The Effectiveness of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
Maintaining Control of Life
There are over 43 million people who suffer from mental health disorders, and like those who are addicted to substances, only a small percentage of them seek treatment because they are embarrassed or ashamed of their condition. Sadly, when mental health disorders are left untreated, they can lead to many more detrimental effects not only on the mind but on the physical well-being as well. Studies show that the effectiveness of mental health treatment will greatly benefit the mental and physical well-being of those who suffer from mental health disorders.
Recognizing Mental Health Disorders
Over 19 percent of the United States’ population suffer from a mental health disorder and only 41 percent of them have sought help from a mental health treatment center. The other 59 percent either continue to suffer from their condition or turn to self-medication and only worsen their symptoms. Seeking help from a treatment center is the only way to properly treat mental health disorders.
The most common disorders include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Depression is characterized by sad and lonely feelings accompanied by the loss of interest in everyday life. Those who suffer from depression also have difficulty thinking or concentrating, perpetual aches and pains, irritability and suicidal thoughts.
Bipolar disorder is widely known to cause emotional episodes, such as intense highs and extreme lows. People may experience depressed moods, difficulty thinking, significant weight loss, rapid speech, impulsive behavior and exaggerated confidence. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder continuously alternate between bouts of mania; it can be confusing and most often, uncomfortable.
Panic disorder is a form of anxiety disorder. It causes people to suffer panic attacks for no known reason; they may be driving in a car and feel a sense of urgency or watching television and begin to experience rapid heartbeats, sweating and excessive fear. Additionally, they may be afraid to drive or watch television again because they fear they may suffer another panic attack.
There are many different forms of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety and agoraphobia. All anxiety disorders are characterized by some sort of fear. People may be afraid of social situations, leaving their homes or what they cannot control. Anxiety disorders cause heart problems and other illnesses.
And lastly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Those who suffer from PTSD experience physical, psychological and emotional impairment when something reminds them of a traumatic event they have experienced. It is most commonly found in military personnel as well as those who have been sexually assaulted or in car accidents.
It is important to seek help is any of these symptoms are present; without treatment, the symptoms will get worse and often become debilitating.
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Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
Most people who actually do seek treatment will visit with a psychiatrist first, where they will be prescribed medication. While medication can help ease the symptoms, they only temporarily numb them rather than actually treat what may be causing the mental health disorder. Medication can also lead to uncomfortable side effects, such as:
- Muscle aches
- Trouble falling asleep
- Weight gain
- Suicidal thinking
- Decreased sexual desire
In order to successfully treat mental health disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorder and PTSD, it is important to participate in therapeutic modalities that are designed to pinpoint the triggers that lead to the symptoms of those disorders.
The most effective therapies include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Solution Focused Brief Therapy
- Brief Strategic Family Therapy
- Family Therapy
The cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective therapies for mental health disorders. It teaches patients how to recognize their negative behaviors and replace them with positive coping mechanisms. Mindfulness and meditation are also other helpful therapies; they help patients focus, breathe and calm themselves in order to relax and react to situations in a calm and positive manner.
Each therapy teaches patients different tools to recover successfully and maintain their mental well-being outside of treatment. The goal of every mental health treatment program is to teach patients how to function normally in every type of situation; they want patients to be able to handle any type of situation.