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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.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I so agree with you, instead of laying about moaning and whining and my favorite, you give an idea and hear "yes, but..." I believe that there are a lot of us who could go on and on and on adnauseaum until no one wants to see us. You have to accept what is wrong and make choices to handle it in positive ways. Like healthier choices, add exercise, and of course, my favorite, laugh a lot!
    If one of your arms fall of, hay...there is still another one!

    Love you Elle, you are the best!
    Kat the good one :)
    4824 days ago
    Elle, when I visited your page and read your blogs, I just felt I had to add you as a friend. As someone in counseling with a primary focus on Health Psychology - a wonderfully growing field - anytime that I have worked with clients and patients I try to convey exactly what you have managed to sum up in your blog. It is so important for individuals to understand that they are in control and do really have a say. To be one's own advocate is the number one most important thing anyone can learn, particuarly in today's world of assembly line treatments. A dose of wisdom by you Elle, truly goes a long way. Again, I am sure I speak for many when I say thank you!
    4825 days ago
  • NENEOF08
    Elle how true your words are!!!! A person can dwell to much on there health problems or just problems in general. They need to move past it and enjoy something about life. Thank you so much for sharing that with us!!!!! It was very insperational!!!!!!

    Hugs, Nene
    4825 days ago
    I agree wholeheartedly Elle!!!! We are the ones in control of what we do for ourselves. We make the decisions that affect our health care and our spiritual walk as well. I am glad that you are willing to share your experiences with all of us!

    Love and Hugs,

    4825 days ago
  • MCHAV6
    Wow Elle! You have sooooo motivated me today. That is what I am talking about! Thank you for sharing your story. It really touched me. I too believe in learning from your mistakes, turning a negative experience into a positive outcome. I embrace becoming older because I gain more life experience that I can share with others. I am ready to make the commitment to myself. It starts by being honest and taking responsibility, stop being in denial and blaming others. Thank you for your words of wisdom. Take care of you.
    4825 days ago
    Elle, I agree with what you are saying whole heartedly!! You are right!! I sometimes think that I should be doing more in my responsibilities for my health. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is an eye opener!!

    Love you...MORE...EMOED!!
    4825 days ago
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