I spent days thinking about this…
One of my followers emailed me after reading my post “Living with Mental Illness.” He asked 2 questions. I will attempt to answer one of these tonight.
Fred Kat: “Do you think the condition (mental illness) is reversible?”
As someone who is diagnosed with mental illness, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and works full-time in the mental health field, this question is seriously loaded and not easy to answer.
My answer: No.
Mental disorders a lot of the time make actual physical, chemical, and anatomical changes to the nervous system. Also, all our brains are continuously changing. Our neurons are making new connections. Repairing others. Destroying useless ones. A never-ending affair.
Likewise, we are continuously changing moment to moment. We are the sum of all our experiences. Good or bad.
So I would never use the word “reversible.” I don’t think anything is truly reversible.
Even if you don’t consciously remember something, you do somewhere. Somewhere in you physically, mentally, and/or emotionally remembers. You cannot “reverse” it.
But Nikki, what about curing mental illness? Do you believe that is possible?
But there is hope…
Just as nothing is reversible in this universe, nothing is permanent either. Change is the only constant.
Is there hope that things will get better? Yes.
Is there hope that you won’t always feel this low or this high or this out of control? Of course.
Can you learn tools, skills, and techniques to help yourself and keep yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally well? Absolutely!
Is that a cure? No.
But is it enough? Is it worth it to keep fighting? Is hope for the future worth the heartache, disappointment, and stress we experience each and every day?
I have seen true powerful transformations in my life.
I have seen people who have hit rock bottom. Go from owning a home to homelessness. Have nothing but change in the bank and own only whatever they carry. I have known people who could not figure out what was real or not, their perception of reality being that skewed.
And I’ve witnessed these same people turn their lives around. Some of these people are now holding jobs, are housed. Have had their children returned to them. Many of them are now supporting others on their road to recovery.
So yes, there is hope because the possibilities for our wellness and recovery are endless.
Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.