Following my previous post What’s It’s Like To Live With Cerebral Palsy? I felt it would be good to continue on with writing about cerebral palsy and what it is like to not only live it, but also mental illness at the same time. I know it must seem harsh that a person might already have C.P. and now add on a mental illness as well.
While some may raise a clenched fist (which I have in the past) I’ve come to accept this fact, my cerebral palsy and even mental illness are apart of me, but not who I am as a whole. I can’t exactly remember when depression made its ways into my life. It would be easy to think that from a young age, enduring all the operations that my body has had to endure. The intense pain, the time spent in recovery (which has taken a year and half each time) and the intensive therapy to get back to a normal functioning state.
It makes sense that depression would begin to appear, after all, every human being has bouts with depression at one point or another. No one is immune to depression, But when you have other physical elements added on from something like C.P. it’s sometimes all the more difficult at times.
But having lived with depression (and anxiety) since I was seventeen, I am here to tell you that it can get better. Talk therapy, coping mechanisms and adequate exercise are some of the best ways to combat depression.
As far as exercise, its something that I’ve done my whole life, however discovering Cross-Fit over a year ago, it has been a fascinating way to night only improve my body, but also my mind. Cross-Fit is amazing because it can be scaled down to meet people who are in wheel chairs.
Talk therapy on the other hand, can be a bit tricky. It can be difficult to find the right counselor, one that actually listens and doesn’t not simply provide short arm answers, but when you do it can make a world of difference. We all need help in this life, we are not the lone rangers that we think we are.
So my wisdom is simple, if you are a person living with C.P. and also feel that you may be experiencing depression, or long periods of sadness. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone you trust, a close friend, family member and even professional. You might not find what what you are looking for right away, but never give up the hunt.
If you are a parent, with a child who has C.P. (or any other condition) and you sense they are struggling, talk to them, ask questions. And if they talk, practice the art of listening. It will make a world of difference.
Lastly, if you would like to know more about my life with cerebral palsy, depression and faith. Please check out my first memoir The Emotional Struggle. here: http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Struggle-Brandon-Ryan/dp/1434348113/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438269703&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Emotional+Struggle