A Quote From Candice's Parents

A quest for an understanding of mental illness as deep as the roots of an oak tree; and a desire to develop connections as strong as it's branches.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life's purpose

I decided to write about, having a life purpose, as it is something I have contemplated from time time. Most, recently, since my daughter became mentally ill. More specifically, what exactly is my life purpose? I ponder about my life purpose, and where I fit in regarding her mental illness. I wonder, does she ever think about her life purpose? I am quite certain she is concerned about her life's purpose. Frequently, she will discuss various goals that she has. Thinking about your life's purpose can pose a variable of responses. Having a sense of purpose in your life goes a long way in helping your self confidence. Believing you have a life's purpose not only helps your confidence level, but affects your level of happiness as well. Where the challenge exists is, as an individual is going through the different healing stages of mental illness, it may not seem as if they have a purpose for their life. You may be on a leave from your job or school as my daughter is. Or quite simply, you can not resume all of your same activities as you used to before becoming ill. You can feel as if your life has no purpose or meaning, when in reality it may take some time to recover and adjust to any medication and medical treatment. You have just as much of a purpose in life as the next person. Just as much purpose as someone raising awareness about conflict diamonds, adopting 5or 6 children from a foreign county or helping to raise funds for the rain forest. Additionally, in these challenging times there can be a lot of outside influences to challenge your confidence and happiness, however, a sense of purpose can be created by any life experience. Your life's experience can be related to your career, a school accomplishment, doing volunteer work, or bringing up a family. Having a mental illness does not mean life stops and certainly does not have any affect on your purpose in life. It all directly relates to feeling you are making a difference in life. You can still be a great parent, you just need to make adjustments. Perhaps, your life purpose can be your valuable contribution to an organization such as, cancer society or autism foundation. Your purpose can be helping raise funds for important research. You are reaching your life's goal or making a contribution to society if you have a sense of purpose in life and you have something to look forward to everyday. You have a reason for getting up out of bed in the morning, reason to smile. It leads to a more confident person who is happy in life. Most young adults seem to have no problem developing a purpose in life. They are just starting out and most young adults are in college, starting careers, building friendships, dating, marrying, or starting families. The majority of the younger generation have a lot to look forward to and reason for a great sense of purpose in life. However, the older we get the more we have reason to start wondering about our purpose in life. The children have grown, friends may have moved, you may have retired. It can now begin to feel as if you no longer have a purpose in life. A set back, such as lingering health issues like mental illness can make you feel as if you have no life purpose. For some or us it may just be time to develop a new sense of purpose and learn new ways to accomplish this. Here are some examples listed below.

*Start a new hobby and do something you have always wanted to do. Consider going to your local senior center and volunteering to teach your craft there. Help raise a community garden as it beautifies your local landscape and feeds families, free or cheap.

*Get a new pet, pets are also good for curing loneliness and helping with depression, as well as can be trained to help individuals with disabilities live independently.

*Join a club, there are many social clubs which let people meet on a regular basis and enjoy coffee and socializing. A lot of these groups have activities you can take part in and outings to attend. It is very important to form positive connections Additionally, many clubs are very involved with the general public and have programs targeted giving back to the community. My daughter used to belong to the "stand by me club" in junior high. It is a club that mentors peers and encourages positive role models. The children, who are either physically or mentally handicapped, pair with another non-handicapped student who helps them out around school and they both make a new friend.

*Join a gym, or running club, learn tennis or bowling, additionally, are numerous types of exercise that are not overly strenuous i.e. pilates or water aerobics. Exercise aids in curing depression.Try your hand at a new sport, when you feel confident mentor a child of a single parent.

*Begin working with a volunteer group. Some meet on a daily basis and some meet weekly. Do what ever you are comfortable with. First, it gives you a sense of purpose and second, gets you out of the house. We volunteer at both our local homeless shelter, and at the American Veterans club. We have a personal interest in both organizations. Despite her mental illness my daughter has always enjoyed volunteering. She has stated it makes her feel good to help people.

*Take a part time job that you can handle, even if it is a few hours per week. It gets you out and meeting new people. You never know who is in the same boat as you and you can make new friends just about anywhere. It is never to late to make a meaningful contribution to the workplace.

*Never dismiss the idea of dating and get back into meeting the opposite sex again. It is never too late to start a new relationship. Most importantly, research has proven individuals who have a significant other have a more healthy mental attitude and live longer than their single counterparts. You never know just how much of a difference you make to someone, just by being in their life.

1 comment:

  1. University of California researchers found that actors could influence their immune systems by the emotions they portrayed.Other studies by Harvard, U of Chicago, Duke U, etc all show the positive health benefits of your attitude/approach (which in turn can be affected by your behaviour, posture, exercise and so on).

    Yes, life throws us some lemons occasionally - so make lemonade!

    Getting out and doing stuff helps enourmously. talking of which, must take the kids out to run around...

    #welovethenhs - The UK spends 8.4% of GDP on healthcare, and everyone has free healthcare at the point of delivery. The USA spends 16%, tens of thousands of people have no healthcare, and the USA comes out worse on basic measures of healthcare outcomes. http://potentialandexpectations.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/this-americans-experience-of-britains-healthcare-system/


Free or discounted medication:


I trust if you are reading this blog you or someone you know is living with mental illness. It is a very important and integral part of healing to work together with medical professionals on a treatment plan and to take the prescribed medication. It is the opinion of some individuals that success can be found in alternative treatments, i.e. hypnosis or acupuncture, however it is only advisable if integrated with traditional westernized medicine. With today's rising health cost and the state of the economy, receiving adequate health care can be a challenge. Additionally, individuals with mental with mental illness can find it difficult to maintain employment thus making health care difficult or impossible. Below I have included a list of resources for free or discounted medication. I hope you find these resources helpful and wish you all the best of luck on your path to healing and wellness.

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If you have any information that might be helpful to some who is sharing the same challenge, please post a comment to this blog.

Trusted resources on mental illness:


About NAMI: Support, Education, Advocacy, and Research
From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
For three decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in NAMI's mission by grassroots advocates have produced profound changes. NAMI's greatest strength is the dedication of our grassroots leaders and members. We are the families, friends and individuals that serve to strengthen communities across the country.


About NIMH
NIMH Vision
NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured.
NIMH Mission
The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.
For the Institute to continue fulfilling this vital public health mission, it must foster innovative thinking and ensure that a full array of novel scientific perspectives are used to further discovery in the evolving science of brain, behavior, and experience. In this way, breakthroughs in science can become breakthroughs for all people with mental illnesses.

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The purpose of this blog is muti-faceted. It serves to share and express our emotions. To inform and to educate, and to be educated. Also, to fund our daughters' care, be it medical or basic. We are paid by our advertisers as you take the time to read their very important messages. Additionally, you are enabling us to provide quality care while continuing to keep her living in the safety of her home, as her physician works to find the right balance with her treatment. We graciously thank you for helping us achieve our goal.