Mental Illness is Not a Permanent State

The past few weeks on this blog I’ve discussed the similarities and differences between physical illness and mental illness quite a lot. In this post I wanted to deep dive on this topic, and also explain how just like physical illness, mental illness is not a permanent state.

That last sentence (and, consequently, the title of this blog) might seem a little strange. Don’t worry, I’m not claiming that mental health problems magically go away. Think about things this way: when we have a physical illness, we default assume that the illness is a problem that can be solved. And it’s a correct assumption! We’ve found cures and adequate treatments for many diseases that way, and the ones we haven’t found cures for we still see clear paths towards solutions. So, this seems to be the right way to approach things.

The problem therein lies that mental illness is treated differently. It’s opaque, unclear, magical. Because of that, we don’t default assume it’s a solvable problem. We think you can treat depression, but not cure it. Same with most other mental illnesses. 

But the truth is that mental illness certain can be described this way. For example, certain anxiety disorders have been proven to be cured with exposure therapy, and other mental diseases have been treated significantly with therapies, medicines, or both. It is true that we are very early on in terms of finding the solutions to these problems, but they are out there. Just like physical illness, mental illness is not a permanent state.

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