Quality of Life Decisions for Mental Health Patients

Mental health patients must make decisions daily that can include different treatment options, adhering to the advice of therapists or psychiatrists, abstaining from certain activities or substances such as alcohol, staying on prescribed medications, following certain dietary restrictions, among other things. All of these decisions can impact several components of overall quality of life.

My therapist brings up the topic of quality of life quite frequently during our sessions. She says it is my decision to go to my appointments or not, which not only includes therapy sessions, but psychiatric appointments, and general practitioner appointments. It is my decision to adhere to all my doctors’ advice or not. It is my decision to take the prescribed medications and to abstain from alcohol use. But, each decision must be made with my overall quality of life in mind. These discussions help guide me in the right direction.

How One Wrong Decision Can Negatively Impact Quality of Life

Choosing to drink alcohol can negatively impact your financial situation and the effectiveness of prescribed medications, which decreases your overall psychological and physical well-being. Deciding to avoid social situations because of your mental disorders can negatively impact relationships and recreational activities you normally enjoy. Bypassing time spent on spiritual or meditation all techniques can can lower your overall physical and psychological well-being. Not adhering to your treatments and medications can damage relationships. Not taking your medications can lead to problems at work, and potentially job loss. These examples show how making the right decision impacts your overall well-being.

The Hardships of Making The Right Choices

The cost of treatment, including medications and doctors’ appointments all cost money, which puts a damper on you financial situation. Taking all your prescribed medications alters your normal responses to people and situations, which can lead to depression. For example, staying on Bioplar medication does not allow you to experience the euphoria of hypomania. You literally grieve the loss of that part of yourself. Going to social and recreational events can increase your social anxiety, even if medications are on board. Revealing your mental disorders to friends and family can create hardships on relationships. These examples illustrate the difficulty in making the right decisions in the moment or to gain a short-term solution to an even bigger problem.


While making the right decisions as prescribed by your doctors is a challenge, the overall goal is to look at the long-term effects. The hardships all come at the cost given short-term impacts, which you ultimately want or need at the time. But, by making all the right decisions, your quality of life is better in the long run. With time and following the right path, the hardships of making the right choices become less frequent and severe. So, when making quality of life decisions, it is best to focus on all of your tomorrows instead of what you think you want or need in the present moment. Your doctors’ treatment plans are designed to provide you with a better quality of life. So, it is the best route to take.

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