Healthlinks Upstate March/April 2022

6 | www.Ups tatePhys i c i ansSC . com | www.Hea l thL i nksUps tate. com Mental health has been a challenge for me since my father’s 2017 Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. It has been a journey marred by chest-gripping, short breaths and inconsistent disillusions. Anxiety has humbled me in ways I never thought possible. I’ve lost sleep, missed laughs and lashed out at loved ones who deserved better. From constant meditation to relentless exercise to talk CB therapy, I’ve worked diligently to fill up my “toolbox” with stress relievers. I’ve often found respite in my relationship with my wife, my mother and my dogs; my relationship with myself was rarely enough. Here I was in the most exciting time of my life, with infinite opportunities, and I wasn’t enjoying any of it, I thought. My mind – warped by stress – wouldn’t allow me to do what I’ve always been best at: having fun. After a particularly long string of sleepless nights, my wife – a nurse practitioner – suggested that I try anti-anxiety medication, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in this case. Every fabric of my being rebuked the notion. If I use drugs to feel better, that proves that I am not enough. It proves that I can’t do this by myself. It’s weak. Thoughts like this kept rolling and crashing through my mind like waves in an angry sea. Through meditation, reflection and conversations, I eventually began to understand that not feeling like I was enough was all right – that to get through this blanketing mental pain, I had to let my guard down and accept help. Going on medication did not mean I had to abandon all the healthy habits that had guided me to this point. Instead, the medication would join these routines in my mental health toolbox. It’s now day three of medication. I’m still anxious, but I have been told the medicine can take more than a month to kick in. I feel relief in my commitment to accept help on this journey. I’m writing this note to let our readers know that it is OK to feel like you are not enough. It is OK to ask for help. In fact, it is liberating. I’m proud that our society has developed to a place where an admission of mental health struggles is not a demonstration of weakness but a proclamation of strength. Proactively addressing your mental health is crucial to true happiness. Along those lines, one of the things that makes me most happy is spending time outside. Research shows that being active in nature can substantially reduce your anxiety and stress. This spring, we should come out from behind our computers, phones and tablets and get outside. If you are looking for me, I will be running down the beach, chasing after our puppies – that is, except between the work hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, of course. Cheers to good (mental) health, Cul len Murray Kemp Cullen Murray-Kemp UPSTATE Publisher CULLEN MURRAY-KEMP [email protected] Managing Editor THERESA STRATFORD Copy Editor BRIAN SHERMAN Art Director KIM HALL Webmaster GEORGE CONKLIN Internet GENE PHAN Sales Manager MANDY WILLIS [email protected] Photography Partner CARIN SCATES Writers Media Consultants BRANDON CLARK [email protected] CINDY JOHNSON [email protected] Distribution Manager Latrale Gunther – [email protected] Distribution: C&R Marketing Administration & Bookkeeping GINGER SOTTILE Intern MOLLY SHERMAN Distribution U.S. Post Office, Harris Teeter, Ingles, CVS, Food Lion, Medical Offices TO ADVERTISE IN HEALTHLINKS UPSTATE PLEASE CALL 864.612.7694 MEDICAL MARKETING GROUP HealthLinks Upstate reserves the right to refuse advertisements. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply the service or product is recommended or endorsed by HealthLinks Upstate. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from Medical Marketing Group, LLC. Medical Marketing Group 4 Carriage Lane, Suite 107, Charleston, S.C. 29407 843-732-4110 • [email protected] Issue 5.2 March/April 2022 JOHN TORSIELLO DAVE CLUCAS STACY DOMINGO L.C. LEACH III SARA NOVAK ISABEL ALVAREZ ARATA JANET PERRIGO CHRISTINE STEELE COLIN MCCANDLESS JILL HARPER MOLLY SHERMAN KATHERINE WATERS BRIAN SHERMAN CINDY LANDRUM BILL FARLEY ALYSSA DISALVO HOLLY LAPRADE PUBLISHER'S NOTE