Natalie P. Mohr is the author of "The Tale of the Lantern Lady," an allegorical short story about those who suffer from mental illness and depression and those who bridge the gap between pain and positive change in their lives.
For the gritty and very real version of Natalie's journey, see her other guest posts via Hope Rising - Natalie Part 1 and Hope Rising - Natalie Part 2
Lessons from a Medicated Mama - part 2
*a guest post from author Natalie Mohr*
Since my initial diagnosis and years of treatment, I have learned a variety of lessons that I would like to share.
GET HELP --
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Your health is your first priority and you are your own advocate. Do not allow fear of stigma or what other people or family members will think of you to deter you from seeking help. Mental Illness is not a sign of weakness. Psychological disorders are physiological issues and are no different from other physical health problems. Sometimes the causes can be identified by hormonal fluctuations, hereditary conditions, health problems, chemical imbalances or other conditions. If you are overwhelmed by taking care of yourself or your children, ask for help from trusted friends and family and seek help from a professional. Surround yourself with a positive support system.
Always routinely take your medication and communicate with your doctor. Don't assume that if one drug doesn't work that there are no other effective options. Be patient. Sometimes it can take months or in worst case scenario, years for some people to find the right medication and effective combination or dosage. It can be discouraging but don't give up!
If you are unhappy with your provider, find a new one. Your mental health is essential to your well being and you should NEVER compromise your quality of care. For some people, it means the difference between life or death. Make sure you find one that is responsive and who will listen to you. Search online or ask around for good references. Practitioners often have different philosophies when it comes to medication and treatment options. Some take traditional approaches while others are willing to go outside of the box.
Mental illness comes in many forms and can affect every person differently. It is important to recognize the "signs." Do not ignore the symptoms and seek help from a medical professional. They include but are not limited to any of the following:
· Feeling depressed or sad for long periods of time
· Decreased energy
· Feelings of inadequacy and guilt
· Difficulty with concentration
· Mood fluctuations
· Patterns of recklessness or impulsivity
· Lack of interest in things you usually enjoy
· Social withdrawal
· Difficulty handling stress and daily activities
· Irrational thoughts
· Change in eating habits
· Self medicating with alcohol or drugs
· Change in sex drive
· Excessive anger
· Suicidal thoughts
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In post 3, Natalie will share her additional tips for personal coping with mental illness. Her story is real, and we both hope that sharing it will give someone else a glimmer of hope and the strength to fight through it.
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"The Tale of the Lantern Lady"
Apple iBook Store for iPad $6.99
Blurb Bookstore - fully illustrated version 7"x7"
Hardcover, dust jacket $29.19