It makes sense to think that a psychiatric diagnosis would be a life-long health issue. Once depressed, always prone to depression, right?
Well, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that mental health disorders are not permanent. Rather, individuals may recover from mental health disorders, develop additional disorders, or otherwise experience varying degrees of mental health disorders over the course of their lives. And, as a person’s mental health ebbs and flows, so too should their treatment program.
In fact, based on the results of this study, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has called for a change in the way healthcare professionals treat those suffering from a wide range of mental health disorders.
This long-term study, which was conducted over the course of decades, was performed in New Zealand and tracked the mental health conditions of more than 1,000 individuals, aged 11 to 45. Disorders were categorized as either internalizing (ADHD, conduct disorder, substance dependence), internalizing (depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD), or thought disorders (mania, schizophrenia, OCD).
The results of the study showed that 33% of the participants experienced at least one mental health disorder by the age of 15, and 86% of those participants developed a secondary disorder before the age of 45. The takeaway is that those who had developed a mental health disorder by the time they turned 15 were at a higher risk for developing another disorder in the future.
Researchers did not find a correlation between the category of the first and future mental health disorders—in fact, the study showed that most people’s disorders fell into multiple categories, from internalizing to externalizing to thought disorders.
This study comes off the heels of a similar study performed in Denmark between 2000 and 2016, again, proving that most mentally ill individuals will not experience just one mental health disorder over the course of their lives.
Why does this information matter? Well, the medication you may have been prescribed a decade ago may not be appropriate for your evolving condition anymore. And that’s a big deal. If you feel like your mental health condition is less under control than it has been in the past…you might be right. In fact, you may have developed a new condition altogether.
Talk to your mental healthcare provider if you feel that your mental health is less stable than usual, or if you have noticed new symptoms. Our ketamine clinic is also happy to offer a free consultation to determine whether you are a candidate for ketamine infusions.
Ketamine infusions are 70% effective for a multitude of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, just to name a few.
Request a free consultation at Tahoe Ketamine today.
Dr. Wes Irwin is the founder and medical director at Tahoe Ketamine.