All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Day 03: What treatment or coping skills are most effective for you?

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Apologies for the slight delay in the latest installment of the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge, I had scheduled the post to publish yesterday (hence the Thursday Thirteen format I decided to use) but a wee gremlin must have invaded the system as for some reason it didn’t publish. Hopefully we will have better luck today!

The prompt for day three is: what treatment or coping skills are most effective for you?

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Thirteen treatment or coping skills that are most effective for me

(in no particular order)

1. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy [Treatment]
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a behavioral therapy all about creating a rich, full and meaningful life whilst accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. I have written more about this method of treatment here.

2. Distraction Techniques [Coping Skill]
One of my primary coping skills is the simple act of distraction. Whether it be curling up in front of a movie, moshing to some great music, kicking Ganandorf’s ass in the The Legend of Zelda video game series or even cooking up a treat in the kitchen. Anything that can take my mind away from the trap of negative thinking and heightened anxiety is quite wonderful.

3. Self-Efficacy [Coping Skill]
…aka the measure of the belief in one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.

4. Writing letters to younger self [Coping Skill]
I write so many letters to my younger self that I’m seriously considering putting together a book entitled “Letters I Wish I’d Received When Young” For me, they are a glorious way of showing myself compassion, understanding and self-love. They are also a way for me to vent frustration and focus on the positive aspects of my life.

5. Grounding Exercises [Coping Skill]
These coping skills involve grounding you in the current moment. A popular exercise is taking a few moments to name five things you can see/hear/smell/feel and focus on these senses as you do so. I have taken to, after advice from a friend, performing this activity when I wake up to start my day in a relatively relaxed and grounded state.

6. Integrated Brain Mapping  [Treatment]
This is a process devised by Rita McInnes for people who have difficulty dealing and living with trauma. I have every intention of writing about my experiences of it in the future, but more information can be found on her website for those too impatient to wait! :p

7. Personal Responsibility [Coping Skill]
Something I learnt when I was a teenager is that the only person who can change me is myself. If I wait for someone else to do it I will be waiting the rest of my life. As such, I dedicate myself to putting in the hard work so that one day I will be able to lead the life I want to live.

8. Medication [Treatment]
I am not a huge supporter of medication and for many years was without any form of psychiatric medication. However, I cannot deny that taking medication does help control my moods and, to a degree, dulls the self-harm and suicidal ideation I experience.

9. Self-Harm [Coping Skill]
Please note that I am not in any way advocating self-harm. I ummed and ahhed about including this coping skill on my list but ultimately decided to go with it because, over the last twenty years, it has been one of the most powerful and consistent forms of release that I can think of. In fact, sometimes it is the only thing that has the power to calm me when I’m heightened.

10. Random Acts of Kindness [Coping Skill]
These fall into the ‘higher self’ category on Indigo Daya’s wonderful Coping Skills worksheet. Basically, there is nothing more wonderful in life than helping other people, so much so that it can often override your own stresses and negative feelings. Why not try it sometime?

11. Art Therapy [Treatment]

12. Laughter Therapy [Treatment]

13. Self-Love [Coping Skill]
I’ll be honest, I’m still not very good at this, but I think I’m (very slowly) getting better! :p

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One thought on “Day 03: What treatment or coping skills are most effective for you?

  1. Pingback: 30MIAC: Day 3 Results | Marci, Mental Health, & More

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