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Is Self-Care/Self-Help Suitable Alternative Medicine?

Abstract: Is self-care/self-help a suitable treatment in mental diseases? Yes, self-care is the most common and most important kind of treatment of psychological problems.

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Is Self-Care/Self-Help Suitable Alternative Medicine?

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

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Written by: Fabio Piccini, doctor and Jungian psychotherapist, in charge of the "Centre for Eating Disorders Therapy" at "Malatesta Novello" nursing home in Cesena. Works privately in Rimini and Chiavari. E-mail:

First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Aug 2008.

Is self-care/self-help a suitable treatment in mental diseases? Is this an alternative medicine you would recommend?


Self-care (also called self-help) is probably the most important type of care.

Most mental disorders affect people who have difficulty in coping with life’s challenges..

It has been widely demonstrated that some people can preserve their mental health more effectively by developing special abilities to cope with stress.

Coping abilities appear to relate largely to one’s early life experience, and attempts to provide people with more ability to cope with stress by teaching them specific strategies (like assertiveness training or life skills training) have never been demonstrated as being effective in reducing the incidence of mental disorders in a population.

But, it does appear that people can be taught how to cope with specific problems if they are offered help soon after the problem has developed (the sooner, the better).

For example, counseling and support offered by other people who have faced similar problems (self-help groups), with or without the supervision of professional therapists, can help some people to cope with bereavement, eating disorders, port-traumatic stress disorders, disabling diseases and many other mental disorders.

Self-help groups provide emotional support and help people in building skills which they can use to adapt more successfully to their life challenges.

Also reading self-help books can be useful in many cases.

Self-help can be the first choice in the treatment of mild emotional disturbance, and self-help groups are often offered by mutual aid societies and groups, as well as by many health services.

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