Dear Sitawa, i have just been diagnosed with a #mentalhealth condition, how do i deal?

10:58:00 AM

From my recent trip to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Good morning beautiful people,

I pray you all have ad a lovely start of the day. I am getting my head back to work after my much needed break in Dar (which I will be blogging about later). My inbox is full of emails from people who 'suspect' they have a mental health condition or those who have just been diagnosed. In our Dear Sitawa session today, we will discuss how to deal (join the conversation on twitter using #howtodeal)
  1. Adhere to doctor’s directions -  For you to know for sure you have a certain diagnosis, you must have visited a doctor and with that visit came few outcomes including a pack of drugs or request for more visits. Adhere to those directions.
    (If you suspect you have a mental health condition (or would like a second opinion) get a list of government cllinics on our FREE SMS helpline by simply sending the word mhke to 22214 and follow the support prompt...line currently out of service, we are restructuring to serve you better)
  2. Accept your diagnosis - The more you deny it, the harder it becomes to deal with it and also live with it. Having a mental health condition is not a death sentence, I have been able to successfully live with a dual diagnosis of epilepsy and bipolar and believe me, it is not the worst thing to happen to you once you accept yourself.

  3. Learn your triggers and limitations -  Depending the environment you are in, certain things can make you worse and some lighten you up, be sure to note the things that make you happy and moments that really stress you out. This will also help you a lot in relationships and your work life, I know for one I cannot work in large commitment blocks and prefer small short time tasks that build up to a bigger picture. Before I used to beat myself wondering why I cannot commit to things but once I learnt my  cycle and embraced it, I am at a better place.
  4. Therapies - Alongside the visits to the doctor, try incorporating things that you can do alone or with friends and family that cheer you up. You can try group therapy with other people living with mental health conditions and epilepsy (get a list on our FREE SMS helpline by simply sending the letter mhke to 22214 and follow the support prompt...line currently out of service, we are restructuring to serve you better)
  5. , there is also eco therapy, which is all about finding healing in nature or keeping plants or gardening, there is art therapy and online you can get many resources on affordable DIY (do it yourself projects) that you can try out. You can also do writing therapy which is where my poetry and blogging began.
  6. Know your rights - Just because you  have been diagnosed with a mental health condition doesn't mean you should live life under people’s mercy. You are a child of this universe, you have a right to be here so read a lot, know what to expect from the doctors, from other people, from the government, from your family (nuclear or otherwise), from your workplace and stand up for those rights.
  7. Support group -  Two are better than one. it is nice to have a team; two or three people around you who understand you and what you are going through. it is nice to have a mix of those living with a mental health condition and those without. it gets really overwhelming at times and it is good to know you are not alone and that you have people in your corner cheering for you. The support group also helps point out that you are going south and help you centre yourself.
  8. Live life - You are not your diagnosis...What things do you love doing?  Make a list of those, now tell yourself that there might be some slight changes you may have to make but that doesn't mean your life has come to a halt. My current list is tea, art, books, travel, moon watching and my God. I know life is all about changes but I love where I am at and my relationship with God has become stronger and it grows by the day and truth be told, with His guidance and the tools beside me, I wouldn't trade who I am and where I am for anything in this world.

I am here to help you walk through this journey because when I was wallowing in limbo looking for info and support, I know I would have appreciated a lift up by someone who had already walked that path.

You can also have one of our resident psychologists call you back for FREE by simply typing the word ask (leaving a space) then asking your question and sending to 22214 e.g ask how do I deal with my mental health diagnosis?...line currently out of service, we are restructuring to serve you better email me on
Looking forward to hearing from you and the tools you currently have.

Sending love and light,

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