Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Easy Answer

Another dialectic...

Helping people to recover is one of the key goals working with people who have mental illness. I see patients who have experienced considerable difficulties with depression and anxiety. Some struggle with drug and alcohol use because of their depression and anxiety.

Sometimes people want to find a solution or treatment that will fix everything. Sometimes they want it to be easy. People look to medication, to particular doctors or programs, to alternative therapies to have THE answer. Sometimes I can see that someone will struggle to find the motivation and strength to do what is necessary to recover. Getting better takes hard work, requiring determination and perseverence (thesis).

Those who struggle to recover (and that's most of us isn't it?), can so easily feel that it is their fault that they don't recover, or aren't doing it quickly enough. Is it because I'm not trying hard enough? Is it because I don't have enough faith? What else can I do? Not getting better can be a source of guilt, self-blame, depressed and anxious thoughts. People who are already struggling get sunk by these kinds of self-evaluations (anti-thesis).

We need a synthesis which encompasses a call to perservere and struggle on and a reassurance that suffering is not all our fault. We need to encourage hard work and gracious acceptance.

Sometimes it looks like people will not be up to the task, but they need us patiently preparing for the time when they will be able to summon the strength.

No comments: