When I Am Well :: My Mental Health Journey

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READING TIME: 5 min.
This post has been sponsored and guest written by The Brain Performance Center to bring you this experience. 

When I am well, I have healthy relationships. I have hardly any fights with my friends and family.  The arguments I do have are “fair” and I do not dwell on them. I interact with my friends and family in a positive way and take an interest in their lives. I engage in these relationships and feel proud of others’ successes.

When I am well, I thrive at work. I am thorough and thoughtful with my work. I am considerate of my coworkers and managers. I do not let the small things interfere with my mood or get overly stressed. I am always looking forward and one step ahead of the game.

When I am well, I am happy. I love to laugh and smile often. I am easy to be around and enjoy the small things in life. I am cheerful and energetic. I am the “fun” girl.

When I am well, I am confident. I know who I am and do not make any apologies for it.  I know I am a great wife, mom, daughter, friend and coworker. I am a professional woman who can do whatever I want- Whether it is a stay at home mom or a CEO.

When I am well, I am level-headed. I think clearly and do not over react to situations. I understand my feelings and they do not get out of control.

When I am well, I am compassionate. I have sympathy for others and truly care for them. I listen and care about other’s needs.

This is when I’m well. When I am not well, I am depressed, angry, moody, impatient and easily irritated.

I was plummeting in a downward spiral. My anxiety was overwhelming, depression and suicidal thoughts were taking over my mind and my mood swings were out of control. I began seeing psychologists and psychiatrists when I was in high school, now over 15 years ago now. I’ve been prescribed Xanax, Effexor, Lexipro, Lamictal and a multitude of other drugs. The cocktails were constantly being changed. I was in a continuous merry-go-round of different talk therapists. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, recurrent depression and the ideas of bi-polar, Asperger’s and other mental illnesses were suggested. 

No other forms of therapy were ever mentioned in my years of therapy.

I knew I was just “crazy,” but also knew there was something else besides just anxiety or depression going on in my head. I was always told by my family and friends that I was “just being dramatic and selfish.”

I continued to plunge. My marriage was at risk and my work was beginning to become more than I could handle. The suicidal thoughts were becoming more and more frequent. I would beg my husband to “let me go” and take away the pain. “Please take away the pain. Please let me take the pain away.” I could not stop crying – hours and hours on end I would sob, unable to get off the bathroom floor or lift myself off the couch.

Anxiety was creeping into every area of my life. Full panic attacks were becoming a frequent occurrence, now happening two or three times a week. Trembling and unable to breath, I would panic. My face and hands would go numb and the fear of the weight on my shoulders was overwhelming.

I began thinking that I should leave my husband. “He will be happier and less stressed if my craziness wasn’t in his life.” He is my best friend and the most supportive husband a woman could have, and yet, I wanted to leave him- to spare him of my misery and drama. I thought that I couldn’t do it anymore and that life was not worth living if I had to continue with the pain. 

I felt hopeless, angry and anxious. I couldn’t manage my thoughts and feelings; my behavior was becoming more and more out of control. 

I checked myself into an inpatient facility in Houston, TX.

I have Borderline Personality Disorder, yet it does not define me. Receiving that diagnosis was terrifying but lifted a weight off of my shoulders that I cannot explain.  So many things fell into place once I received the appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. My medications were altered and I now knew what type of therapy I needed.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not a psycho. I am happily married. I live in a nice house in an upper-middle class neighborhood. I am financially secure. I own my own business. I have worked with the most prominent business leaders in my community.  Yet, when I am behind closed doors, I am different.

I want to have a healthy and happy life. I want my husband not to be afraid that I will flip out or have an anxiety attack at any moment. I want to be a good mom.

But how?

I now realize that Dialectical Behavior Therapy changed my life. I am still on medications, but the power of learning skills to manage emotions and behaviors has changed me. I will never be the same. I still have the occasional “meltdown,” but I am mindful, emotionally regulated, effective with interpersonal skills and tolerate distressing situations.

I now know I will be okay. I now know that if you want help and truly advocate for your health, you can be okay, too.

If you are struggling with anything that is adversely impacting your life, there are solutions.

The Brain Performance Center is a behavioral health center dedicated to improving all aspects of brain health with individualized, innovative and quality care. They treat people who are struggling with common conditions that interfere with their quality of life, relationships and careers. These problems include ADD/ADHD, addictions, depression, panic attacks/anxiety, autism, insomnia and many more. By focusing on change at the brain level through biofeedback, neurofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy, a lot of their patients are able to reduce or discontinue medication. We all have the ability to strengthen and increase our brainpower by creating new connections throughout the brain. By changing the connections in the brain, we can change our mental processes, our behavior and our body rhythms. Are you at the end of your rope? There’s hope!

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