Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Improving Mental Health

Once again I've started to enjoy all the little things that I used to enjoy. Some of them I had set aside as being too much bother, too noisy, too time consuming or too full of self pity. But I think now that I'm letting myself emerge again I'm beginning to feel a little more content. I read. I listen to music. I sit quietly and think, without feeling guilty that there are chores to be done. I've started a bit more gardening without feeling guilty that the whole garden needs weeding. At least I've done a small patch (ouch those muscles hurt!). I meet friends for coffee regularly and chat about nothing much and share some laughter. I'm glad to say they have stopped asking after MyMan every time for which I'm grateful. I still find it difficult to say 'he's no better' without trying to put a positive gloss on it. I'm still inclined to feel a little 'left out' when I'm not invited along to 'couples' events. So I'll search out a new group to join where I can be just 'me'. Where no one knows MyMan and wont be asking after the latest health bulletin. Something that will stretch me mentally. Maybe a photography club or a creative writing course. I've a few weeks yet to make a decision. I allow myself to feel and release anger. And grief. I've had so many bereavements over the last 5 years and not properly recovered. So many losses. I allow myself to cry, to weep and wail. Better than to keep it bottled up. To carry on coping. I am learning to cope again. And I am in the middle of inventing a new me.


Poetess said...

Hi Thinker

This is good news. I hope you find something to help fulfill your dreams.


The thinker said...

Thanks poetess - I've just gotta build in time to sit and dream first!

vichchoobhai said...

First of all, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comments. I came back to you to thank you, but after reading this post something moved within me. For truth to tell, my late mother was afflicted by MDP and i know how it shattered my Dad's life and how it affected all of us in the family. Here in India, there were no phenothiazines, let alone Prozac at that time the only treatment she got was powdered root of Rauwolfia serpentina, a herbal remedy which Ciba later investigated and isolated the active alkaloid Rserpine and marketed it as Serpina. But it could hardly control the disease. At times we had to confine her to her room when she became violent.
I had to find a surrogate mother in my aunt who brought me up like her own child. My father turned into a workaholic and sadly alcoholic too. Well, it is painful to recall those times.

I joined an NGO in New delhi as a volunteer to wsork with people with a "troubled mind" as we euphemistically called them. It was a learning curve for me to deal with Schizophrenia. The NGO provided a half way house where youngsters diagnosed as Schizophrenic were cared for concomitant to therapy and occasional visits to the treating psychiatrist. We used to have a structured programme like morning exercises, newspaper reading and discussion, music sessions, pottery, arts and crafts drama, role playing and outings and excursions. The psychotherapist of the centre with the help of the volunteers used to give individual attention to the members talking to them, gently drawing out their inner apprehensions making them feel they are important and cared for. There were sessions when extremely troubled members were given caring ( holding in embracae for ten to fifteen minutes by volunteers/psychotherapists of the same gender). If the disturbance was due to extreme anger, we used to have anger workouts, at the end of which the member was exhausted, but calm.

We also had sessions with the parents of the members or their guardians and they had a networking of their own to share and exchange notes.

The three years I spent at this NGO have left a deep imprint on my mind and I cherish the time i spent with the members. You would be surprised to know that some of them wentback to school/college and a couple of them did their MBA and one became a computer engineer. It was a matter of pride for our institution.

Well, i think my comments are dragging too long.
Let me end this by saying that I
am one with u in coping up with the manifold problems we, as either sufferers or their relatives face in life. I have confidence that we will overcome.

And yes, the Roll Call of Honour in the link article provided by u, would make anyone proud and hold his/her head high !!!

The thinker said...

Dear V, Thank you so much for sharing your own experiences from family viewpoint and as volunteer carer. Interesting to hear how similar but different we all are [personally and nationally] in coping with the ups and downs of life. Painful memories can be hard to cope with sometimes. As you say we will overcome.

I hadn't left a comment but I've also enjoyed your poetry blog on

Thank you for visiting.

Edward said...

Hi there, thanks for the link to my blog. I'm glad you've been able to find some things for yourself. I've been reading a book about relaxing and this seems appropriate:

Give yourself
Leisure and pleasure
Time at least twice a week

No as simple as it sounds but quite clever. Keep writing, I enjoy reading your blog.

The thinker said...

Thanks Ed - In future I'll remember exactly what GUILT stands for now.

Elanor said...

I too am struggling with finding time for myself, Most days I feel like I am trying to hold back the tide. I enjoy your blog, thanks for such honest sharing.

The thinker said...

Thank you Elanor. At lesat we get something stuff offloaded via our blogs. Best wishes.