Mental illness hurts.
No, I’m serious, it hurts.
After many years of suffering mental symptoms, I sought refuge in a great psychiatrist and primary care physician and we have worked closely to create a treatment plan to assist me in living my best life. At first, it was great. However, after the initial relief of treatment began to wane, I began to notice little things that seemed unrelated to my mental illnesses. My heart would race and palpitate. I was suffering from terrible night sweats and insomnia. I could not even concentrate on the most simple task and the icing on the proverbial cake were my weight changes. I went back to my primary care physician, begging for answers. I was so convinced I was afflicted with some new or horrifying malady. However, after examining me and running the necessary tests, he came back with a surprising diagnosis. Strictly speaking, nothing was wrong. My physical symptoms were unpleasant side effects of my mental illnesses. The connection between the mind and body is real and in many cases, symptoms that seem unrelated are. It’s the nausea, sweating and heart racing we get when we have an anxiety attack. It’s the joint aches and pains and fatigue we feel when we are extremely depressed. I am fortunate to have a great medical team by my side that treats me as a whole person, not just the symptoms. I find my physical symptoms improve when I eat less processed foods when possible, take a walk, snuggle with my dog or my personal favorite, sit outside for a few minutes a day and get sunshine. What helps alleviate or lessen my physical symptoms may not work in your situation so check with your medical professional to see what is best for you. No one knows your body like you do and you deserve to feel as healthy as possible.