Mental health is often viewed as an individual responsibility to deal with in the eyes of society. However, this mentality has led to a great number of people suffering in silence for years. It’s time to break the stigma and start viewing mental health as the public health issue that it is.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults experiences a mental illness in a given year. That means 43.8 million Americans are affected by mental illness each year. And sadly, only 41 percent of those who need treatment receive it. This could be due, in part, to the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating mental health issues.
So how do you find the right treatment for yourself or your loved one?
Talk to your doctor
This may seem like an obvious first step, but it’s important to remember that not all doctors are created equal when it comes to mental health. Make sure you find a doctor who is open to talking about mental health and is willing to work with you to find the right treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals to other mental health professionals if you feel like your doctor is not a good fit.
When you choose a doctor you can trust, he/she can help you navigate the often-confusing world of mental health treatments, can offer guidance on how to deal with stressors in your life, and provide support during difficult times. Your therapist can also suggest mental health services provided by your insurance company, in a mental healthcare facility. Maybe your issue requires inpatient medication and therapy, as guidance through a tough time.
While your doctor is a great resource, it’s important to educate yourself on the different types of mental illnesses and their treatments. This way, you can be an active participant in your care and make informed decisions about your treatment. Start by doing some research online or checking out books from the library.
Many reputable websites offer information on mental health disorders, such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. These websites can provide you with an overview of mental health disorders, their symptoms, and available treatments.
Join a support group
Support groups offer a great way to meet other people who are dealing with similar issues. These groups provide a space to openly share your experiences, learn from others, and gain valuable social support. Many local hospitals, community centers, and churches offer support groups. You can also find online support groups, which can be especially helpful if you live in a rural area or are unable to leave the house due to your mental health condition.
Additionally, some mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, have specific support groups. These groups can offer valuable information and resources for people with these disorders.
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a great way to explore the thoughts and feelings that are causing you distress and can help you understand your emotions, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and improve your relationships.
There are many different types of therapy – cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, humanistic therapy, etc. Of course, not every type of therapy will work for everyone. That’s why it’s important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable with and who uses a type of therapy that you think will be helpful for your specific situation.
For instance, if you’re struggling with anxiety, cognitive-behavioral therapy may be a good option for you as this type of therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns to reduce anxiety. If you’re struggling with depression, dialectical behavioral therapy may be a better fit because it focuses on helping people develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with difficult emotions.
For some people, medication is an essential part of treatment because it can help reduce symptoms of mental illness and make it easier to manage your condition. However, it’s important to remember that medications alone will not cure mental illness, and in most cases, medication must be combined with therapy and other lifestyle changes to be effective.
If you and your doctor decide that medication is the right treatment for you, he/she will work with you to find the right type and dosage of medication to meet your needs. It’s also important to be open and honest with your doctor about any side effects you’re experiencing so that he/she can make necessary adjustments to your medication.
As you can see, there are many different treatments available for mental health conditions, including therapy, medication, and support groups. It’s important to educate yourself about these treatments, talk to your doctor about what might be best for you, and give each treatment a try before deciding if it’s right for you.
If you’re not sure where to start or which treatment is right for you, consult with a mental health professional who can help guide you toward the care that will work best for you.