Positive psychology - Fighting back mental illness

Positive psychology - Fighting back mental illness

Mental illness is not a flu or sinus problem that can be cured with just few medications. Anxiety disorder, eating disorder, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, etc are some of the examples of mental illness.

In order to help a person struggling with a mental disorder, it's important to focus on the strength of the person rather the mental disorder. Developing positive thinking among the patients act as a great medicine for their illness.


Misconceptions that should be avoided:

  • Mental illness lasts forever:

    A common misconception is that mental illness is not curable and the symptoms last forever. We need to understand that if at all this was correct, and then the medical treatments and therapies would have been of no use. 
  • Only people with very aggressive and violent by nature, have mental illness:

    Studies have found that not all the patients are found to be violent and aggressive. There are also cases where the patient seems to be very normal and happy on the surface, but still have symptoms of mental illness. 
  • Mentally ill people can’t handle relations:

    Relationships aren’t easy, even for normal people. Hence, labeling that a mentally ill person cannot handle relations would be wrong. People with mental illness are in need of strong and supporting relations who would help them gather strength to fight back their mental issues. 
  • Getting over would help:

    Mentally ill people are usually bombarded with positive statements like ‘get over it and think about your future’, ‘you need to move on’, etc. However, we need to understand that the problem of illness is the fact that the patient is unable to get over the bad situations. 
  • Treatment would waste time:

    It’s usually thought that visiting a therapist or counselor is a waste of time. However, this is wrong. We need to understand that counseling and discussing about the health issues and problems is the first step towards curing the mental problems. It is very important to hire professional for this as friends and families are not trained in handling such situations. 

Thus, eradicating the above misconceptions is the first step towards helping a mentally ill person to deal with their condition.


How positive psychology works? 

  • Usually it's found that only some areas in the life of the patient might be problematic, while the rest of the part is going fine. Hence, this approach works by concentrating more on the positive part of the patient's life than the negative ones.
  • This basically involves making the patient aware that though there are problems and difficulties in life, you are still capable enough to handle the situations and come out of the problems on your own.
  • This not only helps people to be confident, but also help them in overcoming their issues without much medical help.
  • Stress management is possible with the help of positive psychology.
  • This helps in building value and finding purpose in life. Patient’s point of view towards life changes which help in building better future.


Ways to initiate positive psychology: 

  • Change your thinking:

    Positive psychology does not mean to be happy 24/7. This is not possible among normal people too. This basically deals with focusing on the growth aspect and strengths of the patient. It would help the patient to change their lookout towards life. 
  • Ask a psychologist:

    It’s advisable to ask the psychologist regarding the positive psychology. This would make the doctor think beyond the medical treatments and routines. Patients should be provoked to answer about simple questions like - ‘what would you want your life to be after five years?’ The answer received would help the doctor to take decisions about the treatment patterns.
  • Learning to live with mental illness:

    Positive psychology basically helps patient to focus on how to live life in spite of the mental illness. Professors believe that positive approach would help decrease the symptoms of mental problems among the patients. Medicines cannot provide complete cure to the patient. Hence, the main intention of positive psychology is to gather strength among the patients and help them carry their problems more comfortably. 
  • Use online resources:

    Taking help from online resources to read more and more about the success stories of those who have overcome mental disorder and are now leading a good and successful life is very beneficial. This would enable a patient to change his point of view towards the illness and try to live a life which is more positively inspired. 
  • Make healthy choices:

    Positive psychology makes a person think more wisely and positively. This inspires them to make healthy choices regarding their well-being. These choices can include taking care of their appearance, understanding about healthy diet etc. 
  • Focus on relationships:

    Staying positive would help patients to be more emotionally attached to their relations and loved ones. Positive attitude helps develop more bonding with the personal and social relations.


The above helps us understand that mental illness is not an incurable disease. As it’s a psychological disorder, hence, only psychological treatment would help it more effectively than medicines and other therapies.