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Independent expert answers
on psychiatry and psychology

No Man is an Island - Is No Treatment an Option for Me?

Abstract: What happens if no treatment is started for psychiatric disorders?

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No Man is an Island - Is No Treatment an Option for Me?

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info


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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 23 Aug 2008.

Is no treatment an option for me? Do I really need professional care? Is "No man is an island" a recommended view regarding treatment of psychological problems?

Answer:

As a matter of fact most people with psychological problems or psychiatric disorders do not seek professional help. Even if their mental health problems causes very severe impairments to their quality of life (including family life and relationship, education or work) they tend to avoid professional help. A lot of people have additional fears concerning a pharmacotherapy option.

There are a lot of options of self-help or self-care that might show a great benefit for the patient! More info . But for most disorders this will not solve the client's problem.

The natural course of most psychiatric disorders shows different phases with times with less impairments or better adapting to the environment. Some depressive disorders have recurrent phases (bipolar disorder, recurrent depressive disorder, schizoaffective disorders).

Since most disorders have a biological vulnerability but are strongly influenced by environmental stress or the individual problems in life it is obvious that a person might hope that the problems and impairments will change for better after quitting a job or any other major change in life. For some people this is an appropriate option.

But most disorders (espec. anxiety disorders) will cause more impairments on the long-run because of dysfunctional adaption to the acute impairments. People with anxiety will try to avoid their fears and situations that might be associated with the onset or presentation of their anxiety symptoms. After a while more and more areas in life will be included so the quality of life is highly reduced. Additional anticipatory anxiety (fears to have another anxiety attack) might also cause additional stress.

Some people use illegal drugs, chronic use of sleeping pills (benzodiazepines) or alcohol to get a short-term reduction of their anxiety or psychological distress. This helps for a very short period but will cause more severe problems including additiction problems on the long-run.

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