Mental Illness Isn’t a Choice, but You Still Have Choices

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

While having a mental illness isn’t a choice, people living with any mental illness do have choices in life. See what I mean on HealthyPlace

Mental Illness Isn't a Choice, but You Still Have Choices

Mental illnesses aren't a choice. They're medical conditions, illnesses of the brain, for which the causes are complex. People don't choose to live with the symptoms and effects of mental disorders, and for good reason: any type of mental illness affects thoughts, emotions, actions, physical wellbeing, relationships, and more. People don't choose to develop mental illness, and they don't choose the effects these illnesses have on their lives.

While it's true that having a mental illness isn't a choice, it's also true that people living with any mental illness (or even more than one) do have choices in life. Mental illness can't take away someone's power to choose to

  • seek professional help in order to minimize the effects of mental illness
  • define personal values and life goals
  • become actively involved in his/her life through meaningful activities
  • connect with others for support and mutually satisfying relationships
  • shape his/her perspective in order to see more realistically positive things than negative ones
  • find and nurture meaning and purpose in life


These are some of the choices people, whether or not they live with mental illness, have over themselves and their lives. No one chooses to have a mental illness. Everyone, though, can choose how they continue to shape their lives.

Related Articles Dealing with Mental Illness and Choices

Your Thoughts

Today's Question:  What helps you make positive choices even when a mental illness makes it hard to do so? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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Share our Stories

At the top and bottom of all our stories, you'll find social share buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites. If you find a particular story, video, psychological test or other HealthyPlace feature helpful, there's a good chance others in need will too. Please share.

We also get many inquiries about our linking policy. If you have a website or blog, you can link to any page on the HealthyPlace website without asking us beforehand.

Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Benefits of 12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs
  2. Living Day-to-Day with Dissociative Identity Disorder
  3. Why Anxiety Makes You Feel Stupid and Like a Failure

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Stand Up for Mental Health

Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign

But we still need you. Let others know there's no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog (buttons for family members, parents, mental health professionals and organizations too). We also have covers for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


Latest Mental Health News

These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

  • Higher BMI May Not Raise Risk Of Heart Attack, Death, Finds Twin Study
  • Just 1 Hour Of Exercise Offsets Health Risks Of Prolonged Sitting
  • Quitting Smoking May Lower Alcohol Intake
  • Males More Likely To Suffer Psychologically When Dissatisfied With Their Body Image
  • Combining Medications Could Offer Better Results For ADHD Patients
  • Locking Doors In Mental Health Hospitals Does Not Lower Suicide Rate
  • Study Finds Average 6-Year Delay Between Onset And Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder
  • Changes In Brain Structure During Teenage Years Provide Clues To Onset Of Mental Health Problems

That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index


APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, August 17). Mental Illness Isn’t a Choice, but You Still Have Choices, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: August 17, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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