Mental disorders are any diseases or conditions that affect the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, or relates to others. They can be mild or severe and are treated in a variety of ways. Some people with mental disorders need medication to help them function day-to-day, while others may only need therapy.
There are many types of mental disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. In this post, we will discuss the common mental disorders—anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, OCD, Schizophrenia, and depression—and the various treatments available for each one.
Symptoms Of Mental Disorders
Each mental disorder has unique symptoms, but common signs of all disorders may include the following:
- Feelings of hopelessness or sadness that last for more than two weeks
- Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
- Lack of energy and feeling tired often
- Feeling worthless, helpless, or guilty
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Changes in eating habits, such as overeating or not eating enough
- Irritability, restlessness, and agitation
- Thoughts of death or suicide
It is important to talk to a mental health professional if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Types of Treatment
Mental disorders can be treated with medication, therapy, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, and other treatments. Here’s a detailed overview of some treatments.
Prescription medication is one of the most popular methods of treatment. The malfunctioning of neurotransmitters in the brain leads to mental illnesses. Some of these include serotonin and dopamine. These psychiatric medications have chemicals that change the production and regulation of these neurotransmitters.
There are various kinds of medications, some of which include:
Anti-depressants: Anti-depressants are drugs that relieve symptoms of major depressive disorder. These drugs reduce negative feelings such as hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, crying spells, etc. Doctors often prescribe Ketamine as an antidepressant to reduce symptoms of depression. Ketamine cost is usually reasonable and feasible and is often used to treat depression that is resistant to other therapies.
Anti-psychotics: Antipsychotics treat major mental health conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These medications function by regulating dopamine to minimize symptoms of mania. The drugs manage racing thoughts, delusion, rapid speech, mood swings, and odd behavior.
Anti-anxiety drugs: These medicines aid people with generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and social anxiety; however, their long-term use can lead to addiction.
In addition, there are other medicines like mood stabilizers for bipolar and stimulants for ADHD.
- Psychotherapy and counseling
Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy. It is one of the most common methods of treatment. Therapy sessions do not only comprise talking with a therapist, but it also includes:
- Stress management techniques
- Relaxation techniques
- Development of coping skills
- Time management
- Enhancement of awareness
In some cases, therapy is important for people who do not have a mental disorder but are simply facing problems and challenges.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common method. These therapists create specific scenarios to help you escape the self-destructive cycle. The therapist might ask you to repeat a certain pattern of positive behaviors to overcome your negative feelings, thoughts, and habits. For example, with obsessive-compulsive disorder, one may develop a fear of germs and dirt. Your therapist may ask you to reduce your fear by exposing yourself to dirty objects.
Other forms of therapy include dialectical behavior therapy, which focuses on validating negative feelings and changing thoughts. Furthermore, interpersonal therapy focuses on developing healthy patterns in your relationships and dealings with people.
- Support groups
Support groups are also instrumental in the upkeep of your mental health. Such a group consists of people with similar mental health conditions; it can help to form deep, meaningful connections, friendships, resources, and advice regarding your situation. There are certain 12-step programs as well that consist of twelve specific steps that can ease your symptoms, behavioral patterns, and feelings. In certain cases, these group therapies are highly effective for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Eating disorders
- Addictions like gambling and gaming
Some of these programs also have spiritual training. Participants form a connection with divine authority to overcome their challenges and traumas. Moreover, people also communicate about the connection with nature and natural elements. These include bathing in sunlight, visiting greenery and other scenic views, and breathing fresh air. The groups also discuss common problems at length and try to arrive at a common and shared answer. The group has people from various backgrounds, classes, and ethnicities. This develops a heightened sense of confidence and self-awareness in patients.
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a treatment method that involves transferring electrical signals to the brain. It can lead to changes in the brain’s chemical structure and reverse bothersome symptoms. This treatment is usually used as a last resort when other treatment options fail. The stimulation is operated when the patient is anesthetized.
Research has indicated that it is quite effective in treating a major depressive disorder. Moreover, it is used to treat catatonia, a mental health condition in which the patient does not respond well to external stimuli. Even though it can be effective, it does not offer a permanent cure. Thus, other kinds of treatment options are necessary along with ECT.
- Complementary therapy
Complementary therapy includes physical activities, yoga, light therapy, painting, and writing. These therapies are not common among professionals like doctors; however, this form of treatment can be complemented along with medicine and therapy.
It generally focuses on your physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Even though the broader psychiatric community states that there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of this therapy, people still rely on it to relieve the symptoms.
Some forms of complementary or alternative therapies include the following:
- Herbal medicine
- Energy healing
- Spiritual healing
In certain cases, patients with severe symptoms should be hospitalized in a mental hospital. Hospitalization becomes vital once a patient has suicidal thoughts, acts peculiarly, has paranoid ideas, hallucinates, or becomes dangerously impulsive.
During hospitalization, the patient is closely monitored by a team of psychiatrists, nurses, and psychologists. Along with heavy-dose medicines, professionals assist you with other treatment options like psychotherapy, ECT, and complementary therapy.
There is not a single treatment option that could ensure long-term relief; therefore, it is highly recommended that mental health patients seek help from multiple options.
Although psychiatric medicines are quite effective, they can have certain side effects. Similarly, psychotherapy is another option that you can choose based on your needs. In severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be used in conjunction with hospitalization to provide relief.
Support groups can also help you form bonds with like-minded people; you can try the twelve-step program, which is highly effective. However, complementary therapies are also necessary; you can join a gym, an art class, or a spiritual group. Overall, this treatment combination will surely ensure long-term relief.