I wrote this blog post because I want to challenge the status quo. Don't settle for coming up with rules about what matters.
These days, there are too many mental health care rules. It really bugs me when I see this on full display. Social media seems to be a breeding ground for discussions that take on a life of their own.
I have said it a few times, but in a way, I’m glad I didn’t have social media when I first started my journey. Yes, I know there is support out there on social media, but often it seems more toxic than helpful. I’m not discounting those that are genuinely reaching out and making a difference. It is getting to be more difficult to tell everything apart.
Unfortunately, though, the side that seems to get the most attention online are the ones with so many mental health care rules. In fact, some days I’m afraid to say anything. If you don’t state what the crowd thinks, you’ll be vilified in an instant.
What are mental health care rules?
The way I see mental health care rules is that these are the rules in which we view healing for our life. While these rules can be helpful early on, they can get in our way by limiting our full healing potential. If we are not careful, they become the daggers we throw into our own healing.
Mental health care rules in my view include what words you are supposed to use or how you state things to others. They include how and when you are supposed to respond. Even if the person is dominating every discussion with the woe is me approach, and you share something that may be helpful, you are knocked down as you get told you don’t understand. You don’t know what it is like to deal with these things.
Get in our way of healing and support.
These are the mental health care rules that get in our way of healing and support. They also include following the “prescribed treatments” of the day and seeing this as the only way to heal. Any discussion outside of these parameters is met with disdain and rolling eyes. Even if you’ve found something helpful in your life and you’ve seen it help many others, the mental health care rules nearly stop you from sharing that with other people.
I understand people are hurting and they don’t know how to find a way through what they are facing. I know just how difficult it is to deal with the issues and struggle. Yes, I’ve been there too. If you have read my first book, you’ll see part of my struggle.
My heart sinks with sadness.
However, when I see people attacking others because they don’t use the right terminology or words or statements, my heart sinks in sadness. Even if a person is reaching out to be supportive, they will get nailed to the tree for saying what they did. I often think, is that really the best way to react? Obviously, it appears that it is and I find that sad.
Would it not be better to help teach others, so they understand rather than screaming up and down at them as if they are stupid and hateful and less than human? In my mind, it would make things a lot better. If people understand, they’ll be more likely to help and support everyone that needs it. If all they get is someone who is screaming at them in response, they won’t be as open to understanding.
They become a distraction.
The other thing that bothers me about all of these mental health care rules is they become a distraction. They take us from healing in life and making things better in our day. How much good really comes out of acting like the back side of a mule? Does that really help you heal and deal with your life?
If I would have focused on so much of what I see take place in mental health care rules being propagated today, I’d be stuck where I was 25 years ago. In fact, I’m not sure I would have made it this far in my life.
Yes, finding others that are going through the same things you are facing is helpful. I remember the first time I met a male survivor in person, and he changed my life. However, I used that as a launching point to greater discovery, growth, and healing in my life. I didn’t stop and allow it to become all that I was.
I wrote this blog post because I want to challenge the status quo. Don’t settle for coming up with rules about what matters. Instead, look at how you can use where you are to keep moving forward and learning to heal in ways you don’t think are possible. Others are here for support and hold nuggets of help for you, but let go of the rules, and you will find true healing for your life.