People Can Recover From Mental Disorders And Lead “Thriving” Lives, Study Finds

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Mental Health News

A group of researchers at the Association for Psychological Science revealed that people who recover from mental illness can go on to lead thriving lives. The study is published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

The Study

At the beginning of the study, the researchers set a “thriving criteria” for the people recovering from mental health disorders. “Thriving” people should be free of symptoms of mental disorders, not meet the diagnostic criteria for any illness, and report better well-being than 75% of non-depressed adults surveyed in the U.S.

Drawing data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health (CCHS-Mental Health), the researchers studied more than 25,000 Canadians aged 15–80 years. They analyzed information about participants’ mental health status, their functioning and disabilities, the mental services and support availed by them, their social relationships, and their perceived quality of life. They also calculated how many people with a lifetime of substance abuse and mental health conditions met the “thriving” criteria.

The Findings

The results show that 67% of the participants with any mental illness met symptomatic recovery and 10% amongst them met the “thriving criteria”. It was also observed that people suffering from depression (7%), substance use disorders (10%), and anxiety (6%) also tended to thrive better than people diagnosed with bipolar disorder (3%).

Drawing Inferences

The study is significant because it sheds light on mental healthcare treatment outcomes like well-being and functioning. It significantly reconfirms the effectiveness of mental health treatment methods and reinforces the belief that, after successful diagnosis, people can thrive and lead a high functioning life.

One of the lead researchers, Andrew Devendorf, elaborated: “Contrary to traditional clinical wisdom, we found that [disorders of mental health] and substance use may reduce but do not prevent the possibility of thriving.”

To Know More You May Refer To

Devendorf, A. R., Rum, R., Kashdan, T. B., & Rottenberg, J. (2022). Optimal Well-Being After Psychopathology: Prevalence and Correlates. Clinical Psychological Science.

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