February 11, 2011

“Simply put, treatment works, if you can get it. But in America today, it is clear that many people living with mental illness are not provided with the essential treatment they need.” —Michael Fitzpatrick, executive director of NAMI National, National Alliance on Mental Illness

This quote makes me a little uneasy. It’s straight-forward enough, and basically true. Treatment can help. Recovery is very possible. Also, a lot of people who want to be in treatment aren’t able to be.

But I feel like he’s over simplifying too the point that it is now misleading. He makes it sound as if one or two simple things will bring you back to normal mental health, but in reality it’s a lot of hard work. Conventional treatment has many, many patients who they call ‘treatment resistant’, and many who have had to blaze their own trail to recovery. I know people who feel they’ve recovered ‘in spite of’ the help they’ve gotten in ‘the system.’ Where do these people fit into this statement?

I know there are many of people who indeed have benefited from conventional treatment, and that is something to be celebrated. But I want to remind you that not every method works all the time, and all methods work some of the time.



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