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Why Exercise Isn’t The Only Answer

Mental Health: Why Exercise Isn't The Only AnswerCharity Cole writes about her life as a homeschooling mom of three at Our Giggles and Grimaces. She also speaks very freely about mental health, as she does in this piece below. 

I take a handful of medications, including antidepressants, a couple times a day to keep the Bipolar Disorder at bay. It works, but not alone. Taking medication is not all I do to stay healthy.

Staying healthy is truly a full-time job for me. It requires prayer, doctor appointments, talking to others to keep me grounded, using a vast array of skills to control anxiety, essential oils, staying away from triggering situations, and exercise.

Exercise is a huge part of it. There is no denying that, but just like the medication can’t fix me without other tools, neither can exercise.

That brings me to a radio commercial that drives.me.crazy. In this commercial the person announces how working out 3 times a week is the equivalent of an antidepressant, so to sign up for that yoga class and get sweaty.

Yeah, no. Exercise will never equal an antidepressant for people who need to be on an antidepressant. It just won’t. And insinuating, or flat out saying, that it will is just irresponsible.

Fight The Stigma

There is a stigma around mental illness. There is a stigma around taking medications for mental illness. It helps no one to say they just need to do some yoga and get nice and sweaty.

This time of year can be hard for a lot of people. There are natural triggers, like the lack of sunlight due to shorter days, there are social triggers, such as family stressors. It can be a rough time. And what people need right now is honesty.

Honesty sometimes means saying the hard things, like, “have you considered talking to your doctor about some options to help you?” That’s not easy to say. It’s not exactly easy to hear, but, that…that is love.

Charity Cole

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of three girls. I get to walk through this life with generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. I blog to show you can live and parent well with mental illness.

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