Know Your Addictions - part 2

We've spent a lot of time focusing on substance addiction, but when we talk about recovery, that may include a gambit of emotional and behavior addictions. Today, I want to talk about this aspect of recovery.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. DSM contains descriptions, symptoms and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. I've been diagnosed with almost a million different mental illnesses from this book. I was overwhelmed with juggling the potential and actual issues of all these labels. 

What I came to understand about myself is that if I'm given an opportunity to learn and improve my lived experience, I want to know all about it! Then I try out all the advice and pick what works for me. It's important to note that this does not mean what is easiest for me, but rather, what actually helps me navigate and heal my diagnoses. 

I think of my mental health struggles as a pattern of behaviors that are my automatic go-to in times of discomfort. And these patterns are similar to my addictions and I handle them in similar ways. Turning to EMDR, fellowship and therapy as my first options when I'm struggling has been extremely effective. While I am a proponent of psych meds, meds will not fix all my struggles, but the right medication makes my struggles much more palatable for me. 

I cannot "cure" my addictions nor mental illness, but knowing what works for others and exploring these solutions myself - with appropriate support from medical professionals - I've built an effective and comprehensive recovery plan for myself. 

I encourage you to really explore your struggles, find the appropriate support and again, ask the golden question, "What would someone who loves themselves do?" Get your hands dirty, do things that are uncomfortable, embrace the suggested solutions you find....and build your own freaking bear. 


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