Recovering from Mental Illness

Did you know you can use humor as a mental health coping skill? I dabble in stand-up comedy, using stories combined with sarcastic comments from my life as part of the act. Recently, I did a show about my time in rehab in the state hospital system. The entire time was traumatic; I refer to it as the worst four months of my life (What the State of Indiana Doesn’t Want You to Know). But using humor as a coping skill for mental health got me through it, and enabled me to look back on it and see the funny things, such as the control freak staff member who posted a sign that read, "If you fart in the dayroom you will be marked for disrespecting staff and peers!"
Do you know how to start recovery from a mental illness trigger event? Ever since Katrina hit and I served as a relief worker, I have had a fear bordering on terror of drowning. My city, Indianapolis, just got hit by a minor flood. I do not have the words to describe how I felt as I sat on the table of a friend's business and watched the water rise to the lugnuts of a car across the street. Let's just say I'm agnostic and I was praying like my life depended on it (Pushing Aside Daily Mental Health Triggers is Tough). Events such as these trigger psychiatric symptoms and are called mental illness trigger events. The good news is there is recovery from a mental illness trigger event.
Do you know how to use coping skills in an emergency situation? Recently, while I was at a mental health facility, a series of tornadoes touched down and forced us to evacuate to the basement, three times (How to Create an Emergency Anxiety Toolkit). Unfortunately, several of the other mental health consumers had claustrophobia (literally). We had to know how to use coping skills in an emergency situation. Here's what I learned.
Do you know how to recover from an abusive relationship? No one wakes up one day and says, "I think I'll fall in love with someone who abuses me." Most relationships don't become abusive, and most abusive relationships don't become abusive until the relationship is well-established. And lack of violence does not mean lack of abuse (Effects of Emotional Abuse on Adults). Breaking it off is the most dangerous part, but what comes after that? Do victims know how to recover from an abusive relationship?
The government can help people with mental health issues. I am on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and run a small freelance writing business (How To Get Disability Benefits For Mental Illness). Until recently, I could not get insurance because of my schizophrenia being a pre-existing condition, which forced me to stay on disability so I could get Medicare and Medicaid so I wouldn't be wiped out again if I were hospitalized. This meant I had to watch my income. So I have plenty of ideas about how the government can help people with mental health issues.
Recovery from borderline personality disorder (BPD) is possible. I'm living proof. Recently, I ran across some old Facebook posts about moving into my own apartment and getting my own cell phone. That may not seem like much, but to me it's a huge victory. I am in recovery from borderline personality disorder--and I was once written off as a hopeless case. If I can recover from borderline personality disorder, so can you--you just need to find the right therapy, put in the effort, and recognize the small victories.
A recent incident made me think about if force should be used against a person with mental illness. I recently was notified of an incident in which a prisoner with mental illness attempted to end her life after extended solitary confinement. Although she was unconscious when the cell force team entered, she is facing charges for "resisting." Absurdity of the charge aside, it raises a valid question: should force be used against someone with mental illness?
Staying hydrated is important to mental health. After a bout with dehydration, I wondered how staying hydrated could affect mental health. After researching the subject, I found that staying hydrated is important to mental health.
How does one recover from homelessness and mental illness (Mental Illness and Homelessness)? I spent some time in a homeless shelter on two separate occasions--once fleeing an abusive relationship and once seeking safety from an abusive group home. Both times my mental illness could have easily worsened had I been on the streets, but I went to a shelter that was equipped to treat mental illness. Recovery is possible and real. One can recover from homelessness and mental illness.
Pokemon Go has taught me many things about mental health coping skills. Coping skills are vital to recovery--they're the bricks and mortar of building a new foundation for your life (Coping Skills for Mental Health and Wellbeing). Coping skills vary by person, and one of mine is playing Pokemon Go (I have the weight loss, buff legs, and sunburn to prove it). Here is what Pokemon Go taught me about mental health coping skills.