1. My GP/PCP: My GP is super important to me. I see him every week. Having this regular appointment is important to me because I know that someone is there for me and cares about me. Obviously my friends and family care about me too but this is a different type of care. Not only does he write my prescriptions, referrals, and other medical letters but he also takes the time to talk to me and make sure that I’m doing alright and if I’m not doing well, he takes action to improve that. For instance a couple of months ago I was very manic so he increased my daytime Seroquel. A month later I presented very anxious and depressed so he had me admitted to hospital.
2. My Psychiatrist: My Psychiatrist is an important part of my treatment team as they make the majority of my medication decisions. They know these meds inside and out and know what might and might not work for me. I have Bipolar so it’s still basically a guessing game but my psychiatrist has been in the game for a long time, she knows what she’s doing.
3. My Psychologist: Having a Psychologist or therapist or being involved in a group such as a DBT or CBT group is very important. It’s important to have someone to talk to and also to learn new skills to help you cope with your illness in better ways.
4. Hospital: I’ve been hospitalised for mental illness 9 times. Hospital is a place where I can go if I am in crisis or a danger to myself. I’ve been lucky I’m that I’ve been in very good hospitals, I know there are some bad ones out there but I’m yet to strike one. Hospital isn’t my first resort but it’s always an option when things get bad.
5. Medication: I’m not saying that it’s for everyone but for me medication is an integral part of my wellbeing. I need medications to stabilise me, to keep me stable. I will be on medication for the rest of my life, but I’m okay with that. It’s better than the alternative.
6. My family: Last but not least. My Husband and my parents do so much for me. My Husband, well he puts up with all of my shit. He’s the one that has to coax me out of bed when I’m depressed and deal with my over spending when I’m manic. He puts up with a lot. And then there’s my Mum. When I was in the midst of a horrific depression she came over, armed with food and cleaning supplies and cleaned my house, did my washing and ironing and stocked my fridge and freezer with a tonne of food.
These are the six things that are most important for my mental health. Yours may be different but these things are what’s important to me.