We have long observed how people who are not mentally ill wonder and question what the experience of a disorder is, and what makes the desired improvement in people who are mentally ill so complicated.

Therefore, we are going to give three brushstrokes about the difficulties that patients encounter when they have to assume that they have a mental illness .

First, being aware of mental illness is a challenge

At first, when someone suddenly suffers psychological symptoms (usual in panic attacks, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress), they go through a stage of psychological and emotional shock in which some confusion appears.

During this period, the person will understand exactly what is happening to him or her.

Let us not forget that these illnesses are not and do not have to be chronic , there are many treatments that considerably improve the quality of life of people with mental disorders.

The feeling of rejection or social discrimination can also be a big obstacle

When I mention “feeling”, I do not mean that the person is making it up, but that he is living it as real, and this is important to hear. Obviously, if the rejection is tacit, the complications are aggravated and much more.

Any person with mental illness deserves support and love, because disorders represent difficulties and do not make someone worse or better, that is already taken care of by people, not by illnesses.

Living with the feeling of not deserving anything better for who they are

“Because I’m so nervous, I’ll never work on what I’m passionate about”, “he left me because I’m isolated, I don’t deserve to be loved”, “I don’t think I’ll be able to do anything in life”.

These thoughts appear many times because “who I am” is often confused with “what is wrong with me”. I put a lot of emphasis on this in the first few sessions because it makes the difference between working on internal problems and getting your life back, or trying to change the person to do things better. If someone tries to change himself or herself, he or she will inevitably fight back, greatly increasing unnecessary suffering.

Bibliographic references:

  • Cabanyes, J., Monge, B.A. (2010) Mental health and care.
  • Myers, J.E.; Sweeny, T.J.; Witmer, J.M. (2000). “The wheel of wellness counseling for wellness: A holistic model for treatment planning. Journal of Counseling and Development (tr. es. “The wheel of wellness counseling”)”. Journal of Counseling and Development.
  • Public Health and Health Education (2001). “Ottawa Charter”.