Dear Mr. Psych

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 Dear Mr. Psych,

  1. I would like to know, what are the mental Illnesses that are curable and the ones that aren’t?

 

This is a good question and difficult to answer. It starts with the question what is a mental illness! Currently there is a tendency to differentiate in major and minor mental disorders .The major disorders are mainly those that involve psychosis (delusions, hallucinating) like schizophrenia and some forms of mood disorder and some of those that tend to have these symptoms.

Specifically, the major mental disorders have a more long term course and can be compared with many other long term diseases like diabetes and asthma which require long term or lifelong treatment. The disease is not cured in the literal sense but the symptoms can be managed with medication and life style interventions. With proper treatment most disorders can be well treated also that involve psychosis. Of course there are subgroups of patient that have a specific severe type and course of a disorder

 

  1. My big son is saying he is going to go away to the US to meet rapper Jay-Z. My son is a schizophrenic and one of the voices he believes he hears is that of Jay-Z and he plans on going to meet him in person to tell him to stop harassing him.  While he has been using his medication and his situation has gotten a lot better now I still wonder what to do. Is it healthy that I leave him with these ideas or should I truly sit with him to convince him otherwise?

  As you probably already found out he will not be convinced by you! It is a delicate balance between not agreeing with the ideas of your son (which I suppose you don’t) and actively opposing it. This last stand will usually only lead to tensions.

The best thing might be to be clear about the fact that you don’t agree with his ideas and plans to fly to the USA but make clear that you accept him as a person and show this. Be consistent on this stand.

 

 

  1. My husband and I are going through a divorce and I would like to know what impact this could have on the mental health of our 8 year-old daughter and 6 year-old son. Could any disorder arise from this? Thank you.

 

First of all nobody chooses for a divorce so usually all kind of reasons lead up to this decision. Often children already have a premonition that things are not going well between their parents, so in a way they are not surprised.

This leads to one of the most important things: being fair and straight towards your children. Don’t divulge to them the tensions or fighting between you and your partner but also don’t hide or deny the fact that it exists at times.

Divorce as such does not lead disorders.

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