body, and spirit
  • Develop hobbies. For example…
    • Fishing
    • Playing video games
    • Watching movies
    • Listening to music
    • Taking a walk
    • Volunteering!
    • Pickup games of basketball
    • Read a good book

Sources: Dr Henry Gerson, Dr. Tony Pane, Stephen G. Post, Francesca Borgonovi, Howard Zinn,