In Blog, Mental Health

The iconic 19th-century author, George Eliot, famously said, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” Going along with this same sentiment, it is also never too late to seek mental health or addiction treatment. 

When someone is struggling with issues of mental health or substance use, it can feel like they have fallen into a deep hole and they don’t have the means to climb out. This is the hopeless nature of mental illness. Moreover, this hopelessness can progress to the point where a person feels like they lack any chance of recovery. We here at The Phoenix Recovery Center want everyone to know that there is always a right time to seek treatment. There is always hope. For those individuals that feel like they are stuck in that hole, we have the rope to help them climb their way out.

Understanding the Stages of Mental Illness

Sometimes, people who have been struggling with mental illness for a prolonged period of time feel like it is too late to seek treatment. Often these are the people who are in the last stage of mental illness; the stage that is the most severe. It often triggers the most severe symptoms and leads to feelings of hopelessness. However, as hopeless as this stage may feel, it is still the right time to seek treatment. 

If mental illness is present, any time is the right time to seek treatment. Of course, there are more opportune times to seek treatment. These times exist in the early stages of mental illness, of which there are four. The four stages of mental illness include the:

  • Warning sign/early symptom stage
  • Regularly symptomatic stage
  • Recurring symptomatic stage
  • Severe symptomatic stage

These stages progress in a general way in which they match their categorization; from the mildest symptoms to the most dangerous symptoms. This progression also represents the ideal time to seek treatment. Ultimately, it is better to seek treatment during the first stage of mental illness because there is a better chance of ceasing the progression of symptoms before they begin to interfere with one’s life.

Why It Is Never Too Late to Seek Treatment

George Eliot also once said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” The same can be said about addressing the stages of mental illness by utilizing the stages of recovery. Recovery is not an overnight act; rather it is a long-term treatment process. In the words of Eliot, treatment is “a series of small things brought together” until eventually achieving long-term recovery.

Now, recovery may be more or less extensive depending on the type of disorder and the stage of mental illness that it is in, but there are always recovery options regardless. Again, it cannot be overstated that it is never too late to seek treatment. Recovery programs exist both at the most comprehensive levels to the most “hands-off” forms of community recovery. The key is finding the right program for the right person.

For individuals that need the most attention, the best option is most likely going to be a residential/intensive inpatient program. In residential treatment, an individual can be closely monitored and cared for until they are more able to do so for themselves. For those that need direct attention, but still have a reasonable capacity to function in their everyday lives, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) may be the best choice. This allows an individual to stay immersed in their day-to-day lives while also getting the professional care that they need.

Helping a Loved One Seek Treatment

12-Step philosophy often refers to addiction as “a family disease.” Most professionals in the recovery field now agree that this applies to mental illness as well. That is why when an individual is struggling, most likely the entire family is struggling as well. For this reason, helping a loved one seek treatment for mental illness sooner than later can be crucial for the entire family to heal. The best way to make this happen is to reach out for professional help. A mental health specialist or a well-regarded recovery center can help a family find the right treatment program that fits both the individual’s and the family’s needs. The key to starting this process is to first reach out for help. 

The Mission of Recovery at the Phoenix Recovery Center

Back to the wise words of Mr. Eliot, who once said “The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.” For individuals needing help with their mental illness, the right choice is to first make a choice. Ultimately, the choice is to get well or otherwise continue to let the controls of mental illness dictate one’s life. Here at the Phoenix Recovery Center, we know which choice is the right one, and we can help anyone make that choice as well. For more information on the stages of mental health and treatment options, call The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185.

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