Friday, April 27, 2012

Self Awareness

Personal health is extremely important.  I've discussed physical health before, and I still recommend that everyone (especially writers) do whatever they can to remain physically healthy.  But today I want to discuss mental health.

Several of my family members have suffered and still suffer from various forms of mental illness.  These family members manage their illnesses with effective medication and/or professional counseling.  And I am extremely proud of them for doing whatever it takes to make sure that they're not in any danger of hurting themselves or others.

As I mentioned on Wednesday, Monday was incredibly busy for me.  On top of that, several major changes are happening in my life (not specifically to me, but friends and family).  These changes are bad, in my opinion.  People are getting hurt in one way or another (including my wife and myself), and that, combined with some other distressing news I received last week, piled up on my shoulders on Monday to send me into a genuine panic-attack.

In the past, I've struggled with anxiety (and in the future the possibility exists that I may need medication to manage an anxiety disorder), but I never knew why I grew anxious.  Over the past several years, I've taken upon myself to examine the areas of my life that cause stress.  Consistently re-examining my life, combined with a conscious choice not to let the stress control me, have helped prevent panic attacks in my life.  In fact, I suffer less than one per year where I used to deal with at least three each year.

This isn't me trying to brag.  My life is far from perfect.  My point today is that life is hard, it can get overwhelming, and sometimes it's difficult to figure out how to make it through the hard times.  Remaining self-aware will help all of us to manage our lives in a way the prevents us for going over the edge for "no reason."  It also makes it easier to see if/when you need help.

And believe it or not, it could save your life!


  1. Carpe Diem, Giles! A lot of anxiety is because we think too much about the future (my therapist enlightened me last week when she told me "you worry too much about the future"). I am one of those people who used to be on medication for an anxiety disorder, but I hate having to put chemicals into my body that eff around with my brain chemistry, so over the course of three months and my doctor's instruction I weaned off of them.

    There are a ton of vitamins and supplements and minerals out there that help with anxiety and depression (which go hand in hand). Do some research and figure out which combination works for you. Most of the time, adding a good dose of Vitamin D to your diet (despite how much time you may spend in the sun) can improve your mental state tremendously.

    Sorry to hear about the things in your life that are hurting you and your wife. I have stuff like that going on, too, and it isn't fun. Hang in there!

    1. I'm glad to hear that you were able to wean yourself off of your drugs! That's a difficult task to accomplish, and I can't imagine what it's like to go through that. In general, I don't suffer very much. Sometimes everything in my life coalesces to hit me all at the same time. That's usually when I lose it.

      Thanks for the encouraging words :D