"If you want light to come into your life, you need to stand where it is shining." - Guy Finley

Having worked one-on-one with many people that suffer with anxiety, depression or eating disorders over the past year, one thing that upsets me is to learn that someone has given-up on recovery.  They believe that their depression/anxiety/eating disorder is who they are and that recovery is out of or beyond their control.  I have experienced many people who now identify with their diagnosis - and assume that they are just an "anxiety-sufferer" a "bulimic" or someone with "depression" and they fear that this condition will be with them forever or may unexpectedly return at any point in their life.  

Now don't get me wrong, I know that receiving a diagnosis can be extremely beneficial. Getting a diagnosis for a mental illness can help someone to understand why they are feeling a certain way, can help them to get the support that they need and can allow them to feel understood.  However, what I don't think is communicated enough - and particularly to individuals with eating disorders, anxiety and depression - is that RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE and that people should EXPECT to get better. 

A dangerous thing can happen when someone starts associating with their diagnosis and believing that their condition is completely out of their control.  They give up on trying to do anything to get better.  There are so many things that we know can improve conditions such as depression and anxiety including: 

1. engaging in talking therapies such as CBT to change thinking patterns and in turn to change emotional state; 

2. getting enough and good quality sleep; 

3. exercising regularly;

4. making dietary changes - eating a balanced, healthy and varied diet; 

5. reducing caffeine and alcohol intake; and

6. engaging in relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditations.

If someone believes that the chemical imbalance in their body/brain is completely beyond their control, they are unlikely to take any positive action to feel better.  When however someone sees even a glimmer of hope - even has that slight belief that they possibly can feel better - this is where they will open up to exploring things that they can do to feel better. 

So if you are suffering with depression, anxiety or an eating disorder - don't EVER give up your power - know and believe that recovery is possible and that you should expect to fully recover.  Even just that small glimmer of hope can inspire you to take those one or two small steps that can set you off on that path to full recovery!

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any." - Alice Walker