4 Ways to Overcome Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, and Psychosis by Journaling
“She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared, but because she went on so strongly despite the fear.” -Atticus
I’ve had anxiety and depression for years. This happened a year after graduating high school as an honor roll student. Everyone remembered and knew me as the sweet girl who spent her days writing and publishing her first poetry book.
It’s hard to believe that someone who is so optimistic and filled with so much love to give could go through something like that. However, this can happen anytime anywhere to anyone. As someone who was bullied on Facebook, anyone could have been through what I went through.
At the time I was bullied however, I lost many friends because I couldn’t keep up with life. I was sleep-deprived and this caused me to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. I also experienced psychosis because I heard voices, hallucinated, and saw red eyes during the night.
Not only did I not sleep for a week, but I rarely ate anything. All I would do was sit in front of the window and pray till the sun said goodnight. This journey was a self-discovery because God changed me all in one night.
I went to the hospital or what you call the rehabilitation center. There I met many kinds of people with different issues, but some were like my own. It was enlightening to connect with others and grow even more compassion for the people who experienced mental illness like I did.
At the hospital, it felt like I was starting all over with my life. I was learning to walk, talk, and think again. God healed me right there at the rehab center as I laughed my heart out with other patients.
I had medication day and night, which helped me sleep more. I also had therapy sessions as well as involvement with activities, such as art, crossword puzzles, and watching movies. I felt this wave of peace in my mind and soul like I could feel God’s presence at last.
God’s presence is enough to fill one person whole. That is what everyone needs, to feel and experience his unwavering love to get through life. When one feels his presence, they no longer need anything else because he is there to protect and nourish us.
Step by step, one heartbeat at a time, the pieces of my puzzle was being put together slowly. Everyone knew me as the angel who prayed in the corner. I became a ball of light to everyone and touched so many lives.
There was a patient who was crying and told me, “I saw you in my dreams at church.” Another said, “You’re like the walking Gandhi.” It felt good inside to at least become someone, because that’s all I wanted to do, inspire people not be bullied for being who I am.
Finally, I was discharged and ready to come back home. I saw rays of light everywhere as I entered my room and there my mother was with her arms wide open, ready to take me in her arms. I let my mother’s hug let my heart smile and lied down on my bed, laughing tears.
Within time, I started seeking therapy and more treatment, and learned to think more clearly again. My support system became so strong that I was ready to get back to college. Right at this time, my friends started to come back in my life. I went to tutoring every week and my brain was getting brain sharper.
After lots of hard-work, I graduated with my Associates degree and transferred to the University of Central Florida as an English Literature student. I started writing and journaling again and changed my lifestyle by eating healthier and exercising. I checked up with my psychiatrist and psychologist, and engaged myself in positive activities, such as reading, singing, cooking, playing the ukulele, and being more social with my family and friends.
Aside from school now, I enjoy writing for mental health literary magazines, blog sites, and my next poetry book. I want to share my story to help others.
So now that I’m finally here, how can I pass on the wisdom and knowledge God has given me to those that are struggling mentally? Let’s go!
1. Count your blessings
Whenever you’re feeling down, take a deep breath and count your blessings. Gratitude gives us a better perspective and outlook in life. Write down everything you are grateful for every day on a journal of yours, and you’ll be aware of how special, loved, and blessed you are.
I’m grateful for my family, friends, God, and the rest of the amazing support system that I have. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It took a lot of hard work to get where I am now, but if it wasn’t for the positive encouragement that I received, it would have been a lot harder.
My family is working hard to do everything to make sure I get better. They helped me find a good counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, and now will get me into vitamin treatment. I will be getting better naturally soon to get my brain better.
Whether it’s the colors around you, the smiles from strangers, the people in your life, the air you’re breathing, the food you get to eat, there is so much to be thankful for.
2. Find your self-worth
Everyone has worth. You are what you tell yourself. Practice telling yourself positive things, like you are loved, blessed, and a full human being. You can still build yourself and be a full human being. I know it’s hard sometimes, but remember, there are so many people that think you are something.
Forget the ones who bring you down or belittle you, and instead focus on what is right, which is the people that care about you and know who you really are. Forgiveness is important to move on, for your health and other people, but it’s also important to surround yourself with positive people that help you become your best version.
You’re a butterfly that can’t see your own beautiful wings. You may not notice your beauty, but others do.
Just because we’re diagnosed with something doesn’t mean that we are less than everyone else. This is out story that motivates us to try harder than anyone else. We can overcome anything, because anything is possible with God.
Some things may take time to overcome, and when it does, it’s hard to push forward, but when we think about the support system that we have, that is what keeps us going.
Write down five special things about yourself in your journal. Then, have others write down five special things about you as well. Once you’re done, tape this on your wall. Do this every month, because it’s important to know how much you’ve changed and grown.
3. Follow Your Dreams
What is it that you want in your life? This is what my therapists would tell me all the time. It has to be something good that brings out the best in you. Dreams can help you overcome your challenges and obstacles in life.
I am a student, but when I write, pursue a degree in English Literature, and film, I feel so alive. We all have a story and finding a tool that helps us express ourselves and connect with people is really important.
When we do the things that we love, we grow confidence in ourselves. Write down your goals every week and find a way to reach them. Make sure that the goals are specific and achievable. For example, say your intention is to become more confident, instead of writing down “Be more confident” as your goal, write down “keep a straight posture or talk to people in your classes.”
Sometimes, small goals can help you achieve your big goals. Following your dreams gives you a purpose to live and boosts your mental health. However, take it one step at a time and don’t do anything with pressure to your delicate mind.
4. Remind yourself that you’re not alone
Whatever you’re going through, there’s someone out there going through the same battle or perhaps even worse! Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help from your loved ones and seek a professional whether it’s a psychiatrist, therapist, psychologist, or all of them!
Sometimes we don’t know that things could get worse. I never knew that psychosis even existed. For this reason, taking care of my health is important, whether it’s sleeping enough, eating healthy, exercising, and engaging in positive activities. However, getting help is another therapy because I am talking to someone who has wisdom and experience with patients like me.
These are the things my support system has told me, from family, friends, and my doctors. They said to put myself as a priority and focus on what I want in my life. They told me to not listen to the bullies but instead listen to my parents because they know better.
Write down the problems in your life in your journal and one positive thing that can change it or something good that can come out of it. For example, “I lost a friend when I was going through a hard time, but that is okay, I will find a friend again soon at the right time. Besides, my family and God are by my side, and they are permanent.”
As you take it day by day, you’ll be surprised at how far you came because it’s a journey, and we all are meant to make our way out somehow. Hang in there, we will get better, because we must. Being strong is the only choice we have now, and we are brave, we got this.
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Author: Samia Mehbub
Samia Mehbub is a Bangladeshi American writer, inspirational speaker, and aspiring English teacher. She is the author of "Inspired to Comfort Your Soul" and "Inspired to Comfort Your Soul Volume ll." She is also the founder and Youtuber of weaswords, an organization that brings mental health awareness. As a junior at the University of Central Florida majoring in English Literature, she writes for mental health literary magazines, such as Turtle Way and Word Gathering.