We’re going to be jumping in with the answer to this question in a couple of tics but, I just want to prepare you.
Because, I really don’t think you’re going to like the answer…
You see, it’s one of those airy-fairy type answers…
Yes many mental illnesses can be cured but there are some which can’t.
However, regardless of which mental illness someone is struggling with, all can improve.
We can develop coping mechanisms/strategies to help us function.
Our brains have neuroplasticity which means we can re-structure the neural pathways and get our brains to act in a different way.
For example, when you’re born you can’t walk, talk or do pretty much anything and as we develop we learn to do new things and our brain wires itself so that we don’t need to keep re-learning the same thing.
Could you imagine waking up every morning and having to learn how to walk again?
If this were the case I doubt us humans would have made it this far!
As we do the same thing over and over, we embed this further into our brain structure.
This is why after a while you don’t need to think about driving and you probably end up going on auto-pilot a lot of the time when you’re travelling the same route (e.g., to and from work).
This is how we develop at a fundamental level.
We take an action, which over time turns into a pattern of behaviour, this then embeds in our minds as the ‘normal’ way of doing things and the more we do it, the more automatic it becomes.
If our brain is structured in a different way (atypically), as is the case with Dyslexia, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, we take actions, embed patterns of behaviour and create auto-pilot ways of doing things which are different to those who’s brains are structured typically.
(I just want to interject here, I personally believe there is no normal (or typical) and we’re all unique but it’s really hard to explain it in a different way.)
But what’s really important, this doesn’t mean someone who has an atypically developed brain cannot do certain things, can’t change the way their brain works or will always be doing things in a certain way.
They absolutely can, they just need to be supported in a different way.
For example, one of my past clients whose son had Autistic Spectrum Disorder which resulted in a developmental delay of between 6 & 7 years (the child was 10, and developmentally between 3 & 4). His school as well as previous professionals had told the parents that he’d never talk because of the ASC. I asked if he had issues with his vocal chords and they said no, I asked if he ever made noises, and they said yes. They also admitted that he could say about 15 words although sometimes they were unintelligible for people outside of the family. Even though he was able to say 15 words, the school and other health professionals said that he’d still never learn to talk. Thankfully, they were open to listening to me and started working on increasing his vocabulary during the parent training sessions. Anyway, long story short -after working together for 12 weeks, he was chunking words together to form simple sentences. In all fairness, after 8 weeks he was saying my name, a word that he had never said before and had never been used in the home before. The only reason this little boy wasn’t able to ‘talk’ was because his diagnosis was used as a blanket state of what he could & couldn’t do, without anyone actually checking!
Someone who has a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS), conduct disorder, borderline personality disorder… any illness which has developed over the course of their lifetime and has a typically structured brain can completely rewire back to before they had the blip.
But, the person who is struggling needs to want to change.
& this most definitely isn’t the case for someone who is a psychopath, sociopath, or narcissist.
In fact, for many people with depression and anxiety, they don’t want to get better either.
OK, so that is a little bit of a controversial statement so let me just clarify this based on science, on a conscious level they want to get better, on subconscious level they want to stay exactly where they are.
& with the subconscious ruling our actions and behaviours (the two things which determine our thoughts about situations), we end up staying in exactly the same place, especially if we try to do it on our own.
You’re forever battling with yourself and have no one to recognise when your subconscious is being super sneaky.
Thankfully, as with all things in life you can cheat.
You can play your subconscious at its own game.
It’s running you based all the things going on inside your head, most of which you can’t even hear.
So, you can change what is being played in your subconscious.
& this is why I love doing hypnotherapy as part of my intensive holistic therapy programme.
Hypnotherapy uses the power of positive suggestions about a belief (& I mean belief as in I’m destined to be poor, I am scared of getting on stage, I will always be depressed…) to flip your subconscious into taking positive actions rather than keeping you trapped.
In fact, self-hypnosis (listening to an MP3, or hypnosis video) has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety in just 28 days (UK college of Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy, 2004).
It is the easiest way to see a positive change to your health and wellness, without doing anything.
You literally press play & allow the words on the MP3 to make you feel better.
Follow the link so that you can wake up every day feeling happier –
There’s 9 hypnosis MP3’s to choose from, covering a wide range of issues:
Have a great rest of your Monday & I’ll be back here tomorrow talking about how mental health affects work.
See you then
x Katie x