Beyond The Behaviours

Yesterday a couple of friends called round for a coffee.  Both are members of the church fellowship I used to attend and both like me are very familiar with the challenges that poor mental health can give us.

During the numerous conversations that were held during their visit one of the subject which came up was that of how poor mental health and mental illness can sometimes focus, magnify, intensify or exaggerate issues that many of us (regardless of our mental health) face in everyday life.  For example difficulties with; self-image, rejection, insecurities, criticism, stress, to name but a few.

Kind of like the whole (I think Joseph Heller quote) “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”  And  in a “just because my mental health makes my fear of rejection so much greater and thus seemingly irrational it doesn’t mean there aren’t perfectly good and understandable reasons for my having that fear in the first place.”

One of the threads of this conversation centred around how sometimes those core-issues can be overlooked in terms of treatment because they are clouded by other circumstances and resultant behaviours and the focus often becomes the management of  circumstances and behaviours rather than actually  addressing the core issues themselves.

So I thought I would open up this whole discussion to our members and readers and get your take on it.

Do you feel that there are core issues that are not being addressed because so much focus has been or is on the management of your illness and the resultant behaviours?

I really would be interested in your responses to this question.

Many Thanks.

9 comments on “Beyond The Behaviours

  1. This is something that others may not believe or understand. But I believe some things conserning Mental issues and behaviors have a spiritual core to them. Part of the fight betweeen positive and negative, and good and evil. I think sometimes part of the struggle is because negative forces want to weaken our already fragile minds. Mental illness puts a target on our backs. Now I don’t expect everyone to be of that opinion. But that is what I think.

    • Hi Carla,

      Well for the record, and as you know I am a Christian, I totally agree with you that the spiritual affects the physical and the mental. I have written about it before on my personal blog.

      But what concerns me – is that even on a purely psychological level those core issues I mentioned often go unaddressed as they are masked or replaced by the need and focus on managung the symptoms.

      I do wholeheartedly agree with you though and think it an excellent point.

      Kind Regards.


  2. I know that it has definitely been the case for me that my core issues have been ignored because of the need to manage the day to day behaviour and illness. I think it is difficult to avoid that happening and it’s one of the reasons I encourage people into therapy, so that the therapist can direct attention to the core issues, while perhaps others deal with the management of the illness. I know that in my country (NZ)that is how things tend to work (because the option to seek out therapy is like an added extra)but I recognise that in other countries the therapist is also the doctor and probably also the social worker/nurse.

    Hope that makes sense. Not feeling well today so not quite thinking straight. Better luck tomorrow. 😉

    • Hi Cate,

      I personally think it makes perfect sense and certainly my experiences would be the same or at least very similar.

      I do wonder about how patients get these visit to the therapist funded however?

      I am especially interested in how it works in the states with therapy and the funding of it as it seems to be difficult to get funding for medical treatment over there – but that is an outsider’ perspective based only on what I have heard.

      How is therapy funded where you are (in NZ) Cate?

      I Would be very interested to know.
      Hope you are well?
      Kind Regards

      • That’s the big problem. For me, I live as a pauper because my therapy is keeping me alive and so is the most important thing but for those who have families that choice is not an option. In NZ there is very little funding available unless the core issue is past abuse, and even that is very hard to get.

        • Hi Cate,

          This is what worries me so very much. That folk are not able to access the therapy that they need in order to address these core issues.
          It really i so vey sad that you should have to go through such financial dificulties and that others should not be able to access the services they truly need.
          Kind Regards


  3. Ever since ‘brief therapy’ came into vogue (in the 1980s, I believe) this has been a problem. Oftentimes, insurance companies won’t pay for more than a few weeks of therapy, which is truly ridiculous! Under those circumstances, it isn’t surprising that the focus is on immediate needs.
    I’ve been fortunate to have decent insurance (although there was also a period during which I paid out-of-pocket), so that I have had therapy as well as inpatient hospitalizations that were able to get me started on the core issues.

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