Why are patients not seeking treatment for mental illness? There are a lot of different reasons that patients avoid treatment, but what are they?

Mental illness numbers continue to rise around the globe, but for a variety of reasons, many patients don’t seek or recieve treatment.
Today we take a deep dive into why patients avoid getting treated for mental problems.

Patients are Still Not Seeking Help Despite Efforts to Raise Awareness

The growth of mental illness campaigns over the years have raised awareness globally, but despite the effort, we are still seeing a massive number of patients not seeking the treatments. Recognition of depression, addiction, bipolar disorder, and suicide, as well as celebrities confessing about their mental health struggles, have helped to mitigate the effects of social labeling
A study by the World Health Organization found that between 30 and 80 percent of people in different countries with mental health issues don’t seek treatment.
This includes 50% of people with bipolar disorder, 55% of people with panic disorder, 56% of people with major depression, and a stunning 78% of people with alcohol use disorder. So, the question remains: with mental health issues being more prominent than ever and mental treatments being more available, why are people still not seeking help?

Potential Reasons Why Patients are Not Seeking Treatment

To answer this refusal to seek treatment, we need to look at all the potential reasons or excuses why people are not seeking help: –
1. No transportation or treatment is too far: 5.8% of people not seeking people cited the lack of transportation or the location of the psychotherapist for why they don’t seek treatment.
2. Don’t want others to find out: 6.5% of people wouldn’t want others including family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to find out about their quest to seek treatment. This is most likely because they feel ashamed, but there should be no shame in finding help.
3. No insurance coverage: 6.5% of people cited the lack of insurance coverage as the reason for not seeking treatment. This can be perceived as the high cost associated with treatment and the lengthy number of sessions that might take many months or years for recovery.
4. Concern about the effect on jobs: 8.1% of people wouldn’t want to be listed with the medical record or condition of seeking psychotherapy. Potentially, this could dampen new potential careers or faced discrimination in the workplace from bosses and coworkers.
5. Not necessarily required: 8.6% of people don’t think they need the treatment then and leaving it to time for healing.
6. Concerned about confidentiality: 9.7% of people are worried about privacy, especially if their identity might be found on some commercial or government database.
7. Unsure if a treatment will help: 10.9% of people are not sure if a treatment will be useful, so they’re reluctant to take the first step toward getting treatment.
8. Concern about the opinion of others: 11% of people are concern about others’ opinions if they are being found out on seeking treatment.
9. No Time or too busy: 14.2% of people are too busy and couldn’t afford the time to seek treatment
10. Be forced to take medications: 15.2% of people are worried about being forced to take medication to treat their mental illness.
11. No idea where to go: 16.7% of people have no clue where they should start or approach to seek the necessary treatment.
12. Able to handle without treatment: 22.2% of people think that they can recover without going through the treatment.
13. Couldn’t afford the costs: 47.7% of people couldn’t afford the expenses associated with the treatments, especially when the recovery might take years.
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Consequences of Not Seeking Treatment for Mental Illness

The findings of many studies have pointed toward the negative consequences of people not seeking treatment at the onset of mental illness. Given the initial mild condition at the start, mental illness tend to get worse over time. These are some consequences of not seeking treatments for your mental illness:
1. Worsening issues: More than 50% of people experience deteriorating mental state when it’s left untreated.
2. Development of long-term physical issues: Due to untreated mental effects on anxiety, stress, depression, nervousness, etc., other physical problems such as aching, body pain, heart attack, headache, stroke, obesity, etc., could happen.
3. Worsening quality of personal relationships: A lot of people experience isolation, losing friends and colleagues, failure to develop new relationships, divorce, etc.
4. Decrease in quality of life: Not seeking treatment could potentially leave the people with difficulties in coping with their daily life. Potential life challenges include the inability to show up for work, completing projects on time, chores, etc.
5. Increase chances of breaking the law: People with mental illness have a higher tendency of not conforming to the law and other social norms.
6. Increase risk of accidents: People with mental illness have a higher tendency for all types of accidents that could be serious that could result in life-changing events.
7. Substances abuse: Substance abuse and substance use disorders such as alcohol use, prescribed medications, and illicit drug abuse are a risk to people with mental illness conditions.
8. Increase chances of suicide: People with untreated mental illness are at a higher risk of self-harm, which includes eventual suicide when the pain is no longer tolerable.
9. Chronic Pain: Mental illness could affect people who may choose to neglect pre-existing health conditions (such as monitoring sugar level for diabetics), and causing potential health problems such as obesity, high cholesterol or blood pressure, etc.
10. Unable to perform at work: Mental illness makes it more challenging to stay focus at work, causing individual performance issues.
11. Increase the chances of being victimized: Mental illness makes people more susceptible to being victimized due to social misconception and bullying.
12. Increase chances of family violence: Some people with mental illness have a higher chance of resorting to violence within the family.
13. Increase chance of homelessness: Being rejected by friends and family members, unable to work on a job that could result in being homeless for people that are not seeking treatment with mental illness.
14. Increase the chance of getting into another mental illness: Single mental illness, when it goes untreated, has a higher chance for people to develop other mental illnesses that will be harder to recover from.
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    What are the Alternatives to Psychotherapeutic Treatments?

    People who have mental illness and refused to enroll in psychotherapy treatments can have the option to embark on a range of mindfulness therapies. These therapies can occur in many different forms such as
    1. Art therapy: A creative process to help patients explore and reconcile their emotions, develop self-awareness, reduce anxiety, cope with trauma, manage behavior, and increase self-esteem.
    2. Dance therapy: Therapeutic movements to access creativity and emotions and promote emotional, mental, physical, and social health
    3. Hypnotherapy: A guide into a focused state of deep relaxation but in a heightened state of awareness.
    4. Laughter therapy: A therapy founded on the amazing benefits of laughter to reduce depression and anxiety, boost immunity, and promote a positive mood.
    5. Light therapy: A controlled exposure to intense levels of light for patients during treatment and is said to be effective in treating various depression, anxiety, and some mental disorders.
    6. Music Therapy: The delightful use of music as a creative way to heal the mind and emotions, lower stress, and increase pain threshold.
    7. Primal therapy: A therapy to help patients reconnect with the repressed feelings at the root of their issues, express them, and resolve them by using methods such as screaming, weeping, etc., as the means to force undesirable memories and feeling out of mind.
    8. Wilderness therapy: Reconnect with nature to heal by participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, campaign, tracking, etc., where patients get to improve survival skills, pain threshold, and self-reflection.
    9. Mindfulness therapy: Mindfulness therapies help people through non-treatment activities such as breathing, meditation, yoga, observation, acceptance, naming game, goal setting, tea-drinking, gratitude listing, stillness exercise, introspection exercise, daily to-do-list, music, bare feet exercise, and many other activities to calm and focus the mind.
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    ahealos.com is an online psychotherapy video conference platform with the mission to provide quality and very affordable psychotherapists to treat mental illness and addressing these patient concerns. Ahealo is committed to bringing treatment-based psychotherapy and non-treatment mindfulness video activities to patients.

    Ahealo understands all the patients’ rejections clearly. Therefore, we have tailored every aspect of the platform to overcome all patients’ concerns, and to provide mental care without the need for patients’ identity, and at the patients’ time of choice, without the need to travel and absolutely no medications.

    Check out ahealos.com today. Get an appointment with any of our psychotherapists of your choice and at your comfortable time and budget.