An essay by Brian McLaughlin, Advocate
Recently I read an interesting article about acceptance as it relates to mental illness. What follows is a jumble of the authors thoughts and my own. And, as a further caution to the reader, I cannot say with any reliability, where his role of muse begins and ends.
Acceptance can be a powerful force in relation to ones recovery from mental illness. Specifically, it has the power to help and an equally, yet troubling, power to harm.
When a person with serious mental illness is able to accept the fact that s/he has a mental illness, s/he can be assured that the battle is half won. Recovery has begun. The person with serious mental illness can then assemble all that is needed to move ever forward in recovery.
While acceptance can indeed be half the battle toward recovery, acceptance alone can be harmful when it leads to paralysis. Acceptance must be acted upon. Persons with mental illness must seek out all the healing tools available to them. The search for what is helpful must be ongoing, moving the person ever forward in recovery.
Acceptance can also be harmful when it takes the form of the idea that one can go no further in recovery, or worse, if a person with a serious mental illness accepts the opinion of others that they can go no further. This kind of acceptance stifles the recovery process.
It is my hope that everyone; persons in recovery, family members, friends and professionals, recognize the duality of acceptance and choose wisely.
Respectfully submitted for your consideration,
Brian Patrick McLaughlin MS/CPS
MH Consumer Advocate
Erie County, PA.
© 2016 Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA