Having a dual diagnosis as a teen can be overwhelming and isolating. There are different piles of paperwork to sort through, long wait times at appointments, and the burden of managing two mental health issues at once. It’s been tough—but I’ve managed to find ways to cope with my dual diagnosis in healthy, meaningful ways.
I try to attend any appointments I have as soon as I can. This helps me stay on top of my treatment plans and get any help that I need quickly and efficiently. Sure, there are still waiting times involved, but it really helps me feel more organized and like I’m taking an active role in my own recovery process—which is extremely important for anyone dealing with mental health issues.
It’s also been helpful to use creative outlets to express myself. Painting, writing poems or stories, even playing music—all of these activities help me release any emotions and anxieties that come up throughout the day. Even if I’m not feeling particularly inspired, simply sitting down with some art supplies and doodling in different colors has proven to be a great way to relieve stress.
Finally, communication is essential when it comes to managing dual diagnosis symptoms. Talk to your friends about how you’re feeling; let your family know what challenges you may be facing; reach out for support from mental health professionals whenever you need some extra help or advice. All of these steps guarantee that people are aware of what you’re going through on a daily basis—and ensures that you won’t have have to move forward alone while managing your condition(s).