According to Pat Deegan, there are two different types of medicine, pill medicine, and personal medicine. Personal medicine can include things such as taking a walk, reading, or even watching a movie. The use our personal medicine so that we can avoid problems without depending entirely on pill medicine.
Pill medicine is great. It helps a lot with many symptoms, but it does not do everything for us. In order for us to feel better more often, we will need to keep up on our personal medicine daily, just like our pill medicine. This could mean riding a bike every day or two, writing in a journal, etc.
There are certain things that personal medicine is better than pill medicine for, such as dealing with the stigma of mental illness. You can take all the pills you want, but it doesn't mean that your own self stigma about what is going on with you will melt away. This is something that comes from therapy, personal medicine, belief that you can break through it, and your support system.
Personal medicine such as exercising, reading a book, and other activities that can show you that you have made progress, are great ways to overcome thinking that you are incapable. Watching a movie, talking to a friend on the phone, and going for a run, are all good distraction methods.
When it comes down to it, you can find that there are many things that people do every day that you can use as a way of combating your mental health disorder. A great way to develop a system for using these personal medicines is by making a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and going through a Common Ground workshop developed by Pat Deegan.