Mental Illness Defined: Part Two

When someone suffers from ailments like diabetes, for example, it is generally accepted that the person with the non-functioning pancreas is not really at fault. For some reason, this same logic has been largely overlooked when it comes to those who suffer from malfunctions of the brain. Why the assumption that this organ should be exempt from ailments, remains a mystery, but there can be little argument that those who suffer from mental illness face a stigma of responsibility for brain chemistry they have virtually no control over.

As River Hills Therapist Jan Walker explained, the stigma surrounding mental illness is beginning to change, but many still face challenges from those around them while they deal with their illness.

Thanks to the latest therapies, folks with a mental illness have more options in today’s mental health field for coping with their disease. Although many forms of mental illness are not “curable,” by learning cognitive behavioral therapy skills, those affected by MI can learn habits and tricks to improve their quality of life within the diagnosed parameters. For example, “bipolar disorder does not go away,” and clinical depression, is often a life diagnosis as well. What therapists teach patients is that this does not mean life is over. It simply means that self-care, therapy, and sometimes medication are essential for more quality of life.

Therapy today involves approaching the whole person; mind, body and spirit. Advancements in some treatments like EMDR. And light therapy have made a significant impact on those patients affected by trauma.

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