I know I bring up mental illness frequently. Most of you know I suffer from various forms including depression, anxiety and sleep disorders.
Living with this has not been easy. Especially for my family. All of my family, until I was correctly diagnosed it was a living nightmare for them. Thank fully I have found an amazing Doctor and he is very quick to respond with the appropriate prescriptions and suggestions.
Now that being said, I have been getting numerous emails and comments from people all over the world. All looking for advice on how to keep it under control.
First and foremost, see a doctor. I can't stress enough. Not a psychiatrist, but just your family doctor and get started from there. Next, purge any negative factors in your life. It's hard and it doesn't have to end badly but if someone or something makes you feel bad or puts you in a bad spot, then its important to understand that you can't have that. Someone with any mental illness, will always react far worse then someone without and that reaction is almost always unpredictable. So for your own safety, I can't stress it enough, purge.
Now there are various alternatives to prescription drugs. However, unfortunately natural drugs tend to have a shelf life. One that worked for me was 5 HTP combined with B100's and Omegas. The most crucial aspect is diet, if I fall off my diet for too long I tend to experience more episodes. Of course physical activity is the third, exercise releases the happy hormones!
So for those of you with mental illness that are lost in this, I can't stress this enough....find a coach who knows what their doing! I don't care what title is in their name or if their clients placed first or last, find a coach who understands everything. Its important for them to know what side effects a specific part of the diet will have on your moods and your physical outcome. Just to slide this in....I know a great one who understands....ahem...*wink*...*wink*
The coach you choose needs to understand what a low carb diet will do to you, what a 45 minute workout or a 2 hour workout will do. They need to know what supplements to take and the effect it will have on you. Competing is the entire package, Arnold said it best "its the mind that controls the body" if your not there mentally, you will suffer physically.
For someone with OCD and anxiety, organization and routine is imperative, ordering a can 1MR may not do so well. Leaves you jittery and panicky, your coach needs to know this. NO shotgun or N O Explode may be a better solution. Your coach needs to know what best. I made that mistake the first time around and at the end of the year I didn't do so well, needless to say. All the supplements, food and even drink affects everything. One hormone works to counter balance another, if you have one slightly off, then everything will be off. Perfect alignment and knowledge is absolutely necessary.
If your considering competing and you do have a mental illness, it will be one of the best decisions of your life. Again, it forces you to focus on you. I have four kids and several clients, outside of competition time I don't focus on myself. It forces you to focus on your triggers, makes you realize just how important the combination of fitness, nutrition and supplements really are. I will stress one more time, find a coach or a trainer that is perfect for you. Remember you are one in four of the population with mental illness, the other three out of four are fine to pick any coach. One which can maintain the same routine from one client to the next. You don't have that luxury.
All the best and good luck with any up coming shows!!