By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
The last 20 years of my life have not been without challenge.
I’ve written before about my challenges with my mental health, about my early diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, and my later diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and how the fall is always my hardest time of year, often necessitating a brief admission to the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury in Ponoka.
This year has been like any other in some ways, and totally different in others. With my moods starting to trend the wrong way, I did end up going into hospital for a few days; however, the admission was like none previous, for a couple of reasons.
Primarily, I sought early intervention, and the result was the least chaotic and most controlled admission I think I’ve ever had.
Instead of waiting until the I reached the point that my doctor was sending me in and taking away my choice about the matter, I went in before things got too far out of hand. After a couple minor medication tweaks and some rest, I was home again in just under a week, and feeling a lot better for it.
Secondly, because I was not edging so far into crisis as usual, I was able to get more out of the mental health workshops that they do at the hospital, covering a wide range of topics from anger management to ways to deal with anxiety and depression.
None of this came together by accident.
It’s taken a few years of trial and error to get to this point with medication and counseling. In that time, with the input of my doctors and counselor, I’ve developed a safety plan to follow when I start edging towards crisis. The plan works.
With mental health matters, just like any physical health matter, early intervention is so beneficial and important. We no longer live in the age where mental health issues need to be hidden. If you are struggling, go see your doctor. Go see a counselor. Be prepared to do some hard work; the results are worth it in the end.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, the provincial crisis line can be reached at 877-303-2642.
Alternately, make an appointment with your family doctor. In an emergency situation, call 911 or go into your closest emergency room.
Help is available.