Finding the person amongst their mental health…
Where our lived experience of mental health difficulties sits within our sense of self and personal identity varies from person to person.
Some people have a positive connection to their mental health even if they’ve struggled with it, making meaning out of their lived experiences to enhance their personal identity.
Others can lose their sense of self when psychological distress becomes overwhelming. What is also common here is losing a sense of personal power, control, and a disruption to your daily life and personal narrative.
The chronology of our lives can be interrupted by stress, one of the most intense forms being traumatic stress. We can lose periods of time, find it hard to like ourselves as much as usual, and feel disconnected from others.
When this happens, it can be helpful to find the person you are amongst your mental health. Make a list of the different parts of your personal identity and ways you can stay connected with each part, even when you’re struggling. An example is:
Places that are important to you,
Practices/rituals/routines that comfortably connect you to your sense of self, and
People that affirm and validate who you are.