5 Personal Costs of Untreated Mental Health Conditions

5 Personal Costs of Untreated Mental Health Conditions

It’s easy to find an excuse to avoid treatment for a mental health condition, but it is far more difficult to ignore the long-term side-effects of not getting help. 

Living with an untreated mental health condition can have profound effects on the way that you think, feel, and act. Some people are keenly aware of the ways in which their mental health impacts their life and their perception of the world around them, while others may struggle with discerning what is actually a symptom or an effect of a mental health issue. In either case, the consequences of not seeking professional support and treatment can be acutely felt in one’s relationships, professional life, social life, and overall sense of well-being.

It may feel difficult to seek treatment for a mental health condition, as financial costs, time, and the work necessary to achieve results might seem overwhelming. However, considering the costs of not seeking treatment can often help put these challenges in perspective, and help you realise that the long-term benefits of treatment far outweigh short term concerns.

Cost #1: Your Relationships

The value of human connection to our overall wellbeing cannot be understated. One recent study found that having strong social relationships boosts our immune system, and increases our chances of a long life by a whopping 50 percent. Our relationships with others help us feel nurtured, supported, and fulfilled – creating a strong foundation by which we can continue to grow and thrive as individuals.

Mental health conditions can have serious impacts on our ability to form and maintain relationships with others. This can include fear and anxiety around building new relationships, issues with practising healthy communication within existing relationships, difficulty reading and responding to the needs or reactions of others, and experiencing other thoughts or behaviours that can result in social withdrawal and isolation. Seeking treatment for mental health conditions can help you succeed in relationships by assisting you in effectively managing your symptoms and educating loved ones about your needs.

Cost #2: Your Professional Productivity

Professional success is connected to many different aspects of our personality, innate capabilities, and learned skills. Having the confidence, motivation, and ability to organise ourselves to meet the needs of our work are key elements in achieving our full professional potential. Unfortunately, untreated mental health conditions can significantly impact all of these elements and therefore, limit our potential.

When mental health conditions aren’t treated, they can sometimes cause people to shut down and feel unable to work on even the most basic tasks. Over time, this can have significant impacts on people’s ability to move into better positions, earn a stable and adequate income, and retain work. These impacts can result in significant financial losses, with one study finding that those with serious mental health conditions earned 40 percent less than those in good mental health. Seeking treatment can help you identify and mitigate your symptoms through a variety of methods, ultimately allowing you to realise your full professional potential.

Cost #3: Your Physical Health

There is a growing understanding of how physical and mental health are intrinsically linked. While older forms of medicine and ancient wellness practices tend to emphasise the importance of the mind-body connection, modern medicine is in a newer phase of discovery regarding holistic care.Recent studies have revealed definitive links between mental health conditions and chronic physical illnesses. For example, untreated depression has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and arthritis, while those living with schizophrenia tend to experience greater rates of respiratory and heart disease. Additionally, as many mental health conditions can negatively impact sleep habits, the long-term effects of under-sleeping or over-sleeping can also be significantly detrimental to physical health.

Cost #4: Your Life

Studies have shown a troubling link between suicide and mental health conditions. While depression, substance-abuse, and psychosis are among the leading risk factors for suicide, other mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, and trauma-related conditions are also linked to an increased risk of self-harm.

Early medical intervention and treatment of mental health conditions has significant positive impacts on reducing the risk of suicide. Advances in mental health treatment and the development of new treatment models have improved the effectiveness of care for mental health disorders and opened up opportunities for a better quality of life.

Cost #5: Your Overall Outlook

Part of our ability to appreciate life comes from our capacity to handle the challenges that are thrown our way. Resiliency builds a strong foundation for a positive outlook; when we are confident that we can survive our darkest moments, we can allow ourselves to fully appreciate and revel in the joys that life also brings. 

Mental health disorders can erode our ability to manage stress and hardship, prolonging our struggles and making it more difficult to enjoy the good times, let alone tolerate the bad. Anxiety, depression, irritability, and fatigue are common symptoms that can have profound impacts on the way we perceive our day-to-day lives. Understanding your mental health issue and learning coping mechanisms to help build resiliency and deal with life’s stresses can help you regain an appreciation and zest for life.

Treatment for Mental Health Disorders

Growing awareness and understanding of mental health conditions within the medical community as well as the general public has resulted in a diversity of options for treatment. The landscape of mental health treatment looks far different than it did even 10 years ago, and healing opportunities are available for nearly every income level, family or work situation, and personal preference. Speaking with a mental health professional can help you better understand the options that are available to you, and begin to think through which may be best suited for your unique needs and requirements.

Honouring Your Worth with Mental Health Treatment at The Dawn 

Honouring Your Worth with Mental Health Treatment at The Dawn

The Dawn Wellness Centre and Rehab is a mental health retreat in Thailand that fosters an environment of personal growth and healing for people who want to change their lives and overcome addiction or mental health issues. Internationally accredited by the American Accreditation Commission International (AACI) and nationally licenced by the Thai Ministry of Health, The Dawn offers customised treatment plans that cater to each individual’s needs by using a comprehensive, holistic treatment method and modern techniques with proven results.

Seeking a Mental Health Retreat in Thailand

At The Dawn, our specialty areas for treatment include:

Our clinical team has created a unique programme which uses a mix of the latest psychotherapeutic techniques, TMS therapy and scientifically-proven wellness practices to ensure complete, sustainable healing. At The Dawn, we’ll work closely with you to identify and address the root causes of your mental health concerns and learn healthy coping skills.

If you’re needing some support managing your mental health condition, call The Dawn today to learn more about how we can help you move forward.

About the Author

John A. Smith is a Senior Psychotherapist at The Dawn and an internationally accredited Addiction Treatment Professional (ISSUP), Certified Life and NLP Coach. He is highly experienced in working with young adults and utilises a range of evidence-based therapies, including SMART Recovery, to help his clients achieve their goals.