Many people who suffer from mental disorders never seek help right away.
They wait for their symptoms to dissipate themselves, and hope for the best instead of talking to a trained mental health professional.
There are many obstacles to getting mental health help. It might be the stigma associated with seeking help, lack of access to a therapist near you, or you simply don’t have the time to schedule therapy sessions.
While you may be okay with staying untreated, you should know that there are some very severe consequences of that decision that may not just affect you but also the people around you.
Here are five consequences of untreated mental disorders that can’t be ignored.
1. Worsening symptoms
Just like in physical health where not seeing a doctor for your cold makes the cold worsen, mental health issues worsen as time goes by.
The problem with mental health issues is that their symptoms are not as visible as those of physical diseases like flu. There are no physical scars or rashes to tell you and those around you that you are getting sicker. Your mental wellbeing deteriorates without you noticing until you reach a point where you can barely function normally in your everyday duties.
The best way to prevent the worsening of your symptoms is by scheduling some sessions with a therapist. If your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to attend regular therapy, consider signing up for e-therapy which is more convenient than traditional therapy.
2. Untreated mental disorder affect other medical conditions too
As the symptoms for your mental condition become worse over time, it starts affecting other areas of your overall health as well.
For example, unchecked eating disorders often lead to intense malnutrition that could need hospitalization. Also, unchecked stress almost always leads to depression which is much worse and requires more effort to treat.
The best way to deal with mental disorders is by seeking counseling or therapy as soon as possible since the more you wait, the higher the chances of your disorder escalating into something much much worse.
3. Increased stigma
Most victims of mental illnesses suffer from stigma.
Nobody likes to feel bad or ashamed about their illness, and in the early stages of a mental condition, people are usually able to handle the stigma that comes. However, the longer you wait to seek counseling, the more the stigma piles up and you start feeling different compared to those around you.
As the stigma worsens, you start detaching yourself from those closest to and you may even shut people out completely. This is often a problem for the people that depend on you since your feelings of stigma create distance between you and them. This distance causes too much strain on your relationship and not all relationships can recover from it.
4. An inability to function well
Most mental disorders such as stress usually affect how we operate in our day-to-day lives. However, many people can still operate as usual even while living with mental illnesses. However, the human body can only handle so much stress until it starts fighting back. You start developing anxiety, mood swings make it hard for you to work with other people and sooner or later, your mental illness starts affecting the people closest to you, especially your coworkers and family.
Don’t allow your condition to make life harder for you and your loved ones. Seeking treatment as soon as you realize you have a mental illness is the best way to regain balance in your life.
5. Waiting increases the risk of personal harm and suicide
Many people think that suicide is just an anomaly in behavior that cannot affect them.
However, most mental disorders eventually lead to extreme thoughts of personal harms that stem from hopelessness, and depression. Although not everyone reaches a point of experiencing suicidal thoughts, the risk of the thoughts occurring increases the longer you wait to seek professional help. In addition, the risk that you will also act on these dark thoughts increases quickly during the late stages of most mental disorders.