If you’ve just been professionally diagnosed with a mental illness, you may not know quite what you’re supposed to do next. A wide range of emotions may be commonly felt at this point, and while some may feel relieved to have been diagnosed, others may feel angry, ashamed, embarrassed or just downright miserable.
That said, whatever your diagnosis, and however it has made you feel, it is not the end of the world and with good help and support, you can recover and lead a happy, fulfilled life. There are several things that you can do and/or be aware of after your diagnosis, that will aid you on your path to recovery, here are just a few:
Know that you are never alone:
One in every five Americans are affected by some form of mental illness, meaning that you are not alone, and there is also a wealth of help and guidance available for you all.
You are more than capable of achieving your goals:
It may not be easy or quick, but many more people nowadays are managing to cope with, or recover fully from, their mental illnesses, thanks to advances in counseling, medication, quality of care, and cognitive therapies now available to everyone.
Learn about your diagnosis and try to play an active role in your treatment:
Learn everything that you can about your condition, and make sure that you get the best help available to you for a swifter and more successful recovery. Talk to others who have been through – or who are going through – the same as you, and disclose as much as you can to your mental health professionals so that they are better equipped to give you the treatment that is right for you.
Find emotional support:
Coping with a diagnosis is tough enough, without having to go through it on your own. Wherever possible, try to confide in people that you trust, and you’ll find that a problem shared really is a problem halved. If you don’t feel confident talking to people that you know, then look for a support group in your area that might offer you the chance to talk openly to others in a similar position to you. You may also wish to schedule an appointment with a trained professional, who can help guide you through your diagnosis and talk you through your recovery options.
Be as honest as possible with your GP or therapist:
To get the best help, be completely honest, including being open with any mental health experts or GP’s that you are working with. Attend your appointments armed with a list of questions that you might have about your diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
No mental health diagnosis comes easily, no matter how much you prepare yourself for it, or how determined you are to make a full recovery. Be open with yourself and to those whom you trust, and while the road to recovery may have some potholes along the way, you will find happiness and fulfillment again.