Getting Effective Help for Mental Health Disorders
Mental health is something that many individuals don’t pay attention to during their lifetimes. Many people don’t think about their mental health because it “just works.” However, mental health, mental health treatment, and mental well-being have become hot-button topics lately. Thanks to recent occurrences, many people’s coping mechanisms for dealing with their mental well-being were challenged.
What Is Mental Health Treatment
While we understand more about the brain and how it works from both a mechanical and a social standpoint, there’s still a lot left to learn about it. Mental health treatment applies things that we’ve learned over the last century or more to help people find their balance in the world. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to mental health treatment.
Very often, a person will go to multiple practitioners to get an idea of what they’re facing. It’s uncommon (but not impossible) to have the same therapist throughout one’s life. While having a friend listen to one’s problems may help alleviate some issues, it’s always better to consult a professional in the field.
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Types Of Mental Health Professionals
Assessment and Therapy Professionals
- Psychologists: Psychologists evaluate a person’s mental health using evaluation, testing, and clinical interviews.
- Counselors, Therapists, or Clinicians: These professionals help a person with the way they’re feeling and how their thoughts impact their lives.
- Clinical Social Workers: Clinical social workers evaluate a patient’s mental health and rely on therapeutic techniques with specific training methods attached.
- Psychiatrists: These are licensed medical doctors specializing in psychiatric training. They can diagnose and prescribe as well as provide therapy.
- Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners: These professionals can also provide support and assessment along with diagnosis, but many states require they be supervised by a psychiatrist.
- Primary Care Physicians: These are usually general practitioners who are the point of first contact for those with a mental illness. They may diagnose a problem but refer the patient to a psychiatrist for a second opinion.
- Psychiatric Pharmacist: These are pharmacists that specialize in mental health care. They can recommend or prescribe various medications, and many of them have completed supplementary training in child/adolescent psychiatry and substance use disorders.
- Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP): FNPs can provide general medical care and refer a person they think may have a mental disorder to a psychiatrist for acomplete diagnosis.
Mental Health andCo-Occurring Disorders
Occasionally, when a person has a substance use disorder, they also have other mental health conditions that impact the treatment of the primary condition. These are known as co-occurring disorders. Unfortunately, these diagnoses can be complicated since the presence of one problem usually masks the other issue entirely.
For example, symptoms of addiction can resemble symptoms of mental illness and vice versa. Sometimes, individuals suffering from mental health problems don’t care to deal with them because they believe it’s irrelevant to their substance use disorder problem.
Individuals diagnosed with mental health problems typically use substances to feel better. Unfortunately, using alcohol or drugs as a bandage to repair mental health issues usually ends in addiction. The substance use disorder becomes a crutch and further damages their ability to develop long, healthy relationships with others.
The vicious cycle is self-feeding, as the destruction of these relationships inevitably leads the person to drown their sorrows in drugs or alcohol, fueling their addiction and exacerbating their mental health issues. Individuals that stop using alcohol or drugs will find that the symptoms of their mental illness persist. Treatment centers need to be aware of these conditions and treat them alongside the individual’s addiction recovery plan.
Treatment During A Crisis
Suicidal Ideation and Major Depression
- Ideation: The patient thinks or talks about suicide or mentions that death is an option.
- Plan: Does the person have a solid plan about killing themselves?
- Intent: What’s the likelihood of the person following through on their plan? How serious are they about their plans?
- Ability: Does the person have access to the resources to carry out their plan?
- Mitigating Factors: Does the person’s ideology or religion stop them from committing suicide? Do they have others that rely on them were they to die?
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Medications For Mental Health Management
Forms Of Mental Health Treatment
Mental health treatment has several options depending on the type of disorder and how advanced it has become. Clients can choose between these options, and some are more welcoming than others.
Among the treatment options that someone suffering from mental health disorders can choose are:
- Psychiatric Hospitalization: A person can be voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital. Typically, individuals who enter hospitalization suffer from severe mental health symptoms or suicidal ideation with the intent and means to carry out their threats. When forced treatment is mandated, this is often the form.
- Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient treatment offers a place for a person to stay 24/7 throughout their regimen. Other patients and mental health staff surround the person at the facility that can help them through therapy. Medication may also be provided if needed, although the patient cannot leave the facility until the end of the treatment.
- Outpatient Treatment: Patients in outpatient treatment don’t stay at the facility but must come in for scheduled treatment. Outpatient treatment is better for individuals who don’t have severe symptoms of mental illness that impact their daily lives.
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Dual diagnosis happens when a person suffers from a substance use disorder alongside another mental illness. Both of these conditions need to be treated alongside each other for the patient to have a chance of recovery. Dual diagnosis treatments offer the solution to this problem.
- Psychotherapy: Also known as “talk therapy,” this version of treatment comes in different categories, including group therapy, family therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The mental health professional can help the patient deal with their current situation and develop new coping skills over the long term.
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