When you’re at your lowest point, it’s hard to imagine ever feeling better. Sometimes you might not even remember what life was like before you started experiencing the signs of mental illness. It’s easy to feel hopeless and wonder: “Am I just going to feel this way forever?”
People’s experiences vary. Some struggle for a little while and then never experience symptoms of mental illness again. Others struggle off and on throughout their lives. Some people fight a near constant battle with mental illness. There’s really no way to tell which of these will be you. All you can do is focus on how to address the symptoms you’re experiencing now.
Treatment and self-help
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for mental illness—no way to guarantee that it will never come back. But there are many effective treatments, including many things you can do to improve your mental health on your own. Many people are able to find a combination of treatments and coping skills that allow them to live in recovery.
If you have some doubts about seeking treatment, that’s okay. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable opening up to other people about your mental illness. You can start by reading more articles on this site and others, learning more about mental illness. Find someone you trust who you can talk to. But don’t wait for mental illness to go away on its own. It’s more likely to only get worse without some kind of intervention.
Just as mental illness affects everyone in a slightly different way, each person’s recovery is unique. Some people are able to eliminate their symptoms completely. More commonly, people are able to reduce their symptoms to a manageable level. They are able to keep mental illness from controlling their lives.
Many people even get to a point where they feel grateful for what they’ve learned by living with and recovering from a mental illness. It’s okay if you never get to that point—it’s okay to just accept it, and do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
Recovery from mental illness can be a long process and it can be hard work… But it’s worth it!