Good mental health is a state of positive social, emotional, and psychological well-being. Usually, mental health impacts how you feel, think, act, interact with others, make decisions, and cope with difficult situations.
When one has good mental health, they’re creative, can manage stress, enjoy relating with people, and make better decisions. Also, they can learn, take risks, and thrive in their professional and personal lives.
What Is A Mental Illness?
A mental illness or disorder is a condition that negatively affects your behavior, mood, and thinking. Examples include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Others are schizophrenia, attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD), addictive behaviors, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, and eating disorders.
Mental health issues can develop at any stage of life. Typically, the conditions can result from life experiences such as trauma, abuse, stress, or neglect. Some mental health issues are hereditary, while others may develop due to brain defects, injury, infections, prolonged substance abuse, and prenatal damage.
Signs and symptoms of mental illness vary depending on a person’s condition. Examples of these include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Extreme mood changes
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of hopelessness, unworthiness, and helplessness
- Losing interest in previously enjoyable things
- Difficulty coping with stress and daily challenges
- Withdrawal from friends and loved ones
- Physical health issues like headaches, stomach aches, and back pain
- Sleeping or eating too little or too much
Mental illness can negatively impact how you function at work or school, socially, and in your relationship. Therefore, it’s best to seek treatment as soon as you recognize any signs and symptoms. Left untreated, a mental illness may worsen over time and possibly lead to unemployment, financial hardship, poor quality of life, substance abuse, incarceration, or suicide.
There are various forms of treatment for mental illnesses. These include medications, hospitalization, and alternative and complementary medicine.
Some people may prefer therapy over other treatment options. It’s because results are believed to be longer-lasting, and patients learn effective coping skills. It means one understands what triggers certain reactions and how to deal with them. Besides, patients also learn how to identify negative or inaccurate thoughts and how to replace or challenge them.
Examples Of Therapies For Mental Health Disorders
You might want to consider therapy for treating a specific mental illness. In this case, you must find a reputable treatment facility like Jackson House with experienced mental health professionals.
Standard therapies for mental health conditions include the following:
Counseling is a talking therapy wherein a patient speaks to a trained counselor. Counseling can be helpful when dealing with mental health issues like eating disorders, anxiety, and depression.
This type of therapy can also help with challenges that may lead to mental health conditions like work, family, and relationship-related stress, grief, infertility, and other life challenges. In addition, you may find it beneficial to talk to a counselor if you’re experiencing anger, sadness, low self-esteem, and other negative emotions.
A counselor provides a blame and judgment-free environment for you to share your emotions, feelings, and difficulties. These mental health professionals help by providing validation, support, and a safe place to vent about issues. They also offer guidance on expressing and managing emotions, finding purpose, and identifying and controlling self-defeating behaviors.
You may choose traditional face-to-face or group counseling sessions. Fortunately, technology has made counseling easier and more accessible regardless of geographical location. So, today, you may consider availing yourself of counseling via email or a video conferencing platform.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is built on the idea that feelings, thoughts, actions, and bodily sensations are interconnected. How you think about a particular situation can affect how you feel and behave. Also, certain beliefs you may have about yourself could cause distress.
CBT helps you identify irrational or unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that impact your feelings and actions. After that, your therapist will provide tools to help you stop and replace the harmful thoughts and beliefs with positive ones.
Furthermore, they help you gain a better perspective and practice healthy responses. You don’t focus too much on past occurrences in CBT sessions. Instead, you spend most of the time tackling the present symptoms and making helpful changes.
CBT may be useful for patients with OCD, panic attacks, PTSD, stress, phobias, some schizophrenia symptoms, and eating and substance use disorders. The sessions can be face-to-face with a therapist.
They use different approaches to help you identify and control negative thoughts, establish life challenges, and learn and practice new helpful behaviors. Besides one-on-one meetings with a therapist, you may sign up for an online course, buy a self-help book, or join a group session.
- Art Therapy
Art therapy focuses on the idea that creative expression can help bring healing and lead to positive mental health. Some techniques used are drawing, sculpting, painting, coloring, and photography. The therapist creates a safe and judgment-free space for patients. This enables them to express and explore their feelings or difficulties through art.
The mental health professional will evaluate the emotional undertones of a person’s work to comprehend their thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. With this, they can help patients resolve deeper issues. As a result, the therapist can work with them to improve their social skills, deal with stress, nurture self-awareness, and enhance self-esteem.
Art therapy may be helpful for people dealing with depression, substance use disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and eating disorders. It could also be useful for patients struggling with issues that can negatively impact their mental health, like relationship and family struggles, stress, physical disabilities, and chronic diseases.
Mental health issues can develop at any stage of life. They can negatively impact your mood, thinking, and behavior. As a result, you may experience family, work, and social challenges.
It’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible because untreated mental health issues may lead to difficulty keeping a job, financial problems, poor quality of life, or even suicide. Common mental illnesses include OCD, ADHD, PTSD, depression, phobias, anxiety, and eating disorders.
There are various treatment options for mental illness, like prescription medication and hospital or residential treatment. You may also try therapy, which many consider more effective and longer-lasting for certain mental health disorders.
The above discussion provides insights into different types of therapy, how they work, and what each is beneficial for. It may be time to reach out to a therapist, discuss your preferred approach, and start treatment to improve your social, emotional, psychological, and overall well-being.