How Friendship Boosts My Mental Health
Human interaction is crucial for our well-being, but forming friendships while living with schizophrenia can be challenging. However, I have managed to find a group of positive and uplifting friends that have enriched my life and provided the support I need. These friendships not only lift me up, but they also contribute to managing my mental health. Over time, I have come to realize that if others cannot accept my diagnosis, there is no need to have them in my life. While it is unfortunate to have lost some friends due to their lack of understanding and stigma surrounding mental illness, it was ultimately for the best. I have learned that there is no room for negativity in my life.
Coming to this realization was not easy, as there were times when I felt like an outsider and struggled with self-stigma. However, through therapy and surrounding myself with positive individuals who love and care for me unconditionally, I have learned to love myself. My friends see me as a person, not just someone with schizophrenia. They show genuine interest in my life, thoughts, and feelings. This supportive circle of friends inspires me and makes me feel good about myself. I feel a strong connection, comfort, and confidence within my tribe.
In addition to lifting me up, my friends also aid in my recovery process. They help alleviate stress during difficult times, boosting my mood and self-worth. They support me and help me cope when things get tough. Having such supportive friends makes me less likely to isolate myself during challenging periods.
Furthermore, my friends assist me in processing my experiences and hold me accountable in my mental health recovery. They remind me to prioritize self-care and stick to my mental health routine. Many of them are aware of my diagnosis and understand the symptoms I may experience. When I am struggling, they are just a phone call or text away, ready to provide the support I need.
For those of us living with schizophrenia, friends play an even more significant role in staying connected, promoting positivity, and managing our mental well-being. Although it may take time to cultivate such meaningful and supportive friendships, the benefits are immeasurable.