Being a teenager is tough enough, but trying to navigate life with symptoms of a mental health disorder can make it that much harder. If you’ve ever experienced depression, anxiety, mania, extreme irritability, purging, or other symptoms of a mental health disorder, then you know the experience can be pretty trying. Dealing with one isn’t easy, but you CAN live a happy and productive life. Here are some strategies that might help:
- Pray and have FAITH that God will cure your disorder. God has the cure for EVERY ailment. Just as He can cure physical diseases such as cancer and diabetes, He also can restore your mental health. However, it’s extremely important that you BELIEVE that He’ll do it. Remember, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29).
- Give your situation to God. People who struggle with mental health disorders often have a biological predisposition to such ailments; however, stressful situations can trigger symptoms. If you’re in a situation that’s overwhelming for you, know that God loves you and WILL help you resolve it.
- Get help. God puts people and other resources in your life to help you! If you’re in a situation that makes your symptoms worse or your symptoms are overwhelming, seek help from a trusted adult. Your parents, aunt, uncle, pastor, bible study teachers, school teachers, counselor, or therapist are all good options. It doesn’t matter who you approach, as long as the adult is trustworthy and you get some help. If the first adult doesn’t get you the help that you need, then try another or call your local social services agency. SOMEONE WILL HELP YOU!
- Accept the help that is offered. Don’t be ashamed of the disorder! Be COMMITTED to overcoming it. God will help you, but you’ll have to put in some effort. Remember, the Bible says that “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26). Sometimes therapy has a stigma associated with it, but I want you to know that therapy is okay! It’s a part of treatment, and effective therapy will help you learn how to cope with the things in your life that trigger your symptoms. Your triggers may not completely go away, but you’ll learn how to better handle them so that you won’t go in a downward spiral every time something negative occurs.
- Capture your thoughts. Negative thoughts are usually at the center of negative feelings. When you’re feeling bad, change what you’re thinking. Speak positive things OUT LOUD to remind yourself how great you are and how God is already working on your behalf.
- Decide about medication with a doctor. If medicine is recommended by your doctor, give it a try. Remember, your symptoms are probably partially the result of chemical imbalances. Medicine might help until you’re feeling a bit more stable. Once the medication begins to work, you’ll begin to feel better, but don’t stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor FIRST.
- Do NOT self medicate. Self medicating with drugs and alcohol is NOT the answer. It’ll only make things worse and it could result in an addiction.
IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE OR HARMING YOURSELF IN ANY WAY, PLEASE GET HELP IMMEDIATELY!
Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Are you struggling with a mental health issue? If you are, what has helped you deal with it? You can encourage other girls by sharing your experience.