Can the Quick Fix be good?

The Quick Fix

Everyone looks for that quick fix, don’t they?  Usually when problems arise, one of the first questions asked is: “what is the quickest and easiest way that I can solve my problem?”  Sometimes even those of us who might want to try the tried-and-tested longer method of solving the problem might want the quick fix.  It can be nicer to have a short and simple solution but is it all it’s cracked up to be?  Does it sometimes cause more problems than it’s worth?  That’s what I aim to find out.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

My Quick Fix Need

If you follow my journey then you will know that I use self-harm as a coping mechanism for getting through my struggles with depression.  As Theresa Larsen wrote in her article concerning her son’s self-harm, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be but it does work.  However, there are times when I know I’m in danger of going down that route and I don’t want to.  To avoid it, I need something else to pull me out of my cycle.

That’s where my quick fix comes in.

When I know I’m going in a downward spiral and I need something to pull me out of it, I turn to a variety of other coping mechanisms.  I’ve mentioned some before – gaming, music or simply reading or writing – but there is one that can sometimes work better than any of the others.

Talking.

That’s right, talking can be a valuable quick fix for my problem.  Sometimes all it takes is for someone to ask what I did the day before, something as simple as that, to start pulling me out of the spiral.  It doesn’t make the problem go away, nor does it do anything to solve my overall condition but in that black moment it helps.

Other Quick Fixes

In many respects, self-harm is also a quick fix.  It’s a temporary solution to an ongoing problem that alleviates immediate symptoms but does nothing long-term.

Which is exactly what we need it to be.

Therapy, counselling and medication are some of the longer-term fixes and they are important but sometimes we need something that will simply get us through the moment.

These quick fixes come in many forms.  For some, drugs or alcohol abuse are the prevalent ones.  A number of people will talk about how they turned to substances and alcohol to cope with their depression or their anxiety. Those people who need a drink to steady their nerves or those who want the euphoria of certain chemicals to bring them out of their darkness.  Whatever their choice is, the effects are only temporary, making them nothing more than quick fixes, just like self-harm

So you might be wondering at this stage what good a quick fix serves?  If it doesn’t have the desired long-term effect, is it a good idea to start down that path?  Or is it necessary?

There Is No Real Quick Fix

Realistically, the term “quick fix” is a misnomer.  No such thing exists.  In reality, it’s a quick alleviation to our problem, it fixes nothing.  If anything, it can make the problem worse.  With alcohol comes the hangover, with substance abuse you can get withdrawal symptoms and addiction and with self-harm you get the guilt and the pain later.  Whatever quick fix we try, it doesn’t fix anything.

When it comes to recovering from mental health, there is no quick fix.  It’s the long-term therapy, medication or other things such as encouragement that is needed.  Without them, there is no getting through, no getting better.  They are the pillars upon which recovery is built.

There are no quick fixes.  Not ones that will actually fix things.

However, sometimes the quick fix is necessary, even if it isn’t a fix.  Being able to temporarily alleviate the symptoms can be a valuable coping mechanism.  In exactly the same way that you would treat a broken leg with a splint or cast instead of immediate rehabilitation therapy, you treat mental health with a series of “quick fixes” alongside the traditional long-term term treatments.

The quick fixes are vital.

They can push you through those dark moments and enable you to face up to the long-term fix.  They are the splint to the mental broken leg.  Ultimately they don’t mend the problem but they give you that short-term stepping stone to get you through.

The Answers

I don’t know why you visit this blog.  Maybe you come for the encouragement that I write.  Perhaps you come for the insights that I share behind mental health and different ways that it can affect people.  It might be the interviews or it might be for my own personal journey and the look behind the iron curtain I put up as my mask.  There is the possibility, though, that you come here for answers.

I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you.  I have no answers.  There are no quick fixes, no immediate solutions.  All I can do is provide you with my experiences and the experiences of others and let you do the trial and error.  None of what I write is necessarily an answer or a solution, it’s simply signposts for you to follow as you walk your individual journeys or walk someone else’s road with them.

Even though there are no answers here, continue to read.  See where the signposts take you.  You never know, it may surprise you!

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Become a PatronDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Author: Alex Davies

Alex Davies is the creator and writer for Pushing Back the Shadows. Find out more about his journey here and connect with him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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