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You Are Not Your Illness

"Never forget that you are not your circumstances. You are not your illness. You are a person first and foremost. Allow no one to treat you as anything less." —Rene Buchanan Read the rest of the story...

Rene Buchanan


rbuchananDuring your mental health care, have you often felt hopeful about your chance of getting better?


No. I did not feel hopeful until I met a therapist who actually treated me like a person instead of a disease.


During your mental health care, have you often felt hopeless about your chance of getting better?


Yes. I was told I would never recover. I was locked up, given several ECT series, multiple medications at one time and misdiagnosed numerous times.


Has a mental health provider ever told you that you could not reach a personal goal because of your psychiatric diagnosis (for example, education, career, independent housing, relationship, children, etc.)?


Yes. I was told I would never work or live independently again.


If you overcame hopelessness that you could get better from a mental health or emotional problem, was there a turning point for you?


When I became homeless for the second time. I was dumped by a major hospital in the parking lot of a social service agency. I began receiving services there. The help the agency provided in conjunction with my therapy helped me save my life.


Tell us what recovery means to you. How would you define recovery from mental health or emotional problems in your own words?


Recovery is a state of being. It is both the means to an end and the end.


If you could send a brief message to someone receiving mental health care today who is feeling hopeless about getting better, what would you say?


Never forget that you are not your circumstances. You are not your illness. You are a person first and foremost. Allow no one to treat you as anything less.


Can you give examples showing you have gotten better from a mental or emotional problem, such as how you are doing well or accomplishing goals you have chosen?


I work full time. I advocate on the national level for consumer integration in mental health service delivery systems. I am sober almost 22 years. I am abstinent from anorexia for at least 20 years. I am abstinent from bulimia for almost 10 years. I quit smoking 2 1/2 years ago. I am active in my church. I volunteer. I am truly happy sometimes.

 

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I Got Better is a project of MindFreedom International    Domain generously contributed by United by Humanity.