The big message for those who struggle with long-standing mental health issues is don’t give up

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In the 1980s I loved the song Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush:  “Don’t give up, ‘cause you have friends; don’t give up you’re not beaten yet; don’t give up, I know you can make it good.”

More than 30 years later, I still hum it to myself regularly.

If you are someone who suffers from a long-standing mental health issue, you likely have tried (or been forced to try) many types of treatment. Many levels of care: residential, inpatient, day treatment, IOP. You may have worked with the same therapist for years or have moved around trying to locate someone who “gets” you.  You may even have been asked to leave treatment because you were not showing improvement.

There is no consensus treatment for individuals who have suffered for a long time.

So what does this mean for you?

If you are a therapist, it means that you should not give up trying to find something that will help, something that will enable your patient to have hope and to continue to work to make changes.  Fight for recovery and expect your patients to get better. It may mean referring the patient for a second opinion or to get consultation from an expert in the field to see if you might be missing something in your case conceptualization.

If you are a client, it means that you shouldn’t give up asking questions: What is your therapist’s plan for how you will make changes? What is the plan if this current treatment course does not work? When is it time to shift gears to a new treatment? When is it time for a higher level of care? When is it time to get a consultation from another professional?

And what this means above all is don’t give up.


About the Author:

Dr. Lucene Wisniewski is an internationally recognized leader in eating disorder treatment and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, with more than 25 years of clinical and training experience. She may be reached for consultation through the "contact" page on this website.