How do you recover from psychological issues?
In one sense, there truly is no “instant” solution. Many patients tend to forget that a problem or issue that they have; may have taken months, or even years to develop into a condition needing treatment. It`s unlikely that this could be resolved in an afternoon. The strategic turning point is where the patient decides that he or she really wants to get well – and will commit the thought and energy required to achieve this. Once this happens, the pathway is set and recovery can begin.
The solution for me was a combined approach of physical and mental activity, applied on a daily basis. Physical activity has the advantage of improving confidence, building strength, improving both circulation and respiration. Mental activity improves problem solving, creative solutions and speed of thought. For the mind to work properly, the body needs to be fully active too. This combination of combined exercises, over a period of time, improved the speed and quality of my thought processes. Interestingly, as my thought process / capability improved, so did the mood / emotional responses. In one sense because I was better, my “mind-state” felt better too?
Even with a mild depression (a psychological issue) it is important to apply resources towards a physical improvement. An active body will help a mind recover.
Are Psychological issues harder to fix?
In one sense, all injuries have a psychological element. It`s not unusual for confidence or self-esteem to be reduced as a consequence of injury. Any reduction in physical activity during a recovery period from illness or surgery may also affect the mind state.
But psychological health issues also present their own challenges. If someone has a broken arm or a leg, it is usually clear to all that they may have issues and most people will make allowances for the injury or disability. However, where the injury is hidden or unknown, the situation can be much more complex. Patients, who are experiencing even mild mental health issues and / or depression, may have as many challenges as any patient with broken bones. However, in many key areas, they are disadvantaged. In a way, they are less able to repair themselves.
There are several side effects from these health conditions that have further consequences. These include poor appetite, lack of exercise or low general activity linked with stress and poor sleep patterns. Any combination of these will reduce the body’s ability to repair itself.
Often the injury is not so easy to spot and so others make fewer allowances. The very nature of mental issues may push away the supporting family and friends that could assist. They may now no longer want the company. It is also sadly true that depressed or angry people are not easy company. The depressed patient is less likely to be active and less likely to respond to a call to begin activity even though this change may assist him. My advice here is – just do it. You might be surprised to learn just how much your body needed the exercise.
The time-span of the problem is also much greater. With broken limbs, in perhaps 80 % of cases, there is a predictable repair path. In this respect, mental recovery is a bigger challenge and might take months or even years. It is often the case that small changes implemented on a daily basis are more likely to produce lasting recovery. If the recovery requirement is going to extend out over this time frame, then my suggestion is that you need an on-going plan. You will benefit from a structured approach that is implemented on a day-to-day basis. Some patients may benefit from a “condition management” approach – usually advised by specialists in their condition. My book actually outlines day-to-day activity required to reinforce recovery.
You Need a Plan
In order to recover you need a plan, with objectives and a clear vision of what you want to achieve. It is important to plan and implement a range of activities. These should encompass all aspects of your physical and mental capabilities. You will require a simple, flexible plan that you can adjust day to day. It’s important to mobilize all the resources for the journey.