Living With A Mental Illness
The word cure is very powerful: to relieve someone of his or her illness. Multiple physical conditions can be cured, but something like a mental illness is not curable. It doesn’t mean that you will experience an illness for your entire life; you may not even experience an illness for longer than 6 months! But we cannot say that your depression is “cured” when we don’t even know what causes depression in the first place.
The truth is that we do not know what causes anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and many more. We have theories based on altered neurotransmitter levels, genetic mutations, malfunctioning receptors and traumatic memories, but we do not have a definitive explanation as to what causes a mental illness.
But just because mental health issues cannot be cured, does not mean that you cannot successfully recover from them. Many people continue to live normal lives after being diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder, OCD, borderline personality disorder, etc.
As of today, the aim is not to cure a mental illness: it’s too treat it and stabilize the patient to the point of achieving remission. Remission means that an illness is under control and a person can live a normal life without being symptomatic. No treatment is perfect, and residual symptoms may linger depending on your personality and severity of the illness.
The hope remains that one day we will have a cure for all mental illnesses. But until then, we must remain positive that the treatments that we do have available are capable of controlling the symptoms brought upon by a mental illness. Many people do obtain symptomatic control with psychiatric medications, psychotherapy, family support and a positive mindset!
Never lose hope in your recovery. There is always help around the corner and The DSM Ready Community is always available for comfort and support!
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)