Katherine: The outcomes are so much better when we're regarded as a person as opposed to an illness. I think it's really important that they take the time to educate you, you know educated patients are better patients. They are more active if they understand what the treatment is. I think that they should recognize your life goals. Too many times when we become ill it becomes a before mental illness and an after mental illness as if nothing that we had, we wanted, desired before the mental illness counts anymore.
We want to be recognized as persons with dreams and hopes that we're suddenly facing challenges and so I would definitely advise someone to look for a treatment provider that is interested in your goals and helps you-- treats you to achieve those goals, because when we're treated to recovery we have to be stable. Most healthcare providers treat us to reach stability. That's where their endpoint is. To manage the deficits, manage the relapses, minimize the symptoms. They don't treat us to reach recovery.
Being able to pursue those life goals is really a great motivation for us to work as hard as we can to get well. Treatment outcomes are just better and we are a more cooperative patient. We listen to our doctors more, we're more compliant. The outcomes are so much better when we're regarded as a person as opposed to an illness. That's key in primary for me and shared decision-making is absolutely critical to me. That goes with educating us on different options and choices and letting us make those decisions because a person with mental illness really has to assume responsibility for that illness. It's something that we do. It's not something that people can do for us or people can make us take to get better.
We have to be really motivated to put that work in because it's a lot of work to get better. We need to be provided with that environment that nurtures that and encourages that. I think that's what I really would like to see more patients having and what would have helped me earlier on in my treatment.
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