Recently, I reached out to The Evolving Red Lotus for a different perspective on the use of alternative medicine to heal mental health. Please visit her website for our interview on her journey. My interview is as follows:
What mental health illnesses have you been diagnosed with?
Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, panic disorder, Anorexia B/P sub type, OCD
In what ways have these illnesses changed your life?
I often avoid situations because of uneasiness. I have spent times of my life wanting to do nothing more than sleep all day. I have also had suicide attempts causing me physical injury that resulted in hospitalization.
When did your symptoms first begin? Were there any triggers?
I remember being extremely OCD about my appearance around 10. Around 12 I started finding it hard to eat meals in front of anyone and began my first diet. My mother has extreme anxiety and I may have fed off of her panic and anxiety.
Are you prescribed medications? If so do you feel they are working?
Yes. I take 2 antidepressants, a mood stabilizer, and an antianxiety medication. I feel like they help to an extent. However, I only feel like they allow me to survive and not to actually live.
What outlets do you have that help you control your symptoms?
Sleep is a big one, although I’m told not helpful. I like to exercise and dance, however, also not a great outlet if dealing with ED symptoms. Sometimes I journal or write poetry.
Are you an advocate of Alternative Medicine and if so what practices have you tried?
Yes definitely. I started meditating nightly, which I have found is beginning to calm me down. I have tried acupuncture in the past which helped with pain issues I was having. I recently tried Reiki and was amazed at the pain relief I received.
Do you think there will ever be a time when you are free from pharmaceuticals/ therapy and can live free from your illnesses?
I hope so. This is what I am attempting with this journey. I don’t want to live on medications forever. I want to be healthy and I truly believe that can be accomplished in a natural way.
How do you feel your blog will benefit others with similar problems?
I want to share experiences and give hope to others who are not finding the relief they seek. I want to show that life can get better and become normal and happy again.
Where do you see yourself in five years in terms of your mental health?
I honestly see myself off of all my meds and living a very happy and fulfilling life where I take the time daily to reflect within, do meditations, and take time out to focus on my own wellbeing.
If there is any advice you could give others with similar issues, what would it be?
Never go off of your medications or ignore your doctor’s advice. However, you need to question EVERYTHING. If you aren’t getting the results or answers you need, seek them out, find another doctor, don’t be afraid to ask for a medication change. Look into holistic alternatives, but don’t start or stop anything without consulting your physician.
Overall, in trying to transform your life, what have you learned about yourself?
I’m just starting. Sometimes I feel like I’m stronger than I thought I ever could be, other times I feel like a frail puddle of water. I’m not sure what I’ve learned as of yet. I want to think I can do anything, but other times I just want to curl up on my couch and sleep.
Any final thoughts?
This journey is hard, and not fun. You have to want a change for yourself in order for anything to work. If you don’t want it, no one can want it for you.