What Is It Like To Grieve The Losses Of Mental Illness?
I absolutely love this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast, in which we have Peer Support Counselor (for mental health) Chrissie Hodges! This episode is one of my favorites because it truly validates the pain that you are going through.
Don’t miss this podcast episode!
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In this episode, Chrissie addresses the importance of Peer Support and how she has used her own journey and lived experience with mental health to help guide those who are also managing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety, Depression, and other mental illnesses or struggles.
Chrissie also sheds light on life AFTER treatment, which is something that I have been wanting to address for a long time now. It’s a topic that I frequently get asked about. How do I move past how painful and difficult that experience was? How do I survive when my life looks so different? What can I do to grieve the losses of mental illness?
There are a lot of big and strong emotions that can come up for us once we are in recovery, such as sadness, grief, and—in some cases—resentment and regret. After treatment, you may experience the losses of mental illness and begin to understand what you have been through.
Truthfully, it takes a lot of courage and bravery to grieve the losses of mental illness. To do so, we must honor our experiences and allow ourselves to feel—make room for—some uncomfortable and difficult feelings. By grieving the losses of mental illness, we are allowing us to forgive ourselves for the time lost and the hard times we have had.
This was a very powerful episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit for me! Chrissie opened up and got real about her own process grieving the losses of mental illness (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, and Anxiety in specific). She shares how she has recently given herself permission to believe that she has experienced trauma. The single experience of being alone in mental illness is traumatic. It’s a trauma to have to go through that and wonder if anyone understands or gets what you are experiencing.
Chrissie addresses the popular train of thought that if we can just get our symptoms under control, then we can move on and be who we were before….or move on and have this great life. To shed light on this, she provided a metaphor of a car accident. If you are involved in a traumatic car accident and sustain an injury, you cannot just move on even after the pain is gone. That accident, or that journey with a mental illness, changed the trajectory of your life. It’s important for us to honor that experience and grieve its losses, rather than minimizing what we have been through. As Chrissie says, what you went through matters. It hurt you.
Chrissie also talks about dealing with suicidal ideation and a suicide attempt that traumatized her. Chrissie shares how hard it has been on her body and the ways in which it led her to disown parts of her soul and body.
If you are struggling with and feel hopeless about everything that you have lost in managing your mental illness…or are grieving the losses of mental illness…this is the podcast episode for you.
About Kimberley Quinlan
Kimberley Quinlan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Panic Disorder and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s). Kimberley is highly trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with a heavy emphasis on Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), and has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for many years. Kimberley has a special interest in the integration of mindfulness principles with CBT for OCD, Anxiety Disorders, and Eating Disorders. Kimberley has experience treating adults, adolescents, and children, and tailors each program to suit the age and cognitive development of each client. Kimberley has a private practice in Calabasas and Westlake Village.
For more information, you can find Kimberley at the following:
About Chrissie Hodges
Chrissie Hodges is a mental health advocate and public speaker on obsessive-compulsive disorder, mental illness, and stigma reduction surrounding mental health. She is a Peer Support Counselor and works with individuals providing peer support and consultations for referrals and resources for OCD treatment. Chrissie provides Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy coaching for individuals in treatment at Effective OCD Treatment. She is the author of 'Pure OCD: The Invisible Side of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder'.
For more information on Chrissie, click on the links below:
Podcast: Coffee with Chrissie Podcast
Website: Chrissie Hodges Website
YouTube: Chrissie Hodges Youtube