New depression and anxiety treatment goals defined

an achievable goal can make a tremendous difference in a persons approach to treatment and success, said Harding. Professionals and consumers alike need to know that serious mental illness is not necessarily a life-long diagnosis -- a person can recover and enjoy a full and productive life at work and at home, with episodes of illness progressively tapering off.

To promote the recovery process, treatment must focus on the whole person behind the disorder. Beyond determining and using appropriate medications, therapy should address a patients sense of control, self-esteem and self-determination, including re-learning optimism, Harding said. To reclaim a life, patients should seek support from friends and family, on the job, and find ways to build self-sufficiency and contribute to their community.

Integration of medical, psychological and social services is critical to begin and then sustain recovery from mental illness, summarized the roundtables third discussion leader Martha M. Manning, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface, an account of her own battle with depression. Developing a shared vocabulary of suffering and healing between patients, their doctors, therapists and families can help translate exciting discoveries in science to the recovery of real-life people with a mental illness.

Peer-to-peer education can significantly enhance the message that treatment can be successful, which helps patients with the recovery process, added Manning.

Depression is not a trifling illness. It is very serious and despair is the nature of the beast, said Manning. Talking to someone who lost but then regained his life can help a patient create a baseline, understand recovery and set treatment goals. The patient needs to learn that there is a cause for hope in treatment and that treatment, in fact, helps restore hope.

Manning also noted that the recovery is not a straight, upwards process

Contact: Marion E. Glick
Porter Novelli

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