Suffering from a psychological disorder like depression, OCD or dementia could adversely affect your thought processes, preventing you from thinking and reasoning in the same way as a normal and healthy individual. “Research has suggested that processing speed — the ability to take in information quickly and efficiently — is impaired in individuals who are depressed,” explains Natascha Santos, PsyD, a psychologist and behavior therapist in Great Neck, N.Y. If you have panic attacks time and again or you feel unduly anxious, then, you’re most likely to have a distorted view of yourself, your illness, and everything directly or indirectly impinging on your wellbeing. You could also end up making mistakes without even realizing that you’ve done so, which could aggravate your suffering.
The following are 10 common mistakes individuals make when plagued with depression, bipolar disorder or any other mental disorder:
Underestimating the problem
Not many people inconvenienced by a mental problem are able to realize that psychological illnesses have a medical basis. Most of the time, such individuals hold themselves responsible for their sufferings and are unable to figure out that they don’t have any control over the majority of the symptoms. They cannot make out up to what extent the problem is impacting their lives and they refrain from seeking professional help as they believe that the illness is just a passing phase.
Not sticking to a treatment plan or program
This is one mistake that over 90% of the patients suffering from mental illnesses make. Once a patient starts responding positively to a treatment plan recommended by the mental health professional, he or she tends to neglect or ignore the program. For instance, it is quite common for such patients to miss a dose or forego a prescheduled psychotherapy session.
Suffering and tolerating in isolation
Most people tend to view depression or anxiety disorder as ailments that are unnatural and hence, they harbor feelings of guilt and remorse. Such individuals feel too embarrassed to discuss their emotions with others as they are apprehensive about being found out. “Only one out of four individuals [with depression] seeks treatment. The reason more don’t go for psychotherapy or medication is stigma. They worry they’ll be labeled, deemed undesirable, and other such things.”, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD. They usually suffer in isolation because of this.
Banking overly on OTC medications or ‘feel good’ drugs
The ready availability of over-the-counter antidepressants, psychotic medications, and tranquilizers implies that many people will keep putting off visiting the medical professional for as long as possible. Self-medication may offer you relief but only temporarily. Using them regularly without consulting a mental health specialist can worsen the condition in the long run. “Antidepressants may be helpful in certain forms of depression, but it is also vital that you delve deep into yourself to get to the psychological and spiritual truths of depression so you can fully heal.”, according to psychiatrist Judith Orloff.
Not opting for the appropriate treatment
Many people keep on shifting from one treatment option to another for tackling depression including intake of antidepressants, trying out electroconvulsive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. But what most people avoid is contacting a certified psychiatrist or psychologist who’ll be able to recommend the appropriate treatment plan for a specific individual.
Not maintaining regular contact with a psychotherapist
Depression is a major psychological disorder which more often than not, is chronic like diabetes or hypertension. So, it follows that a patient should keep in touch with a clinician or medical practitioner on a regular basis to keep his or her condition under control.
Unwillingness to come out of the shell on self-imposed isolation
Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and cognitive behavior therapists all agree that combining an effective medication schedule with a disciplined lifestyle is the best way to get rid of depression.
Giving undue importance to negative thoughts or feelings
It has been observed from experience that an overwhelming majority of people beset with depression are more indisposed to giving undue significance to negative feelings or suicidal thoughts which aggravates the problems.
Not taking time out to unwind and relax
Not seeking time out to amuse or entertain yourself will keep you wallowed in depressive thoughts.
Not heeding what the psychiatrist or psychotherapist has prescribed
There’s a scientific basis behind your psychiatrist or psychotherapist prescribing a specific course of treatment for you and if you do not follow it in letter and spirit, then, you cannot expect recovery.
Depression is an illness for which several effective treatment alternatives are available nowadays. These treatments can at least help you to control your depression triggers and you steer clear of the above mistakes that most people tend to commit.