Mental Illness; Not an Isolated Incident
Some people are under the mistaken impression that mental illness takes the form of an isolated incident, and once it is detected, it can be switched off. If only this were the case, many people would have suffered much less. Alas, mental illness is a lifelong, permanent condition that can be managed but never completely eradicated. Depending on the type of mental illness, the person who has it may have to be on medication for life and work against the mental illness daily, or it may be much less severe and they are able to reason their way out of their mental illness symptoms when they arise. Regardless, the symptoms will be reoccurring throughout the person’s entire lifetime. Often, mental illness becomes less severe as the person ages because their body chemistry becomes more level over time. But the mental illness will always be present in some form, and the level of success a person has in managing it will be up to them.
Mental illnesses tend to affect people in a cyclical manner, meaning their symptoms rise and fall over time, and their symptoms are affected by life circumstances and the person’s physical health. Sometimes, the person will be experiencing no symptoms at all. People with mental illnesses can go through periods of feeling totally level and balanced. Sadly, this is not permanent, as chemical brain patterns, thoughts and behaviors of the mental illness will return eventually. This does not mean that the person needs to break into episodes again and again. Many people successfully learn to identify the onset of their episodes and use coping mechanisms to manage them or reverse them. It is impossible to feel no affects at all of a mental illness, but with practice and dedication, a person can become fairly proficient at managing their mental illness.
If a person makes the choice not to manage their symptoms, however, their life and the lives of those they are close to will be considerably more difficult. Their episodes will take them by surprise and they will fall into their mentally unhealthy patterns again and again. Their emotions will be out of control and their ability to cope will be low. As they age, they will likely feel some relief as their body chemistry evens out, but the conscious decision to manage mental illness symptoms can truly go a long way for a person.