What is the cure for mental illness?

by | Mar 11, 2013 | Health

Very rarely do you hear of a “cure” for mental illness; however, there are treatments for such conditions as depression, bipolar disorder ADHD, etc. Most of the treatments used for mental health problems work well, but to varying degrees based on the individual. Many people who seek mental health treatment find that it takes an inordinately long time before finding a treatment that works. Finding the correct medication can be a long drawn-out process, as can finding a therapist that you feel comfortable with.

Once you have found a therapist, you will not hear the word cure. The assumption is that cures are for physical diseases. Give the patient a shot, a few pills and “viola,” all better. The treatment of a mental illness is different; it very rarely results in a cure as we tend to think of it. What psychiatric care does is making the patient feel better, get better and eventually reaching the point where treatment can cease. Even then, the doctor will rarely say that the patient has been cured.

Why is this?
There is a tendency not to consider a mental disorder cured as it recurs far more often than any other illness. A person who has a serious bout of depression can be depressed again. This is not true with most physical ailments, if you break your arm, it will heal and unless you break it once more, it will not recur.

Depression, on the other hand, knows no boundaries. Like most mental illnesses, it comes and goes as it pleases, even after one episode has been treated. There appears to be little reasoning to when mental illness will strike. Mental health professionals cannot predict when an illness will strike or how bad it will be.

Although it is true that there is not a cure for mental illness, there are certain illnesses that respond better to treatment than others. There are many treatments, for example for ADHD that will minimize the effect of the disorder on the person’s life. That cannot be called a cure, but rather a treatment that has long-lasting effects.

People in the mental health field have a term for the non-recurrence of mental illness; they say that the disease is “in remission.” Even though the patient has the mental illness under control, no one will come out and categorically state that the disease has been cured.

Professionals cannot lie to their patients, they cannot tell a patient who suffers from depression or anxiety or any other mental disorder that they can be cured. In every instance of mental disease, the treatment takes a long time, a lot of effort on the part of many people and often, a lot of money. It may take months to feel better, but you will never be cured.

Mental health care is the forte of the professionals who work at University Behavioral Health, Denton. The facility specializes in mental health concerns and substance abuse.

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