The battle for stable mental health has become a hot topic in recent years as more and more American citizens find themselves feeling isolated in what may appear to be a losing battle. While it is a heartbreaking statistic that the majority of Americans do find themselves in conflict with a mental health condition, as these numbers have grown, so, too, has the accessibility and quality of mental health treatment opportunities.
So, while you might be challenged with a mental health disorder, you absolutely do not have to surrender to it or give up on the hope of recovery.
Common mental health disorders
Behavioral health conditions are quite common in American society. These conditions do not discriminate and can impact anyone regardless of age, race, gender or socio-economic status. They affect your thoughts, feelings, moods and behavior and may occur once, occasionally or chronically, negatively impacting your ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis.
These conditions include:
- Various types of anxiety;
- Bipolar disorder;
- Panic disorder;
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD);
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- Disordered eating;
- Substance use disorders (SUD);
- Psychotic disorders.
While these disorders do appear quite often, it’s important to seek professional counseling help proactively. When left unaddressed, mental health conditions can quickly deteriorate your quality of life, physical health and peace of mind.
The prevalence of mental health disorders
Behavioral health conditions are as, or even sometimes more, prevalent than some of the most common chronic health conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension or obesity.
- Behavioral health conditions affect nearly 43.8 million American people;
- Cancer affects 1.6 million;
- 1.5 million are diagnosed with diabetes per year;
- 116 million battle hypertension (high blood pressure);
- A little over 140 million people are obese.
When it comes to these physical health conditions, people are quick to seek out treatment and do what they can to improve their health. However, not as many people respond to mental health conditions in quite the same way. This could be because symptoms are not necessarily as obvious, or it could be due to a preconceived stigma about therapy and counseling treatments.
However, just as chemotherapy can be effective in defeating cancer, mental health counseling and treatment programs are just as effective in addressing mental health conditions. It’s vital to realize that just as seeking a doctor’s help for your physical health is crucial at times, so, too, is seeking the guidance of a counselor for your mental health.
What causes a mental health condition?
Why some people develop behavioral health conditions and others don’t is based on a combination of factors, which may include:
- Genetic predisposition;
- Alterations to brain chemistry;
- Changes in the brain circuitry and structure;
- Impacts from drug use, physical or psychological trauma or injury during normal brain development (such as during pregnancy or first few years of life);
- Environmental exposures, such as experiencing some form of abuse, grief or trauma;
- Gender differences;
- Co-occurring conditions;
- Characteristics of personality.
Our formative years as a child and our family systems also influence how we see the world and interact and form relationships with others. We are all different and how we respond to or rebound from adverse events depends on a range of variables.
A good example of this can be seen in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder — two individuals can experience or witness the same traumatic event, and only one of them be diagnosed with PTSD. This could be due to the one individual’s personality, their background history or even the way their brain perceived the event as opposed to how the other person’s brain perceived it.
How is a mental health disorder treated?
Mental health disorders are all treated differently based on the type of disorder diagnosed. Those who struggle with substance use disorder best benefit from addiction detox and treatment; someone combatting an eating disorder requires treatment from an ED facility; and someone with PTSD should see a therapist trained in trauma-informed therapy.
Generally speaking, however, mental health conditions are treated through methods like talk therapy with a counselor, group therapy sessions and even creative therapy approaches like equine or art therapy. The individual and their counselor will take time to assess the client’s needs, diagnosis and goals and then craft a treatment plan to provide their highest chance at recovery.
Reach out for mental health care today
We all encounter adversity during life’s journey, such as the death or loss of a family member (or other significant support person), loss of a spouse or significant other, loss of a job, a geographic move, divorce – a wide range of life’s events will have an impact.
Adversity can also have a cumulative effect on us, making us more susceptible to developing a behavioral health condition. It is not a sign of weakness to be depressed or anxious; having the courage to address it is a sign of strength.
If you’re ready to take steps towards improving your mental health, reach out to Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare today at 678-274-4936.