I found this thought deep in the internet (there was no original source cited) and thought that it was a really good metaphor to help those who struggle with mental illness, and those who love someone who struggles with mental illness. We treat a variety of Mental Illnesses at Karas Health Care, and would be happy to partner with you to come up with a treatment plan!
“Here’s a thought I had about how therapy and treatment works (versus how many people imagine it works). This is based on my experience with depression and chronic illness, but I hope it applies more broadly as well.
Imagine you have to take a road trip on a deserted road alone. Halfway through the trip, your engine starts to sputter and the car breaks down. What do you do?
A lot of people imagine that therapy and treatment is like calling a mechanic to come and fix your car for you. You make the call, and then you just have to wait around until the mechanic has fixed the problem, and your car is good as new! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. No one is able to fix your car except for you.
Instead, it’s like you pull a tool-box out of the trunk, pop open the hood, and dial the mechanic on the phone. You have to try to describe the problem as clearly as possible, and follow the advice they give you as well as you can.
Sometimes you won’t understand the advice, and you’ll have to ask them to repeat it, or explain it another way, or suggest something else. Sometimes you’ll do what they say, and the car still won’t run, and they won’t be able to explain why, only give you something new to try. Sometimes you’ll think you fixed the problem, and start driving and the car will break down two minutes down the road. No matter what happens, it’s going to be hard, frustrating, messy work.
But at the end of it, not only will your car be running again, but you’ll know how to fix it now. Which isn’t to say that you’ll never need another mechanic again, but next time you get stuck, it’ll be a little easier to handle.
So keep at it everyone, and good luck on your journeys!”