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Mental illness is a medical illness. A person does not simply “get over” mental illness without some form of treatment. Mental illness is generally a lifelong, chronic medical illness that needs consistent treatment. Generally, treatment involves a combination of medication, therapy, behavior modification, lifestyle changes. Treatment plans should be individualized based on specific individualized needs.
Though medications can often aid in the treatment of mental illness, it is unlikely that taking medication as the sole form of treatment will be effective in “getting over” or stabilizing one’s mental illness. Professionals generally recommend therapy along with medications to manage mental illness most effectively.
People who suffer the mental illness of severe depression may put pressure on themselves to just “get over” return to active participation again, but like other mental illnesses, it takes therapy and sometimes medication to stabilize.
By itself, exercise is unlikely to control many types of mental illness. Many health care professionals think that physical exercise has a positive effect on depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, though all caution that more clinical research must be done on the subject. There does seem to be a large section of the medical community that believes physical exercise, in conjunction with therapy and prescription medication, is very beneficial to persons living with mental illnesses, as it is for all people.
Chronic is defined as, “lasting for a long period of time or marked by frequent recurrence” or “of long duration; continuing.” Many, if not most, mental illnesses could be categorized as chronic in that the individual living with a certain mental illness will never “get over” that illness. But this is not to say that many symptoms of various mental illnesses cannot be largely alleviated through treatment. If treated correctly, many mental illnesses will have a minimal impact on those living with them.
Physical well-being can greatly affect mental well-being and alleviating certain types of physical distress can improve a person’s mental health. Mental illnesses are by definition, medical illnesses. The feelings, thoughts, hallucinations, and fears that a person with mental illness might experience are not imagined. They are very real to the person.
A good place to start looking for information about suicide prevention is at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) at www.sprc.org or by telephone at 877-438-7772. Another resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or by telephone at 800-273-8255. Also check out the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) at www.afsp.org or by telephone at 888-333-AFSP.
For you convenience, before your first appointment with HealthPath, please fill out online or download and print forms prior your initial evaluation to save time.