If your friend or family member has been recently formally diagnosed with a mental disorder, by a qualified physical (or multiple physicians if they’ve gotten more than one opinion, which they should) – a General Practitioner, Naturopathic Doctor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist – they will be experiencing one of the following:
Relief / elation. She suddenly understands her symptoms and has the ability to deal with them.
Your thoughts might look something like: “Thank goodness I know what’s wrong with me, now I can get treatment and get better”
Fear of not being in complete control of your mood and behavior at times. Or, fear for the impact it could have on the rest of your life (ie. will it impact your work/ relationships/what people think about you). Or, you may experience fear from not fully know what to expect from your disorder.
Your thoughts might be something like this: “If I’m Bipolar 1, will anyone ever want to marry me? What if I end up cheating on them at some point. Can I even trust myself anymore”.
Anger that this is happening to you.
Your thoughts might be something like: “I can’t take this depression anymore! My life was great until this happened to me”
Sadness because who you thought you were is suddenly different. You may be upset that you need to make new lifestyle choices that you don’t necessarily want to make. Or, sad that dreams you had no longer seem possible.
Your thoughts might be something like: “I don’t want to live like this anymore. It’s too painful”
If you are experiencing any of the above emotional states, what you are feeling is completely normal. No matter how you feel, the following list of actions will assist you in dealing with this difficult moment in your life in a powerful way. Taking immediate action will help you establish control in a position where you feel like you have none.