What I Learned About Life With Mental Illness

Sree Brahmamdam: Photo by Grant Lawler
Photo by Grant Lawler

Sree Brahmamdam has struggled with attention deficit disorder, bipolar depression and anxiety for the last nine years. The 22-year-old psychology student at the University of Cincinnati in the United States, shares the ways she has been able to take charge of her life despite her circumstances.

Banish the Shame

Never feel ashamed of your diagnosis. The feeling of being anxious that your mental health will affect the way you are portrayed in society can be difficult to overcome. That apprehensiveness will only cause you to hide and not effectively change your lifestyle. You must accept your feelings and thoughts without judging yourself.

Stick to a Schedule

Create structure in your everyday routine. This has been the most important advice I have received. It breaks bad habits like sleeping too much or unhealthy eating. When you have a schedule, it helps regulate your anxiety and stress, making it more treatable.

Social Support

Do not be afraid of what others will think because mental health issues are equally as important as physical health issues. Having support from friends, family and mentors can help strengthen your confidence and give you more motivation to open up about your journey and lead to a healthy recovery.

Sree Brahmamdam: Photo by Smrithi Ram
Photo by Smrithi Ram

Health is Wealth

Take care of your body. Paying attention to your physical strength is just as important as paying attention to your emotional strength. Eating regularly, exercising and drinking water will not only improve your well-being, but also will decrease stress and anxiety. Your focus will increase and it will make you more clearheaded and motivated to fulfill your goals.

Give Back

Whether it’s going to therapy or volunteering at a club or organization, being able to release your emotions and ideas can be very comforting. Going to therapy or speaking to a mentor that can help you with these issues will give you a sense of release. Bottling up your emotions can only do more harm than good. By getting involved with organizations and volunteering, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Doing something you love will increase your happiness and passion which will lead to a peaceful mind.

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