Today, October 10, 2017 is World Mental Health Day. People in our country and around the world are acknowledging the stark reality that almost everyone is directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues. One in every five people in America will experience mental illness in any given year. One in 17 are afflicted with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. At Journey to Recovery we focus on co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. It is important to have effective co-occurring disorder materials to help identify symptoms and early warning signs.
The Impact of Co-Occurring Disorders
Living Responsibly in the Moment
People with depression are often filled with torment about the problems of the past. People with anxiety are often filled with torment about the problems in the future. It isn’t hard to see that both of those pain-filled focuses rob you of the peace and joy of living in the moment. With almost any mental health problem you can name, you end up being regretfully focused on the past or apprehensively worried about the future. One overarching tactic that can be beneficial to almost everyone’s mental health is to stay responsibly focused in the present.
I add the word responsibly because living according to your values brings satisfaction, contentment, and stability. To stay present in the moment at hand ask yourself these questions.
Where am I supposed to be right now?
What am I supposed to be doing right now?
I find the answer to those questions, in most cases, to be comforting. “I am where I’m supposed to be and I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” And because of those two thoughts, I can feel good about myself and be both peaceful and content. Rethinking the past often brings regret. Thinking about the future brings worry, insecurity, and uncertainty. Neither regret nor worry is helpful to your overall mental health.
Why Stay in the Present?
Staying in the moment means to be aware of your surroundings and comfortable with where you’re at right now. It allows me to have reasonable expectations. I can live without frustration for mistakes in the past and without dread about what lies in front of me. I can stay relaxed and satisfied without the feeling of guilt, remorse, or regret. I don’t have to beat myself up for not accomplishing more or fixing every problem. I don’t have to berate myself for not being able to know or control the future. I am pleased with who I am, where I am, and how I am, right now.
Stay in peace.
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance abuse treatment for persons With co-occurring disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 42. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 05-3922. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2007
James, D.J., & Glaze, L.E. (2006). Mental health problems of prison and jail inmates. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Torrey, E.F., Kennard, A.D., Eslinger, D., Lamb, R., & Pavle, J. More mentally ill people are in jails and prisons than hospitals: A survey of the states. Alexandria, VA: National Sheriffs Association, Treatment Advocacy Group, 2010.