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Photography © Irina Santos

Probably I am not the most appropriate person to talk about it, but I think that one of the major problems of a person with mental disorders is the fear.

The fear can be manifested in many ways, starting from being afraid of people or what others will say when they get to know about our mental health situation, ending up with different types of anxiety, passing through certain compulsive behaviors like having to do some rituals to avoid any mishaps. I mean, for instance, to put things in a certain manner or to pass by, or do not pass by certain places.

The fear tends to generate anxiety and worries. Which is why, when we are aware of something that worries us a lot, and we cannot change its result, many times we feel distressed, especially when the results we are expecting are delayed. For example, when we wait for a certain notice to be received from the Administration in a positive or negative sense.

When something does not depend totally on you, but on third parties, or when you have done something that you think is bad and you will be at least criticized by people important for you, the fear comes out, and consequently, the anxiety.

When you are anxious, you suffer a lot and you want the driver of this anxiety to stop as soon as possible. Especially, if this anxiety impedes you doing other things, concentrating or resting.

Many mental disorders tend to start here. The anxiety, stress and anguish tend to be generated by something that worries us a lot and that we cannot control. Precisely, because of this lack of control, we worry, we start to think every time more and more over the problem, we start not to sleep, or stop doing other more important things we have to do, and consequently, we enter a spiral that in most cases leads us to a mental disorder.

For all that, I think that one of the ways to deal with it is to break this dynamics, doing different things to those that generate this situation, always when we can do it. In this way, having the mind occupied with other things, we forget momentarily the problem, and when we turn back to think about it, our perspective of the problem can change, and as well the way to deal with it. And if we cannot do it, we have to talk to people we trust, or to professionals. This will help us at least to cope better with the situation.

Obviously, it is easier to say than to do, given that many people with no mental disorders suffer from physical diseases caused by psycho problems.

What I do know, that I, who suffered a mental disorder, I have recovered because of taking it easy, among other things. For example, I suffered from sleeping problems, but not anymore, because I managed to be calm even though the hours were passing and I was not sleeping. I think: “I am calm, will sleep later, and if not, I will sleep tomorrow. There is no problem.” Finally now, I sleep almost always, and before, when I could not sleep, I tried to do it and was worrying about not doing it. At the end many times I was not sleeping, and was getting up very tired, thing that does not happen anymore. Before, I needed more pills or had to change them.

I think that if we have a problem with no solution, affecting us, the best we can do, though it could seem impossible or lie, is to forget about it as soon as possible and try to live with it the best we can. This is also something that is easy to say and difficult to do.

The fact is that I managed to fight my mental disorder, among other things, first of all, asking myself how I was, what were my strong and weak points, what I was right and wrong about, which deficiencies I had and which of them I could correct and which not. Second, not feeling myself guilty if I fail, neither starting to go around it in my mind, or asking myself what people will think about me and my failure. And the most important of all, I did not blame myself for failing; I turned to try it again, as many times as it was necessary, with neither stress nor hurry. Additionally, even though sometimes I felt tired to try it and then left it for some time, I always turned back to pick it up again. A child learning to walk falls many times, but then he stands up the same number of times and turns to make an effort again and again until he succeeds.

The most important is to try things, given that nobody is perfect and all of us fail. Obviously, to reach something like that, needs time. Though, for instance, a degree in piano also needs time and things like that if we don’t try them, we’ll never reach them. We have to try to be perseverant in our life, even if it hits us a lot, we have to stand up and try it again and again until the end. I, nowadays, decide to follow this way, given that I am very stubborn. Do you?

 Ernesto García