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Preventing, Predicting, & Dismantling Problems Ahead

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In my experience, the worst thing in the world is to have the opportunity to fix or resolve a problem and sit my hands. Passively sitting back and letting a chance pass by to make amends and find a solution is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can drive through inaction. Sometimes, being passive and not taking action is the most prominent folly people can make in taking responsibility in their lives and for their future.

Issues can sometimes take us by complete surprise, e.g., breakthrough symptoms, new symptoms, or unexpected circumstances. These situations in which you will find yourself completely blindsided are truly rare. Most of the time, when it comes to coming across a problem in need of fixing, we see it coming from so far away we get comfortable and sit back, and the chance to address it slips past us. These can be distressing moments because we had identified the issue. When resolving the problem, we got too comfortable in our time window to be idle and not respond as quickly and as firmly as possible.

 Let’s be completely honest with ourselves and our window for action. My days are relatively busy. When the time window presents itself to do something productive, I take it because another opportunity might not be so readily available in the future. My first recommendation to taking greater responsibility in your life and future is to rethink how you understand being accountable for your behavior. In terms of promoting vetted strategic behaviors, try being as solutions-focused and resolution-driven as possible. Seek to identify the most significant issues first and take the necessary steps to correct the problems.

A simple three-step accountability action plan works just across the board in every situation needing your attention. 

1)Identify,2) mark, and 3) act. Before a small, seemingly minor problem metastasizes and overwhelms you. First circle the issue, then jot down and record the problem, and then when you are ready, move to action dont hesitate. As we discussed before, windows of opportunity to address issues pass us by sometimes without warning, unexpectedly, or because we are too focused on being passive players in a busy world.

There are additional steps to being accountable in the more unusual situation where the problem isn’t glaringly apparent to the naked and untrained eye. Complete a diagnostic assessment in your immediate surroundings. Similar to finding a sizeable forked utensil to handle without help. We all need an early warning system. Systems that check weak points in our mental health need to be revised all the time. Review problem areas ahead. Be sure to reinforce deficits in your mental status now and practice! Your best bet to avoid free fall and collapse is practice.

Why do we need a system? Your early warning radar needs to adapt to new conditions in your life. The point is to have a procedure you review and process daily. Problems can occur at any time. Skipping a day here or there to look over potential issues on your radar can make the difference between a perfect day and a living nightmare that you could have avoided if you kept to your plan.

How do you know how to identify a problem area? You don’t need to be a therapist to know your strengths and areas to improve further. While it is only a problem if it’s a problem for you, the only person who would say, “Yes, this is an issue for me,” is you. So don’t be shy or hesitant to Identity your problems. You can always change your mind at a later time and work on a more pressing issue. There is no issue so benign it cannot benefit from further improvement.

Remember, minor problems can turn into cancers that will attack our innermost souls and unleash a world of demons in our life. There is no Pandora’s box when fine-tuning your early warning system. You cannot open the proverbial can of worms and unleash hell without intending to do so just because you went into the unknown and made a wrong turn. Instead, by confronting a situation head-on, you’re more likely to prevent a build-up of whatever social, economic, or psychological pathogen is waiting to attach you when you least suspect it. Does this seem like too big a feat to maintain daily?

Having an intelligent and creative early warning system also knows the weak points in your ability to predict specific problems. Ask yourself: “What issues seem to pop up consistently?” So, upon identifying the weak point in your early warning systemgo ahead and make accommodations!

The truth about being an expert in your skin is that none can be an expert about everything. However, the more problematic areas requiring additional attention or help are essential to creating a real forgiving world that is proficient in learning to best advocate for their fellow candidates. 

What kind of accommodations will I need? 

Accommodations can include:

  • Asking a friend for help.
  • Going to a counselor regularly for guidance.
  • Engaging in self-help and self-management techniques to fine-tune your existing skills.

Mr. Guttman should plan the materials required to fix certain situations in some of our complex lives to conserve energy means calling for assistance in the AM. Also, regularly and without pause to ensure you manage the areas in your life that seem to spin out regularly.

About the Author

J. Peters

Max Guttman is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice in New York City. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist, and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a ‘2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10’ award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association.

Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes about his lived experiences with schizophrenia.

‘I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery,’ Guttman says. ‘After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my ‘break,’ I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others.’

‘In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity, and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and Recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients.’

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