Certain disorders feature distortions of thinking or feeling that interfere with a person's ability to function. When it persists for an extended period, we refer to it as chronic (long lasting). Common examples include depression, anxiety, or panic; attention problems including hyperactivity; obsessions or compulsions; and behavioral disorders involving excessive gambling, spending, or sexual activity (among others). We believe these are best addressed as chronic brain disorders with their own unique causes, course, and treatment.
One thing most chronic brain disorders have in common: lack of an obvious cure. Meaning there isn't a pill, a surgical procedure,etc., that will permanently restore us to normal. But there are treatments that can help a great deal.
Some treatments are aimed at alleviating the symptoms of the disease. Others focus on behavior, by making positive changes in our thinking patterns and lifestyle. This can include a variety of therapies, from psychodynamic to experiential, from cognitive-behavioral to motivational, from mainstream to alternative healing. Most are of great benefit to some of us, but not all, and part of the task of recovery is finding what works best for each of us, in all our uniqueness.
We who have a chronic brain disorder may have to confront several challenges to our recovery, including: