Our knowledge and expertise are increased tenfold when going through the treatment process. There can be no better way to learn than experiencing something for yourself. We see experience being valued over all else in all parts of life, for instance, when an employer looks to your experience in a role above how in depth you’ve studied information about it. The more experience you have, the more you can speak to topics and subjects related to those experiences. The actual experience of recovery and mental illness itself can increase your knowledge, and with a better understanding you will feel as if you can speak on many aspects of their reality when approached by someone about their own struggles. As a result of this we may often feel that others, who are speaking from a strictly academic or scientific standpoint, offer information that feel less valid because they haven’t gone through the experience we have. We may quickly disregard what they say, instead opting to hear only our own opinions and knowledge. While it is accurate that that we who go through these experiences can offer specific and unique perspective and knowledge, we must take care to not disregard the scientific side of it.
Naturally we understand what we have personally gone through better than anyone who has not and mental illness is something that you can’t fully understand unless you go through it yourself. Even with the studies and science invested in understanding mental illness, the only way to have a full understanding is to have and experience it personally. Which is why it is important to use your experience to speak up and help educate others. Those who have been through recovery can be the best possible mentors that a person can have when undergoing recovery, and can be an integral part of a support system. Never shy away from offering your advice and thoughts about things because you do have a valid and unique viewpoint, but it is important to maintain an open mind in doing so. This not only applies to the existence of different opinions from more scholarly sources but also in the way that people with mental illness handle their experiences. Keeping an open mind is one of the most important things when working through life after recovery. There are beliefs and ideas that you will want to keep firm roots in while in recovery, and many others will be challenged by the experience, but always remember to try to stay flexible and teachable as you are exposed to new information..
Down to a Science
There is a science to mental illness. Most of us don’t want to feel like we are being reduced to simple equations and theories; we are unique and a part of getting through recovery is accepting ourselves for what sets us apart. When we hear these studies and numbers being thrown around, we start to feel like we are being forced into boxes or categories rather than seen as for who we are as individuals. If we get stymied in this mindset and we get frustrated and closed off to new information. What we must instead remember that we are a product of scientific processes, natural processes that help create the science to the way our bodies and minds operate. While we can feel frustrated with the more scientific explanations and assumptions about mental illness, it can also be incredibly helpful for those struggling to come to terms with a new diagnosis. The initial onset of mental illness can be a scary and confusing time. For some learning the scientific breakdown of what is going on in your brain can help provide understanding and relief. When you learn that what is going on with you is not something happening to you alone, there is comfort found in knowing that others have gained greater understanding and used this to effectively manage these symptoms. The science behind the way your mind is working along with the helpful experience other others are both resources your should seek out.
We all will look for our own sources of comfort and perspective in our individual experience with mental illness and we can allow others to seek sources that are different from ours. While we have valid opinions on how mental illness works through the experiences that come with it, we are not the only source of knowledge. The scientific community dedicated to the study of mental illness exists for good reason and they are continually discovering more and more information that can help us cope with and fight mental illness. There does not need to be a schism where those that have mental illness mistrust the scientific community, but rather a community where we can come together to work on tailoring help specifically to each person that needs it. If we allow ourselves to create distance from different perspectives it could create a lull in improvements to the recovery processes and breaking down stigmas. Speak your mind and listen to others, the world will always be better for it.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 today.