How long does it usually take for mental illness to be put under control?

A dad

Active Member
Of course we assume that the person suffering from the illnesses wants to be treated and after a discussion here I reached the conclusion that people can not control themselves during a episode caused by the illness how long does it usually takes?
For addictions I found its about as long as you the time you where addicted assuming that you had no defined personality and fully developed brain before you became addicted.


Well-Known Member
It varies widely with the specific diagnosis and it's manifestations for this individual. It's also a function of how lucky you get with medications - some people get relief from the first medications they try - others go through everything in the book and still don't get relief.


Well-Known Member
Many mental illnesses, especially bipolar and schizophrenia, are basically biological illnesses. While environmental factors play a part on when and if there is an onset, they still are illnesses caused by biological factors in brain chemistry (well, more or less.) Like many other illnesses, they are not matter of will or wanting to get better or personal strength. Like many other illnesses the severity of mental illnesses varies. Some have milder illness, some more severe. Some people get better, some do not. Some treatments work for some people, but not for others.

Basically, it is very similar than when someone has an onset of epilepsy. There are several drugs and treatments that can help and are tried. Some people only ever get one epileptic seizure, some others despite all treatment will get several a day. Some will get so much better, that they may not need medications at all after certain time, some will have heavy medication rest of their life and still it is not enough to keep seizures away.

I know people with epilepsy who have that illness from very different end of spectrum. With one the only real consequence of epilepsy is that he would not be allowed to become airplane pilot. The other person I know has had seizures almost daily all her life and that has caused her to have moderate mental retardation (she did not have that as a child, but constant seizures have caused brain damage so bad, that now as an middle-aged adult, her development abilities are similar to maybe 7 year old child.)

How mental illness progress varies wildly from one individual to other, but it really is not a matter of choice. And often you do not know, how the illness will progress at the time of onset. Certain factors may indicate to milder or more severe forms (things like age, gender, what symptoms there are during the onset and so on), but it is still highly individual. In that mental illnesses are very similar to many other chronic, disabling illnesses. When someone has onset of bipolar or multiple sclerosis, you do not yet know, how it will progress.