- By Corey Coblentz
- March 3, 2023
Mental health care is an integral part of overall well-being, yet often times it’s seen as a last resort.
But it shouldn’t be!
It’s essential to take care of your mental health just as much as your physical health.
Whether you struggle with depression, addiction, anxiety, or any other form of mental illness, there is a therapy suited to your needs.
Let’s get started on your journey toward better mental health!
Modern treatment for mental illness
The most common form of modern treatment for mental illness is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a process that helps people suffering from psychological problems by talking about their symptoms and experiences.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing is to find a therapist you feel comfortable with that can help you.
Types of psychotherapy for mental illnesses
Many different types of psychotherapy are available to people struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps people change the negative thoughts and behaviours contributing to their mental health problems.
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) focuses on helping people to manage their emotions better.
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT) helps people to improve their relationships with others.
- Psychodynamic therapy focuses on helping people understand the unconscious thoughts and emotions contributing to their mental health problems.
Benefits of psychotherapy for people living with mental illness
Psychotherapy can help them to understand their illness, cope with symptoms, and to make positive changes in their lives. Some of the benefits of psychotherapy include:
- Improved understanding of your mental illness
- Increased ability to cope with symptoms
- Improved communication and social skills
- Increased self-esteem and confidence
- Better relationships with family and friends
Common challenges with addiction and mental health treatment
One of the most common challenges with therapy is finding a therapist you feel comfortable with. It’s important to remember that therapy is a process, and it may take some time to find the right therapist.
Another challenge with therapy is making the commitment to attend sessions regularly. Therapy can be expensive, and it’s not always covered by insurance.
Finally, one of the biggest challenges with therapy is dealing with the stigma surrounding mental illness. Many people still believe that mental illness should be hidden or ashamed of. This stigma can make it difficult for people to seek help and make them feel even worse about themselves.
Mental illness warning signs
If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of the following warning signs of mental illness, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from friends and activities that were once enjoyed
- Violent behaviour
- Drinking or using drugs more than usual
- Withdrawing from family and society
- Acting strangely (e.g., dressing differently, talking to oneself)
- Losing touch with reality (e.g., hearing voices, seeing things that aren’t there)
Warning signs of addiction
Addiction can manifest in many ways, so it is important to be attuned to the physical and behavioural signs.
Physical warning signs of addiction include:
- Changes in appearance include sudden weight loss or gain, poor hygiene, and bloodshot eyes.
- Changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or sleeping too much.
- Changes in eating habits, such as loss of appetite or binging.
- Increased secrecy and isolation from family and friends.
- Sudden mood swings or periods of irritability.
Behavioural warning signs of addiction include:
- Engaging in risky behaviours, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex.
- Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home.
- Giving up hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable.
- Lying about drug use or engagement in other addictive behaviours.
- Stealing money or possessions to support an addiction.
When should I seek help?
If you’re wondering whether you have a mental illness, it’s important to consult with a mental health professional.
- Some common signs and symptoms of mental illness include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety
- Problems with sleeping or eating
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Who can diagnose mental illness?
Mental illness is a broad term that covers a wide range of conditions. It is important to remember that not all mental illnesses are the same and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction and mental health treatment.
Mental illness can be diagnosed by a primary care physician, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist. The type of professional who diagnoses mental illness will depend on the severity and symptoms experienced.
During the evaluation, the mental health professional will ask questions about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. They will also want to know about your family history of mental illness and any stressful life events that may have occurred recently.
The mental health professional can make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan based on the information gathered during the evaluation.
Questions to ask about your addiction and mental health treatment plan
- What are my specific goals for treatment?
- What are the potential risks and benefits of treatment?
- What are the possible side effects of treatment?
- How long will treatment take?
- How much does treatment cost?
- What is the success rate for this type of treatment?
- Are there any alternative treatments available?
Where to find mental health care
Many resources are available online and in your community, if you’re interested in finding a therapist.
You can start by searching for therapists in your area in directories.
You can also ask your doctor for recommendations.