Finally reaching the point at which you feel ready to ask for help from a professional is one of the most empowering places a person can get to. Struggling in silence has become the norm, and people across the world are battling mental health disorders or poor mental health on a daily basis. Because this has been so stigmatized in the past, it can be scary to reach out and verbalize that you need professional intervention. Seeking mental health treatment is a vital step toward improving one’s quality of life and happiness. In this blog, we shed light on the importance of mental health treatment and the available options as well as the potential consequences of not seeking help and resources to aid in finding appropriate treatment near you.
What is Mental Health Treatment?
Mental health treatment is a broad term that refers to a wide range of interventions and therapies designed to address and manage mental health conditions and emotional challenges. It encompasses an array of approaches, from counseling and psychotherapy to medication and alternative therapies. The overarching goal of mental health treatment is to promote recovery and help people lead fulfilling lives despite their mental health challenges. Treatments can take place in the home, in an institution, as an in-patient, or as an out-patient. Because there are such a range of options available, each person is assured to find a system that works for them as an individual. Together, with a professional, successful mental health treatment can be found.
What Options Exist?
- Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy: This form of treatment involves talking to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed therapist, about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It helps identify underlying issues and provides coping strategies.
- Medication: Psychiatrists can prescribe medications to manage various mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Medication can be used alongside therapy or as a stand-alone treatment. Research does show that using medicine in conjunction with another form of therapy increases its efficiency.
- Support Groups: Joining a support group can be immensely helpful as it allows you to connect with others who share similar struggles. In turn, you can feel a sense of belonging and understanding that you might not receive from those who have not experienced mental health challenges themselves.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT is a wildly popular type of talk therapy that helps people identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to their mental health challenges. This is usually done one-on-one with a trained therapist, psychologist, or even psychiatrist.
- Holistic Therapies: Practices like yoga, meditation, art therapy, and mindfulness can complement traditional treatment methods. Some people might also consider using holistic medicine like herbs to alleviate their mental health-related symptoms.
How to Know When Mental Health Treatment is Needed
Battling mental health conditions on a daily basis is an obvious sign of readiness to ask for help but there are many other signs that might fly under the radar. Being able to notice these either in yourself or in someone else can allow for quicker intervention, which can sometimes save a life. Some of the most common indicators include:
- Persistent Feelings of Sadness or Anxiety: If you find yourself overwhelmed by sadness, worry, or fear for an extended period, it might be time to seek professional help.
- Drastic Changes in Behavior: Sudden changes in eating habits, sleep patterns, social withdrawal, or increased substance use may signal underlying mental health issues.
- Difficulty Coping with Daily Life: If your mental health challenges are interfering with your ability to function in daily life, it’s time to reach out and seek support.
- Thoughts of Self-Harm or Suicide: Any thoughts of self-harm or suicide should be taken very seriously. Reach out for help immediately as this is something that deserves immediate attention, regardless of the situation.
Long-Term Effects of Not Getting Treatment
Avoiding mental health treatment can have severe consequences. Some of the most concerning long-term effects of letting your mental health go unattended to are:
- Worsening of Symptoms: Untreated mental health conditions often worsen over time, leading to increased distress and suffering. This is especially concerning with certain disorders like severe depression.
- Impact on Physical Health: Mental health issues can take a toll on physical health, leading to conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and weakened immune function.
- Impact on Relationships: Unaddressed mental health challenges can strain relationships with the people you care about most. It can also affect the relationships you have within the workplace, which may put your job at jeopardy.
- Reduced Quality of Life: Without treatment, some people may find it difficult to enjoy life and participate in activities they once found fulfilling. This loss of lust for life is not likely to go away on its own and requires the help of a professional.
Resources to Help Find Mental Health Treatment Near You
- Online Directories: Utilize online mental health directories and databases to find therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists in your area. The internet is a valuable resource that can connect you with countless professionals or specialists who can help further.
- Primary Care Physician: Your primary care doctor can provide referrals to mental health specialists and coordinate your care. Discussing your mental health with your PCP can allow for a more seamless care plan as well.
- Insurance Providers: Contact your insurance company to get a list of mental health professionals covered by your plan as there are likely to be many. Be sure to use a provider that is covered, if possible. Unfortunately, therapy and medication can be costly for some.
- Community Mental Health Centers: Many communities have mental health centers that offer affordable or sliding-scale treatment options. Connect with friends or neighbors that might be able to point you in the right direction.
- Hotlines and Helplines: Numerous hotlines and helplines provide immediate support and guidance for mental health crises. You can search the internet for these numbers and write them down for quick access.
- Schools and Universities: If you’re a student, check with your school or university’s counseling center for available resources. In many cases, schools offer free therapy to their students.
Prioritizing mental health treatment is one of the most powerful choices you can make when it comes to achieving emotional well-being and leading a fulfilling life. Whether you’re dealing with a specific mental health condition or simply struggling with life’s challenges, seeking professional help can make a world of difference. You don’t have to go through it alone; there are resources and support available to guide you on your journey to mental wellness. Take that step today and invest in your mental health – it’s an investment you won’t regret.
New Dimensions Can Help!
New Dimensions has outpatient counseling programs for adolescents and adults who are struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. To learn more about our services, including psychological testing, Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), and interventions for substance abuse, contact us at 800-685-9796 or visit our website at www.nddtreatment.com. To learn more about individual, family, and couples counseling visit www.mhthrive.com.