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Self Care and Parenting

In order to have a healthy body you also need to take care of your mind.

Many people turn a blind eye to their mental health before the symptoms overwhelm their personal life and affect their relationship with their family, friends and colleagues. Some discover the effects of a mental illness only when confronted with a legal battle or are in hospital. Symptoms of concerning mental health issues are unfortunately often ignored, resulting in many undiagnosed illnesses. It is important that we all routinely revisit and address our self-care needs and seek medical attention when symptoms first develop.

Consider persons diagnosed with mental illness and how we can help them? How do they manage their illness? But the question is; where do we go when our minds suffer?

Mental illness is a commonly misunderstood term, and notably people who believe that mental illness is an unusual condition often stigmatize other persons with mental illnesses. To those persons, don’t use names like “crazy” or “wacko” to refer to a person with mental illness. Educate yourself about the correct diagnosis of mentally ill individuals, do not judge or assume.

There are occasions in everyone’s life that our mental well being needs care by medical professionals. In those circumstances, seek help immediately.

Also, practising self-care and staying grounded can definitely change the circumstance of mental health. Regardless of how busy you are, it is important that you set aside time out of your busy schedule to do something for yourself; for e.g. but not limited to; going for walks or jogging, bubble baths, reading a great novel or simply just calling a friend to talk. Decrease stress by staying physically active and practice meditation to relieve anxiety and depression simply to give your mind a well deserved break. Lastly, treat persons with mental illness with deference and dignity. Maintain balance thinking so that your thoughts or feelings do not only influence how you treat yourself but how you care for others.

Keeping well includes seeking help immediately. Immediately seek medical attention and care when you feel you are struggling with a mental illness and its symptoms. Contact your family doctor, psychiatrist and/or call 911 when symptoms emerge.

This article is not to be either medical or legal advice.

Contact a lawyer if your legal matters may have either directly or indirectly been a result of symptoms of mental illness or if you have questions regarding your medical treatment.

Charlena Claxton, B.A. LL.B, Lawyer (Mental Health Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Litigation) and Tarah Morgan, Paralegal  www.claxtonlawpc.com