What is a Mental Health Disorder?
A mental health disorder is a condition that affects an individual’s emotions, thoughts, and behavior. It is common for those suffering from mental illness to experience distress, feelings of hopelessness, and have difficulty functioning socially, at work, or with family. Mental disorders significantly impact the United States every year. Statistically:
- 1 in 5 (19%) American adults will suffer from mental illness in a year
- 1 in 24 (4.1%) suffer with severe mental health conditions
- 1 in 12 (8.5%) have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder
Yet, despite these numbers, mental illness is treatable.
What is Mental Health Treatment?
Treatment for a mental health condition depends on the characteristics and type of mental illness you have been diagnosed with. It’s severity and the symptoms you’re facing will help tailor a specific treatment method for you.
If you are suffering from mild to moderate depression, your primary care provider may be sufficient in providing you with the care you need. However, if you struggle with a more severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, your treatment plan may require more extensive psychiatric and medical care. It is important that your treatment plan addresses all of your needs both physically and mentally.
Mental Disorders List
Stress Related Disorders (PTSD)
A stress disorder differs from the more common feelings of stress that we are more familiar with. A stress disorder (i.e. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)) may present itself with similar symptoms as depression and anxiety disorders - feelings of distress, hopelessness, and fear. Other people may have experienced a traumatic event that has now caused them to act irrationally in their daily lives or experience symptoms that are unrelated to their experience. In some cases, people may experience violent impulses, aggressive behavior, inability to experience pleasure, restlessness, discontent, numbness, and dissociative tendencies. Severe cases of stress-related issues may develop into other forms of mental illness.
As with stress disorders, anxiety disorders differ from the more common experience of everyday anxiety. Anxiety is a natural response for many people in troubling situations. However, an anxiety disorder is characterized by feelings of anxiety that lead to a feeling of intense fear, pose harmful physical symptoms, or leave you with seemingly irrational fears and phobias are considered anxiety disorders. Clinically, there are six types of anxiety disorders: agoraphobia, panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders
A co-occuring disorder is a diagnosis that involves both a mental health condition and a substance abuse disorder. A proper diagnosis is needed in order to treat the condition and medical attention is often advised. Although it is difficult at times to distinguish which condition is posing which symptoms, it is important that the condition does not go untreated. It is pertinent to the client's well-being that both the substance abuse disorder and the mental health disorder are diagnosed congruently and healed through integrated treatment. Treatment for a dual diagnosis incorporates comprehensive mental health services and substance abuse disorder treatment.
Depression and Mood Disorders
Depression and mood disorders are mental illnesses which significantly impact a person’s emotional state. In many cases, a person suffering from a mood disorder (i.e. Major Depressive Disorder) may experience fluctuating episodes of extreme happiness (mania), extreme sadness (depressive). Although it is common for many people to experience a shift in their mood, persistent or prolonged periods of symptoms occurring over the course of weeks or months indicate a more severe issue at hand. Severe depression can greatly affect your behavior, daily interactions, and ability to perform daily tasks at home, work, or school.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder defined by a cyclical experience of obsessive behavior and compulsive acts. OCD affects individuals of all ages and phases of life. Obsessive behaviors are usually considered patterns of thought that end up being undesirable or invasive paired with sudden prompts that may or might not trigger sensations of distress. This is different from the culturally coined "obsession or obsessed". Compulsive acts are those which the person pursues in order to rid themselves of their repetitive thoughts or control their feelings of distress.
Personality disorders tend to be long-lasting patterns, routines, internal experiences that considerably divert from cultural expectations. These patterns of behavior, experience, and social interactions usually begin to occur throughout the late phases of a person’s teen years and continue into early adulthood. In many cases, somebody struggling with a personality disorder might have difficulty functioning daily and experience a decrease in their mental health. Over time the symptoms of a personality disorder may place a considerable effect on the person's psychological health and physical well-being. It can impact the way they connect with others at work, school, and social gatherings, while also taking a toll on close friends and family.
What are the Goals for Mental Health Treatment?
The goals for treating mental health are unique to each individual. Both the person and their counselor will develop a plan that best suits their needs. They will work together to set attainable goals and set treatment expectations to derive a sustainable treatment plan. Some patients may desire outcomes that help them:
- Learn appropriate coping skills and adaptive behaviors to help control symptoms without the use of medication or drugs
- Learn to communicate well about the things they are struggling with
- Learn how to express complications and frustrations in a healthy way
Many clients will also have set objectives they would like to reach during their treatment. With a co-occurring disorder, for example, someone’s objectives may include:
- Prolonged sobriety throughout the course of step programs as well as post-treatment
- Try antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication in order to relieve symptoms
- Some may desire to keep a treatment/progression log in order to track their progress through treatment and how to better communicate their needs.
These are a few examples and they may change depending on the client and their specific needs. Our trained team and our counselors will work diligently by your side in order to ensure that you receive a treatment plan that will work best for you and help you set attainable goals during your treatment.
Mental Health Treatment Plan
A mental health treatment plan will cover a variety of different plans and treatment options depending on your condition. Below is a list of available treatments here at Transformations Treatment Center:
Psychotherapy includes several therapeutic treatment and psychiatric treatment methods for mental illness. These forms of treatment help address the person’s thoughts, emotions, and behavioral health in order to help improve their well-being. Examples of these treatments include: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and more.
Medication is not a cure for mental illness, but can help manage and curb severe symptoms. Medication-Assisted Treatment is an effective treatment which combines psychotherapy, medical supervision, and medication management to promote a health recovery process. Many people benefit from mood stabilizers and anxiety medications during their treatment.
Support Groups - Counseling & Group Therapy
Support groups and group psychotherapy therapy are vital to an individual’s recovery from mental illness. These can be either led by a clinical psychologist or be peer led. The camaraderie and trust amongst those who struggle with similar symptoms and who share recovery goals can be support system for someone who is feeling hopeless or alone in their mental health journey. In many cases, family therapy can be beneficial in a group setting.
Despite some of the disadvantages of individual therapy, there is great strength and reliability in its process and how it is addressed. Some people may find that individual therapy is exactly what they needed to kick-start their recovery process and get them the specialized care they need in order to be well. However, group therapy is another viable source of support and strength during proactive treatment and care for suffering people.
Lifestyle Changes - At Home Support
Although treatment is important to your recovery, there are many things you can do at home and change within your daily life to add additional support as you walk through outpatient care. Below are a few things that you should consider when undergoing treatment for mental illness:
- Be faithful in attending your counseling sessions and taking medication. Even if you begin to feel better, is it important that you continue in order to help sustain your recovery process. Relapse is common when a person decides to quit treatment too soon. Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing negative side-effects to your medication before quitting.
- Avoid substance use during your treatment. Both alcohol and drugs can inhibit a sustained recovery and can exacerbate symptoms of mental illness.
- Staying active and exercising can help manage depression, stress, and anxiety symptoms. Even light exercise during your day can help make a big difference.
- Maintain a healthy diet and sleep schedule. Sleep and eating regularly are very important to your mental health.
- Time management and re-prioritizing your life can also significantly impact your mental health in an important way. Set reasonable weekly goals for yourself. It may be helpful to cut-out various obligations in order to ensure time for rest and personal growth. Some may find it helpful to have a list of daily tasks and routines to check off as they go about their day.
- Learn to focus on the good in your life. If you begin retraining your brain to focus on the positive things in your life, your life may begin to improve. Try to begin accepting changes as they happen and learn to address problems with different perspectives.
Transformations Treatment Center: Mental Health Treatment
Mental Health issues might be more common than you think. Almost 1 in 5 Americans will struggle with some kind of mental health issue in their lifetime. There is no shame in recognizing that you need help and most people can not do it alone. Fortunately, you will not be alone at Transformations. The right treatment programs and the proper support can help you or your loved ones make a lasting recovery.
We offer a wide variety of treatment options for mental health.