Expect More, Not Less

I hate the message in this article. It was written by a therapist, and reviewed by a doctor, and yet still published…twice.


The article is meant to convey why people resist care and medication for mental health conditions. It states the following as reasons why someone might resist mental health care:

The implications for the future are also painful and involved:

  • Grieving the loss of some of their dreams and the ability to have normal lives
  • Lowering their expectations for what they will have in their lives
  • Reducing symptoms, and thus seeing the limitations of their lives, can be more painful than being lost in psychosis.

If I thought for a moment that by accepting the need for help, and treatment, I would be given the message that a “normal” life is impossible, then heck I’d probably want to avoid that too. Likewise, why would ANYONE lower their expectations for what they will ‘have’ because of their condition, if they are in fact seeking treatment? Lastly, if you reduce someone’s symptoms you are bringing about relief, so I don’t comprehend how you could make the argument that reducing symptoms would lead to an instant recognition of limitations on one’s life! If you improve well-being, you lessen suffering, and I assure you that is far more preferable than living in a manic or depressive state. None of these statements add up, if your health care pro has their head on straight.

Treatment should mean your future goals are more possible, and your expectations should be that of restored health and wellness, as much as is humanly possible. I should hope anyone who is experiencing less than a functional state of wellness would keep striving for more, working with their doctor, and researching options. Don’t eat up this message of hopelessness that is so often circulated.

I for one feel like what I ‘have’ in my life has only become more meaningful over time, as I worked my way towards stability and happiness. Similarly, my expectations for a (continued) bright future are more certain with everyday that passes because every day I make choices that improve my chances for lasting wellness. I for one advocate a message to others that they should expect recovery, and not listen to bullshit like this that demands we fill our already fragile egos with attitudes chock-full of boundaries and barriers. That’s stigma talking, and it’s coming from physicians in this particular bit of “writing.”

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