Gifts for Mental Health Disorders
by Patty E. Fleener M.S.W.
Sometimes we all need to be reminded of how special and
important we are. This is especially true if we are undergoing
depression or suffer from low self-esteem. I can come up with
many reasons why we are special in our own unique ways but one
is hitting me now.
This message is especially written for those of you who are
particularly feeling worthless, depressed, discouraged, sad,
and defeated, etc. as you are reading this.
Do you have any idea of some of the gifts you have within you?
My guess is probably not or you wouldn't be feeling the way
you are feeling.
First of all, you have an enormous amount of company. I can
guarantee that about the same time that you are reading this,
someone feeling much the same way you are feeling is reading
the same thing. You are not alone.
Secondly, who in this world would understand exactly what you
are feeling and thinking better than someone who has
experienced the same thing and the same disorder(s). No one
else could possibly understand unless they have experienced it
Third, who on this earth would you have come to your home and
comfort you and speak with you right now? My guess is that it
is either your therapist or the person mentioned above. Who
else could possibly understand you more than someone who has
been through what you are undergoing at this moment? What are
the chances that this person would expect too much from you by
asking you to "keep your chin up" or "just try
harder" etc.? When they say to you that they understand,
you will know in your heart that truly they do and feeling
understood is a wonderful healing feeling.
You yourself have these gifts - the experiences of life that
you can offer to assist others when you are feeling better. It
can honestly be said that people with bipolar disorder and
borderline personality disdorder do
experience life more intensely than most people.
I have received many wonderful heart warming letters from
people saying that the website or my newsletters are helping
them or that it is in some way a comfort. Though I feel my
educational background and my career in social work has
assisted me, 95% of what you read in my articles comes from
experiencing my own mental health disorders. If there were no
suffering from these disorders, I would not be experiencing
the compassion that I have for others who also suffer.
There is meaning in suffering in my opinion. I agree with
Viktor Frankl who was able to find it even in the Nazi
concentration camps. You can read his book "Man's Search
Think of the great love poets. In my mind, how could they have
experienced so much intense emotions had they not experienced
so much emotional pain? In fact many poems express this pain
and many of the great poets themselves have mental health
Of course as you know the gift of creativity comes with
bipolar disorder and for some reason, my experience with those
who have the borderline personality disorder are that they are
very intelligent people.
We come bearing gifts.
Mental Health Matters for information
and articles. Get
help to find
a therapist or list
your practice; and Psych
Forums for message boards on a variety of MH topics.
Copyright © Patty Fleener, M.S.W. All