Living with a mental illness is not easy as you can imagine. It really sucks. I feel like my mental illness robbed me of my life. I had so much before. Now, I have nothing. I lost it all and it feels terrible. It's time to re-build everything from scratch but that's not easy. If you've been through, then you understand. If you haven't gone through something like this, consider yourself lucky.

It's tough. You get stuck. You don't know what to do. It's not easy to change your life for the better after a mental illness. It's just not fun. But, enough complaining. What to do if you or someone you care about is going through a rough patch like I am? Well, there are many things you can do. The first and foremost thing you need to do is seek help because when you're stuck, it's nearly impossible to get yourself going on your own again. You need professional help. All the professional help you can get. It's worth it. But it won't fix everything. They can help patch things up but you're going to have to make an effort too.

Once you got all the help you can get, what do if you do if it wasn't enough. You have to make changes in your own life. You have to take action. Little things go a long way like making sure you take better care of yourself. Respect yourself. Get some exercise, some sunlight, healthy food. I'd recommend staying away from meditation and all that mumbo jumbo because in my own experience, it can make things worse. I do recommend picking up some kind of hobby or interest to keep your mind occupied like writing. Writing can be cathartic in that it helps get your thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper. It lessens the load. It really does help.

What else would I recommend? Figure out what the underlying issues are and work out how you can resolve them. Fix what you can fix and forget what you can't fix. Move on. It's also important to note that it's crucial to squeeze in some time for yourself so you can have some fun too. Life is not all work, work, work.

My psychiatrist recommended that I stop viewing my mental illness as my identity. I'm still the same guy that I used to be except that I now have a mental illness. Not much else has changed about me. Well, the truth is a lot has changed but I am in fact still the same person.

If you don't have a mental illness and you're wondering how you should respond to someone who does, it would be a good idea to show them the same kind of respect and kindness you would show anyone else.

What else can I add? Someone who has helped me with writing in the past recommended that I make sure to cover all angles of whatever the topic of the article is. Here's another important thing I think I should talk about: I don't know if this applies to all people who have a mental illness but personally I can be really sensitive to what people say or the way they say it so I recommend to be careful about what/how you say.

If you have a mental illness, listening to music you like helps.. Also, have you ever heard of pet therapy. I once met a woman who saw a lot of success in treating her illness by just getting a little puppy.. in combination with taking her medications. I think this works because caring for an animal keeps your mind busy and anything that keeps your mind and body business is a good thing.

Another thing that really helped me was getting a job. A full-time job... just get back out there and you'll see that you'll get better and better. It's when you isolate yourself that things get bad.

I really don't know how else I can help you really. I do have 1 important thing I'd like to add. If you're the parent of someone you suspect has a mental illness, you need to tread really carefully when it comes to how you want to approach this problem. If you've built a good relationship with your son/daughter over the years, this should not be very difficult to do but if on the other hand your relationship has been full of arguments and negative emotions, it will be very difficult for you to get your message across to that person. People build walls and are often on the defensive within a not so positive relationship. Basically, you need leverage and if you lost all your leverage with your kid over the years, I can't really help you much. This might sound harsh but coming from you, the message that they need help will not have a lot of meaning. It has to come from a third-party someone who has no affiliation with you and whose opinion your kid thinks highly of. Hey, it's not fault you screwed up the relationship with your kid.

Again, I want to re-emphasize how therapeutic writing can be. Also, exercise is supposed to be great for you but I haven't noticed that much of an effect from it. You know how everyone says exercise makes you feel better? Well, honestly, I've never noticed that really. I never really felt the benefits of endorphines. Writing is way better. You can say anything or almost anything you want in your writing and it really does help.

Also, like I said earlier, make sure you take good are of yourself and this includes things like showering every day, shaving, keeping your room/home clean, etc... I've always felt better after a good shower and shave. I don't know why but it works like magic.

Also, another piece of advice for me for people with mental illnesses is to stay away from all things related to meditation/tai chi/yoga etc... anything even a little "out there" can be really bad for you in my opinion. It's just not good for the mind. I for instance blame all that stuff for most of my issues. My problems started shortly after I first looked into that stuff. It's the opening of the mind that's dangerous for people.

I hope this article was of some use to you. Thanks for reading.

Signing off.