Treatment of mental health issues can be broadly categorised into three broad categories. Let me dive into all of them:
Self-management strategies include techniques and tools that individuals can utilize themselves to manage their own mental health issues.
The aim is to put you in charge of managing your condition in the long-term. It is hoped that you, with some guidance, will be able to identify and manage mental health issues which will hopefully bring long-lasting change in your life.
Self-management strategies essentially boil down to three things:
- Information about and understanding of the nature and impact of your issue/condition
- Different ways of managing and coping with symptoms (including thoughts, feelings, and behaviours)
- Seeking appropriate level of care from relevant professionals
One of the best ways to start investing in self-management strategies is by taking stock of what is happening in and around your life. Perhaps, create a journal that lists all the major thoughts and feelings that you experience in a day. Once you have done this for a week, examine the journal to see what thoughts and feelings caused you major heartache. See if you can pick out certain thoughts, feelings, people, events, and places that caused you the most angst. And then ask yourself – if that particular situation were to happen again, would you react the same way or differently? What would happen if you changed your perspective, attitude, and/or habit? How would that change the outcome of that situation? How would this approach change your life?
Psychotherapy helps individuals to understand the nature of their mental health issues and how they can overcome them by working with an experienced mental health professional.
Psychotherapy allows you the opportunity to discuss your life events, thoughts, feelings, and goals with a trained professional who can then guide you through a series of sessions where you can learn crucial skills to manage your stressors and enhance your overall quality of life.
Psychotherapy is not only beneficial for people who are experiencing mental health issues, but also for people who want assistance with managing everyday issues. In other words, you do not need to be suffering from serious mental health conditions to seek help from psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can also help you manage daily life stressors –– handling conflicts, relieving anxiety, coping with changes, managing unhelpful thoughts, and more!
There are several types of psychotherapeutic modalities – each with its own approach and method. The type of psychotherapy that would work best for you would depend on your unique circumstance and requirements. Please discuss your needs and goals with your mental health professional in the first session.
Pharmacology is a branch of medicine which deals with using prescription drugs/medication to treat a range of psychological and physiological ailments. The medication exerts a biochemical effect on the organism (individual) with the intention that this will bring about positive and therapeutic change in the individual. Browse the pharmacology page on Wikipedia for more info.
In simple terms, pharmacology is the study of medicines and how they affect human bodies. Trained health professionals (such as GPs and psychiatrists) will prescribe medication to individuals to help them manage psychological issues.
It is believed that the prescribed medication will cause changes at the cellular and organismic levels which in turn will instigate shifts at the psychological and physiological levels, thereby causing cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioural change(s).
If you have a mental health condition, please consult with your GP and/or psychiatrist. If they prescribe you any medication, ask them how it will help you get better. You must also ask about the side effects of the prescribed medication.
So, What is the best treatment for Mental Health issues?
Although psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy alone can contribute to an enhanced quality of life in individuals, comparative studies have shown that a combination treatment is superior.
However, different people will react differently to treatment modalities. That is, there is no one size fits all approach. The management of your condition will rely on a number of factors. These need to be carefully considered, both separately and in relation to one another.
The best place to start would be to arrange a consultation with your local GP and also see a mental health professional.
Seeking assistance for mental health issues can be a daunting task. If you are finding it particularly challenging to seek help and/or do not know where to begin, you can send me a message and I will try to provide some guidance.