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My name is Kirton Morris, and I suffer from anxiety and depression. For many months now, I’ve contemplated writing about my “condition” but was afraid of the stigma associated with mental health in our society. I thought to myself, what would people think, how would they react, how would I be treated in my personal and professional life.
With the recent suicide of Kate Spade, I wanted to share a piece of my story in the event; it may help others suffering from mental health issues to get the help they need.
What exactly is mental health? According to MentalHealth.gov:
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
My mental health challenges began shortly after my separation and divorce in 2013 and consistently declined until I started seeking help in 2016. My treatment plan included talk therapy, medication, diet and exercise.
Anxiety and Depression: Talk Therapy
Talk therapy once a week for the last two years has included strategies for dealing with stress, especially from my divorce and learning to cope with the curve balls life sends my way: the ultimate safe space to share your most profound thoughts, fears and hopes. Talk therapy also helped me understand my introvert personality type and strategies for coping in a world where “talkers” seem to get all the attention. If you are an introvert and you want to learn more about your introverted personality, the book Quiet by Susan Cain is an excellent read.
Medication, in addition to talk therapy, is a vital part of the treatment plan. No magic pill cures it all. It’s basically trial and error to find the correct medication and dosage that works for you.
For me, diet and exercise was the most significant and most important part of my treatment plan. Eating right and exercising helps your metabolism and blood sugar levels. It’s also an excellent way to cleanse the mind of the worries of the day—a reboot of sorts.
Last but not least, friends and family also offer a safe space and the motivation to keep moving forward.
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health challenges, there are options and resources available to you. It’s never too late to ask for help. The life you save may be your own…..keep walking towards the light.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
– Martin Luther King
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.
- The National Alliance for Suicide Prevention
- Nancy Lublin, founder of Crisis Text Line, on how text-based counselling is saving lives.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center: Workplace
- Each Mind Matters: Strategies for Workplace Suicide Prevention
- Debt Impact on Mental Health: How to Rebuild Your Finances
Do you have any other strategies that you have used to help with anxiety and depression?