I have a confession to make.
Every time I write or say the word disorder when it comes to mental health it is like nails on the chalkboard to me. I am not kidding, and this is after twenty years of practicing as a psychiatrist.
Why is this?
My patients tell me that at times it feels shaming or embarrassing to talk about their inner world as being disordered. Once they have medical or psychological clarity as to what is going on with them they want new ways of talking about their mental health.
I know the way we talk about our mental health can be a huge factor and a game changer in the healing process for individuals and as a collective.
After the first session with my patients we start using qualitative words like “my mood, my thoughts , my anxiety, my nutrition” and usually drop the word disorder.
Diagnostic labels are great for insurance codes and scientific uniform discussion but are not “launch into thrive” mindset words for every day use.
Now I am not saying that my patients never use the descriptor “my anxiety disorder” when explaining to love ones what is going on in their inner world. It can be very empowering once you meet with your doctor to find out your path to mental wellness.
It is a very personal decision about who you want to talk to about your mental health.
I know from my Twitter, FaceBook and Instagram followers many people and mental health advocates feel very comfortable talking about their depression, bipolar, anxiety or ADHD with the masses on social media.
It can be healing to read a post and connect with someone that is experiencing what you are. Thankfully many celebrities , athletes and cultural icons have opened up this discussion and it has given us permission to do so in more open forums.
The experience of 40,000 hours of listening, empowering and seeing people go from crisis to thrive in any situation psychologically has given me real life knowledge as to what is the “aha moment” to someone reaching THEIR own thrive.
Think in terms of reaching your own top 1% during any given challenge.
THE key component to success is a healing mindset to facing the suffering head on.
I have discussions to empower my patients about the power of our words, thoughts and actions.
How do I do this? Here we go…
I ask that you pause while reading this and say out loud
Now say the word “Wellness.”
Pay attention to how you feel after you say each of these words.
I feel hopeful after I say wellness, don’t you?
An awareness of our emotions and physical sensations around the words we choose is part of the healing or wellness process daily whether we suffer with mental illness or are just trying to have our best day.
So I engage, coach and inspire my patients and my followers to pay attention to their own way of choosing words, thoughts and actions that can contribute to their daily mental health no matter what challenge or success they are facing.
Why am I making such a deliberate point of the power of our words, thoughts and actions?
Our inner world and outer world greatly influence our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Have you heard of the word epigenetics?
“Epigenetics is the study of cellular and physiological traits, or the external and environmental factors, that turn our genes on and off, and in turn, define how our cells actually read these genes. It works to see the true potential of the human mind, and the cells in our body.”
~Bruce Lipton, Stem Cell Biologist, Author Biology of Belief
We all want to reach our optimal potential, right?
Think of the thoughts and words you choose as having their own living, breathing energy over your personal success and wellbeing.
Then we need to take action in engaging in the world to create our own unique THRIVE ENVIRONMENT:
~the anti~inflammation foods we choose to influence our microbiome
~ the exercise we engage in
~ the amount of sleep we get
~the practice of mindfulness or meditation that works for us
~the quality time with loved ones
~the quality and quantity of time we spend on social media
~time in nature
~the acts of service we do
~the purpose we have each day professionally
The list goes on.
The importance of this discussion is that we were initially told that it was a 50% genes 50% environment split that contributes to best health and wellness outcomes.
It is thought by many leading scientists, doctors, spiritual leaders that our environment greatly interacts with our DNA to influence optimal outcomes, some say it can be up to 80% environmental influence on optimal genetic outcome with an individuals DNA.
I am here to tell you that WE can all reach our own personal thrive as our words, thoughts and actions greatly influence having our best life!
Quick thrive stories I have seen in my practice:
~Athletes that have struggled with ADHD and anxiety now striking their thrive with nutrition, fitness and minimal medical intervention & are now reaching their A game.
~A person going from multiple suicide attempts and treatment resistant depression to now being married, working and happy with kids and life.
~A person with schizophrenia that was an addict and on the streets to now having his own business with a wellness plan that includes meditation, rock climbing, cardio, sobriety, & medical treatment.
~A teen being bullied with autism spectrum and anxiety that is now a Ph.D., happily married working and with friends.
Let’s stay hopeful and remember that OUR words, thoughts and actions about any challenge or success we are facing greatly influence OUR outcome.
BE empowered to reach you own personal thrive!
Denise McDermott M.D.