Mental Disabilities: How Curable Are They?

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Mental disabilities are a complex category of psychological and mental issues that can prove just as crippling, if not more, than physical disabilities. Considering how serious these disabilities can be, is there any cure for them? We talked to a panel of experts, who explained the difference between cure and treatments and what we can expect from treating mental disabilities.

Dr. Mubashar Rehman Ph.D. is the Editor at, and he has authored more than 30 articles. Dr. Rehman’s research is focused on enhancing therapeutic outcomes and reducing the side effects of current medications. He is also an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Science in Pakistan.

Despite the availability of effective treatments for mental disabilities, there is no cure. That being said, it is important to note that mental illnesses can be managed and aided, and people diagnosed with this condition can live a long, healthy life. Treatment and management of mental illnesses may involve medications, psychotherapy, brain stimulation treatment, and substance misuse treatment. 

Medications provided by medical personnel help to improve the symptoms of this condition. They are also used in aiding other forms of treatment that will be administered to affected individuals. Medications for mental disabilities include antidepressants which help treat depression and anxiety, antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia, and mood-stabilizing medications. 

Psychotherapy is another treatment option also known as talk therapy. Patients diagnosed with mental illnesses discuss their conditions, related issues, and how to cope with their condition. During this therapy, patients get to know more about the illness, express how they feel, their moods, and their behavior. This method helps patients cope better with the stress and manage their feelings.

Ryan Hsu, the Founder of CareMax;

Below are some mental disabilities and to what extent they can be cured or treated:

  • Depression

Depression is a widespread mental condition that causes disability globally. Globally, 264 million individuals suffer from depression. More women than males suffer. Prevention programs have been demonstrated to lower depression in both children and adults (e.g., through psychosocial assistance after disasters and conflicts). For curing depression, effective therapies exist. 

Talking therapies like CBT or psychotherapy can effectively cure mild to moderate depression. Antidepressants are beneficial for treating moderate to severe depression but are not recommended for mild depression. They should not be used to treat depression in children and should be used with caution in adolescents.

  • Bipolar disease

There are effective treatments for the acute phase of bipolar disease and preventing relapse. These are mood stabilizers. Treatment includes psychosocial support.

  • Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia affects 20 million people globally. It usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. Medicines and psychosocial support work well together. Beneficiaries of effective therapy and social assistance can be productive and socially integrated. The facilitation of assisted living supported housing, and supported work can help people with serious mental diseases, including schizophrenia, achieve many rehabilitation goals.

Brianna Leonhard is the founder of Third Row Adventures, a travel blog for families. Brianna is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with experience working with individuals with Autism, ADHD, OCD, and Bipolar.

It’s important to note the difference between a cure and a treatment. A cure would suggest the disability had gone away entirely after the successful intervention was removed. 

A simple example would be a person who has a migraine taking an Excedrin. Excedrin removes the symptoms. Once the Excedrin wears off, the migraine is still gone. 

Treatment addresses the symptoms, but the removal of the treatment would result in an increase of those symptoms. An example would be individuals with clinical depression taking antidepressants. Their symptoms are masked for as long as they take the medication. Removal of the medication results in an increase in symptoms.

Mental disabilities are lifelong, but they are most often treatable through a variety of interventions. Of those, medication and therapy (behavioral, psychiatric, etc.) have been proven to be the most effective treatments. However, recent studies suggest that consistent, routine exercise can also be a treatment for many mental disabilities (anxiety, depression, ADHD).

Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo is a Licensed Practicing Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Psychology and a master’s degree in Physical Therapy. CEO, Global Keynote Speaker, and Concierge Coach; Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo is the authority on how to crush your inner critic so that you can live a life of purpose, fulfillment, and True Success™ which she has a book about titled “Get Out of the Red Zone”. 

Depending on the ailment and its severity, treatment may include both drugs and psychotherapy. Most mental diseases cannot be healed at this time, but they can typically be treated effectively to reduce symptoms and allow people to function in a job, school, and social setting.

Many persons who have been diagnosed with mental illness find strength and recovery via individual or group therapy. There are numerous therapy choices to choose from. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment; instead, people can choose the treatment (or combination of treatments) that works best for them.

Psychotherapy is one type of mental disorder treatment. Psychotherapy is a qualified mental health professional’s treatment of mental illness. Psychotherapy examines a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to improve their well-being. A strategy to enhance healing is to combine psychotherapy with medicine. Cognitive Behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and other therapies are examples.

Dr. Nicole (Nikki) Lacherza-Drew, Psy.D., is a Licensed Psychologist and owner of Vici Psychological Care, LLC. She treats a variety of mental health issues and provides both in-person therapy and online therapy. She is trained in a variety of interventions and operates mostly from a cognitive behavioral therapy framework. In addition to this, she also teaches undergraduate and graduate-level psychology courses. 

Mental disabilities can include diagnoses or symptoms that individuals experience. Many people, especially parents who are bringing their children to see me, ask if they can be “cured.” I have a difficult time with this word as I do not believe mental illnesses can be cured. Symptoms may decrease over time and eventually cease to exist. However, the symptoms have the possibility of coming back, which to many people doesn’t define what a cure is. 

Many people think about the word cure as meaning that the symptoms won’t ever come back, which is not true. That possibility is there. Throwing around the word “cure,” may result in individuals having unrealistic expectations about their symptoms. 

Individuals who seek treatment for mental health-related symptoms, whether that treatment is therapy or medication, learn to manage their symptoms a little bit better, and that’s usually when individuals report relief. We talk about a person being “in remission” for cancer, substance use, and eating disorders. Why is that not a criterion or option for all mental health disorders? It communicates that there was an area of concern, that for right now, might not be of concern but could be in the future. 

Many mental health symptoms tend to wax and wane. They may lie dormant for some time, and then an event happens that brings them to the surface. Clear communication of this reality to patients is key to them being informed individuals about their condition(s) and treatment.