The first step to healing the mind is defined by the desire to act on healing. In order to do this, those who suffer mental illness must be willing and open to be helped. In some cases, taking medication longterm is the best way to control symptoms. For others, it is best to use alternative methods such as yoga, therapy, self-help, meditation, and natural supplements to cope with their symptoms. All cases of mental illness are different and with this comes with better methods in which one should deal with their symptoms. In very severe cases, medication is always the better option, but in less serious cases, alternative approaches may be the best solution.

As discussed previously, serious cases of mental illness require the medication route in order to allow the patient to live a somewhat normal life. But is it always necessary longterm? No. Not in the less serious cases. In fact, it can have a very damaging effect. For example, antidepressants are the most common medication taken to control issues with depression, anxiety, and all the other issues that come along with the strains of life. As reported by Alexandra Sifferlin with Time magazine, “68% of people ages 12 and up said they had been taking their antidepressant for two years or more.” An astonishing amount of people depend on a small pill to get them through the day without learning how to cope on their own. This is the biggest problem with the issue concerning mental health care. Eventually, one needs to learn how to deal without a pill, in less severe cases. Different approaches to the therapeutic methods involved in mental health have been highly successful in one’s ability to cope without a pill.

Alternative approaches to medicine such as yoga, meditation, a well balanced diet, acupuncture, self-help, extensive therapy, physical therapy, etc. tend to be more helpful longterm than creating a dependency on medication. The idea is that those who suffer from everyday anxiety and depression eventually need to learn how to cope with their symptoms on their own, in order to avoid medication dependency. Simple things such as taking deep breaths, maintaining a health diet, or talking with a therapist can be extremely helpful to a person’s mental stability. In the case of an anxiety attack, taking need breaths instead of shallow can slow down the heart rate, allowing the body to oxygenate, and thus, the brain creates more endorphins. In the end, all mental illnesses are chemical and simple practices such as deep breathing have an intense effect on the way we cope. 

Those who suffer from severe mental illness should incorporate both ideas discusses- medication and alternative approaches. In fact, many treatment facilities incorporate meditation, yoga, healthy diets, and coping mechanisms into the treatment of a patient with severe mental illnesses. Medication can only do so much, and in times of extreme stress, our bodies are the biggest help.

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February 8, 2018 5:17 pm

Lauren, this post is very interesting, and I think you did a great job at researching the topic. I completely agree that ant-depressant’s can be harmful and it is important to explore other options before instantly going on pills. I think pills should be more of a last resort because it is better to find ways to help yourself before turning to medication. Not to say anti-depressants are bad, because I also believe that they are truly helpful and have helped a lot of people through mental illness. I found an article relating to your topic from Boston University that I think you might find interesting:

February 6, 2018 11:35 pm

This post was really interesting to me. I never really thought about the harm that a anti-depressant and it’s great that our mind can be healed by our bodies. I think one of the best ways to ease depression is therapy. I believe it is best to talk to someone, whether it be a therapist, a parent, a friend, one of those “safeutah” people (for example) that are always there to text you back when you need help, etc. Even writing down problems and maybe even just talking them out loud to yourself can help improve your outlook on the problem. There are even different types of therapy:
Thanks for sharing your findings!

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