ANSWERING YOUR MENTAL ILLNESS QUESTIONS
Answers to Mental Illness Questions You've Been Too Afraid to Ask
There are no "dumb" questions when it comes to , says Joe Parks, M.D., senior medical advisor to the National Council for Behavioral Health. Here, he addressesWHreaders' concerns.
Q: Can I pass my mental illness on to my kids?
A:Mental disorders are a complex combination of nature and nurture. Genes play a role, but children can also pick up behaviors from you that may increase their risk. The best way to protect your family is to get treatment for yourself.
RELATED: Being a Woman Puts You at Higher Risk for These 5 Mental Disorders
Q: Will I get progressively worse or, if I get better, relapse?
A:Untreated, people do tend to get worse. But with the right care, full recovery is possible—even in severe cases. You might hit bumps along the way (about half of people diagnosed with depression will relapse, for example), so call your doctor the second you're worried. The sooner you get help, the more effective it will be.
Q: Is medication really just masking my symptoms?
A:Medications for mental illness function the same way as, say, blood pressure meds do: by stopping symptoms. And you wouldn't necessarily say those drugs are "masking" hypertension. For unknown reasons, some people's mental disorders will come back after tapering off drugs, while others may never appear again.
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