Be Your Own Health Advocate!Be Your Priority!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Age is not just about wrinkles, sagging stomachs, lose of muscle tone or hair loss. It is about gaining knowledge, becoming intelligent and smart about the choices we make; educating ourselves and applying what we learn.
I have suffered from clinical depression for almost thirty years. In the beginning, it was overwhelming and I was angered that I had to "suffer" this affliction. However, as the years went by I chose to take a more active part in my health care; becoming my own health advocate. I researched types of treatments, read the recommendations of the experts and decided on a course of action. Bottom line, clinical depression cannot be self treated. It is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and must be addressed through drug therapy. I found a physician who understood and began treatment. Through a series of trial and error, a medication was found that helped my particular problem. Over the years, the medications have had to be changed; what has not changed is my continued dedication to control my health choices.
Why have I shared this this? Over the last several weeks I become aware of how many people are spending too much time complaining about their health issues without ever taking any action to get help with the resolution. I know that at times it can be overwhelming, but with age comes self realization. If one is not their own best friend, their own advocate, then no one else will be. Joining SparkPeople was one of the choices I made to better my health. With that choice came a promise to myself; I would use the tools, participate and make my journey to health a personal quest and celebration of life.
I have found myself getting angry and upset with others because they will not take charge, nor will they admit their own responsibility in their lack of success. I then remembered, many of them are young, they do not have the experience that age brings and that with time, they will get to where they need to be.
Becoming your own health advocate does not have to wait; it does not have to come with age or until you are in dire need. Start today; become your own best friend, accept your frailties and love yourself despite them. Continuing this journey can be your first step to taking charge; overcoming hurdles and bumps in the road that will make you stronger. Asking for, and receiving help, is part of our growth on this road to health; remember to listen to the answer when the question has been addressed. Do not just grow old, grow healthily and knowlegable; take charge and become your own best advocate to your health and happiness.