How Holistic Healing Can Reignite Hope in The Mentally Ill
by Alex Moore
When you’re at a low point mentally, your entire body suffers due to it. The most common symptoms of many illnesses that affect the mind end up taking a toll on your physical health and your spiritual integrity as well. Fortunately, there are ways in which holistic healing can reignite hope in those going through such dark times.
The Truth about Mental Illness
Nowadays, more and more people struggle with mental health issues. In fact, according to reports published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five American adults experience distress in this area in a given year. That rounds up to about 19% in total, and for adolescents, the numbers are even grimmer, with a total of 22% being affected by a disorder of the mind during their teenage years.
When you go deeper into the numbers, the facts get darker and darker. Anxiety is the number one most common condition, with depression following up as a close second. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder make the charts as well, with a tally of around 2%. Furthermore, about half of the people struggling with substance abuse and addiction have a co-occurring mental illness to deal with.
The Holistic Approach
According to the classic definition of holistic medicine, healing must encompass all the essential parts that make up a person. These are the body, the mind, and the spirit. One cannot be fully treated unless the others are as well, which is why keeping your inner primordial balance intact can get tricky.
The goal of this practice is achieving optimal health, and this is done through anything ranging from traditional medicine to alternative therapies. Adopting a new dietary plan is also important for this method because the body has to be fed well in order for the mind and spirit to thrive alongside it.
For example, it has been clinically demonstrated that cutting back on dairy products and wheat helps diminish the symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia. In the same way, a holistic doctor might be inclined to recommend the administering of B-complex vitamins, magnesium, and various herbs to restore nutrient levels in the body.
Alternative therapies involving art, music or dance are also important parts of this approach. By allowing the patient to have a creative outlet for self-expression, serious mental disorders such as depression, trauma, anxiety, schizophrenia and even autism in children can be treated fully.
The Road to Healing the Mind
By now you must be wondering what you can do personally to improve your mental well-being. The beauty of the holistic approach is that it is highly customizable. You and your physician can make your treatment cater to your specific needs in any way possible. There isn’t a universal way of doing things, but rather one for each specific diagnosis.
In the case of illnesses of the mind, there are a few steps that you need to follow. For one, emotional and mental healing is essential to bring yourself back on the right track again. The very nature of this type of medicine relies on all sides working well together. To cure your mind of the disease that plagues it, you first need to heal emotionally.
Self-deprecating fixations and negative patterns are the number one culprits behind your emotional distress. To free yourself from them, you need to embrace the constructive powers of your defensive pessimism. By analyzing what goes into your darkest thoughts, you will learn a lot about your troubles.
As you may already be aware of, knowing your enemy is the first step towards defeating it. This is true of mental illness as well. Think about this as going beyond your diagnosis and deep into what makes your disorder tick. Medicine might have labeled your condition a certain way, but how it acts out is different and personal to each patient out there.
It will be scary at first, but embracing these not-so-pleasant aspects of yourself is crucial. Acceptance is the first step towards not allowing your inner demons to take center stage ever again. Once you manage to do this, you can try other holistic approaches such as a new diet, adopting a workout routine, traditional talk therapy or one of the aforementioned alternative ones.
Starting on your journey to regain hope and wholeness while battling a mental disorder is a difficult endeavor, but with worthwhile and long-standing results. Holistic medicine is a trustworthy ally in this journey, and the first step you need to take is acceptance. By challenging your perception of self and listening to your darkest thoughts, in time you will understand how to combat them.
After you’ve come to terms with your issues, you can decide what to do next together with your doctor. Be it a dietary change or taking up a sport, there are many ways to care for yourself and turn your situation around. All you need is hope and dedication.
Author Bio: Alex Moore is a psychology enthusiast and holistic healing advocate. He believes that genuine healing and self-improvement can only exist if it combines the mind, body and the soul. You’ll usually find him writing for www.schizlife.com