Self-Care: Can I Cure My Mental Illness Without Medicine?

When I talk to people about mental health and wellness, I get a lot of questions. People want to know the best course to follow for healing and wholeness, and they want to do whatever they can to “get back to normal” and back to feeling like themselves.

Sometimes people don’t want to address their mental illness with medication. But treating mental illness with medication can be beneficial for many diagnoses.

Everyone is different. Depending on how severe your mental illness symptoms are, and what professionals recommend, the most effective way to treat mental illness may include medication.

Medication is Self-Care

Medication is a way we care for many other illnesses we face. If you had a bad cold, taking cold medicine would ease your discomfort. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe something for you to take to balance it out. If you feel overwhelmed by depression, or like your anxiety is too much, asking your doctor or therapist about medication can help you feel more stable and calmer as you navigate the challenges in your life.

There is no need to feel guilt or shame about taking medication for anxiety, depression, bipolar, or another mental illness. Doing what you need to feel healthier and happier is self-care, including when medication is prescribed.

Managing Symptoms

Because mental illnesses have so many factors, curing mental illness completely isn’t feasible. But you can often manage symptoms well enough that you feel better over time as you learn how to cope and care for yourself in healthier ways.

Other Healthy Habits

Along with any treatment you doctor, or psychiatrist prescribe, there are healthy habits that can ease the effects of many mental illnesses. Here are some things that help me when I feel overwhelmed:

  • Healthy Eating: Eating a balanced diet can give you more energy to face the ups and downs of life. That includes drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Staying Active: Physical activity, whether it’s working out or taking a stroll, can go a long way toward boosting your mood. I enjoy walking in parks and natural areas. But a local community center or mall is a great place to walk when it’s cold or rainy.
  • Meditation and Prayer: Spiritual and emotional centering can be very calming and can help you clear your mind. Spending time in prayer can remind you how much God loves you, and that He will never abandon you when things get tough.
  • Creativity: Listening to music, making art, and expressing our creativity can help you feel better during a tough time. Creativity is a healthy distraction that reminds us of things we enjoy.

Taking steps like these may not make you feel completely better, but they will likely be a big help as you learn more about yourself on your journey to mental wellness.

It’s always a good idea to include people you trust in your self-care routine, so you feel less isolated and more connected as you heal.

If you’re not sure where to start, TheHopeLine can help. Talk to a HopeCoach today to get encouragement, connect with more support, and find free resources to strengthen your mind and spirit. We are here to help, and we believe in you.

Are you just having a bad week, or is something more going on? Find out what shifts your mental state from “feeling blue” to a depression diagnosis. 

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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One comment on “Self-Care: Can I Cure My Mental Illness Without Medicine?”

  1. Eating healthy and physical activity are must-have. People with depression are usually in group of people who can't listen to them or they do not care (or at least the way they want them to care) - my case. I think there is always a way without pills. Best thing is not taking them. Start with getting things in your life in right place, don't be lazy. Ask yourself: Are your friends really real friends? What about your arguments with family, are they solved? If you are listening to crap satanic music of this age, stop it. Firstly identify your source of depression. It can be somewhere in past or it is something you do every day. Loss of loved ones is really hard and i think it should be the only reason for depression. Other "reasons" are just things you can fix easy or hardly, but you can fix them. Sorry for bad english, hope something of this helps.

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