Does a person diagnosed with a mental condition (depression, ADHD, OCD) always have this condition? Can it be cured or only treated?
I discussed this a few days ago with a mental health therapist. She was explaining the difference between a mental health therapist and a behavioral health therapists. In her line of work, she deals with young people diagnosed with conditions such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, and ODD. A behavioral therapist helps patients deal with the behaviors that occur from these conditions, but it does not cure the condition itself.
So the question is, when a person learns to manage their behaviors through medication and/or therapy, does the condition ever leave?
For example, a person with ADD may work very hard with treatment and get to the point where they no longer need therapy or medication, but does that mean they are no longer diagnosed with ADD?
This question made me think about my own mental health. I am not diagnosed with any mental health conditions, but through my life I have struggled with depression and anxiety. When I was a teenager, I struggled with depression off and on because of things that happened in my past. I would replay painful experiences over and over in my mind and relive the feelings. Back then, I didn’t know how to turn the thoughts off, so I would sink down deeper.
Anxiety causes my mind to be restless and filled with worried, fearful thoughts. Physically, it is hard for me to rest, sleep and sometimes eat when I’m feeling pressured. I know that anxiety, depression, and alcoholism runs on both sides of my family. Before I understood it, I would fall into the same negative behavior patterns-shutting down, panicking over situations, and drinking too much trying to cover up my emotions.
Through the years, I’ve started to understand what causes my anxiety/depression and how it affects my moods and decisions. I’ve taken steps towards overcoming my anxious behaviors as best I can. I’m learning to stop using alcohol as a coping device and work through my emotions in a healthy way. I try to keep my mind body and spirit filled with peace and positivity through prayer, worship and study, yoga, and music. I spend a lot of time in nature praying and meditating. I also try to be as physically active as possible to help the restlessness. My creative outlets- dance, music, and writing are really what keep me sane. These are not just things I enjoy but things I need in order to keep myself balanced and away from negative habits. I know my stress triggers and when I feel myself becoming overwhelmed, I try to step back and do what I need to do to re-balance myself.
In response to the question earlier, is the anxiety still there?
Occasionally a long period of time will go by where I feel very calm and peaceful then all of a sudden something will happen that throws me into panic mode or into that dark, heavy haze. Without realizing, I go back to those old behaviors-moving so fast that I can’t remember what I’m doing, drinking too much, and not able to sleep.
I used to be caught off guard when it resurfaced.I would be surprised because I thought I had dealt with the issue so it should be gone. It has taken time, experience, and maturity to understand that you cannot just cure or fix a person’s emotional/mental state. The condition is always there, but it might lay dormant until triggered.
My conclusion, Anxiety will always be a challenge for me because that’s just part of the way I am wired. At times I still have a tendency to worry too much, overthink situations, and stress myself out over small things, but I have learned positive coping devices to manage these behaviors. Anxiety may be a part of me, but I am not defined by it and it does not rule me. I am in control of my thoughts,emotions, and actions. When I hear the voices of negativity whispering to me, I choose not to listen. Instead I filled my mind with positive thoughts, affirmations, and scriptures.