Guest Author: Living with a Mental Health Disorder

Matt Keenan from the Anxious LAD Podcast is back this week for one last installment on living with mental health disorders.

Having a Mental Health illness can make it difficult to work, socialize, maintain healthy relationships, concentrate, and even maintain a healthy level of personal hygiene. 

However, with early intervention and regular treatment, such as psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both,  it is possible. It proves that you can live a productive and happy, meaningful life. 

READ: Guest Author: Living with Anxiety and Depression

A few tips

Maintain consistency: if you are taking medication or seeing a mental health professional, stick to the plan you have made.  Even if you start to feel better, don’t just stop taking meds.  This can be very dangerous, and you need the support of your Doctor. 

Don’t just stop going to therapy.  Work with your therapist, maybe reduce the number of times you go, or even make the appointments shorter.  Always maintain the connection with both your therapist and Doctor. 

Understand your Disorder: They say “Knowledge is Power,” and this is so true in the sense of understanding your mental health issues and their triggers.  Being educated on your illness can help you maintain consistency, help with communication, and can also help your loved ones with support and compassion.  

Self Care: Good eating habits, regular exercise even meditation or practicing mindfulness are all key to practicing good self-care.  Allowing yourself time to exercise, get out for a walk, or a run, and practicing some forms of self-care like those listed can also help maintain a good sleeping routine.  

Talk: Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and family about your mental health.  Be open and honest, and allow them to understand your triggers.  This will only lead to healthier relationships. 

The Anxious LAD

All of the above can be looked at as a “General discussion on Mental Health,” but actually, I  am talking to all the men out there.  As men, we have to live with societal stigmas of mental health; comments like “Man up,” “big boys don’t cry”, and “Act like a man” are terms that have been thrown at us all of our lives.  These comments ultimately make you men believe that showing emotion or being vulnerable are not the behaviors “Men” are meant to display. So we hide them, we bury them, and we react with aggression and tempers.  We don’t know how to verbalize our internal demons because society has never given us a chance to learn the tools we need to cope.

I had to sit back and look at my situation, and by understanding my issues and coming to terms with them, I have done a lot of research on Men’s Mental health and the societal stigmas and expectations.  It is from this that The Anxious Lad Podcast show was born.  The Podcast sets out to look at men’s roles in societies now, to talk about men’s mental health, and to show the world that for men, it’s okay to not be OK.  It’s okay to have and be open about mental health problems. 

How does it differ from other mental health podcasts?  I talk about real-life examples; I don’t discuss illnesses with professionals but rather interview real people with real stories.  Only by getting more men to talk about mental health then more men will talk about mental health.  You can find me on Spotify,  the Anxious LAD Facebook page