At some time or another, everyone has seen a doctor because of their physical health. Sore throats, stomach aches, sprained ankles—nobody bats an eye at these ailments. But as conversations about emotional well-being come to the forefront, more and more people are asking themselves: What is mental health? And how can I stay or get mentally healthy?
If you have experienced anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, or other mental illnesses, you know that you can’t just grab an ice pack for the symptoms. The truth is that your mental health is just as important as your physical health and requires specialized treatment. You must care for your mental health in order to fully recover, much like you’d need treatment of a physical condition.
So, what is mental health, exactly? We are here to answer your questions on common mental health problems and, most importantly, give you the resources you need to find mental health treatment today.
How Do Mental Health Conditions Arise?
To start, we must answer the question, “What is mental health?” According to an official government resource on mental health, mental health “includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” This means that mental health impacts feelings and the way minds work, which in turn influences the way individuals interact with peers and the world around them.
But how do mental health conditions develop? Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that “mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” Mental health conditions do not discriminate: anybody can struggle with their mental health, whether they are children or grown adults. In fact, your experiences in life from childhood and onward can directly influence your psychological well-being.
Many mental health conditions are also genetic, meaning that they are passed down through families. Additionally, your relationship with your mental health can be greatly influenced by life experiences such as abuse, trauma, and environmental factors.
Mental disorders can be challenging to detect and therefore quite difficult to treat. However, taking care of your mental health is extremely important. When left untreated, your mental health conditions could lead to further complications.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Our mental health impacts everything we do. It can determine how we handle stress, how we feel and act, and even how we make it through our everyday lives. When we don’t take care of our mental health, it becomes much harder to regulate our emotions and behaviors. This can lead to:
- Outbursts of uncontrolled anger
- Impulsive decision making
- Substance use disorders
- Suicidal ideation or attempts
You might not feel like yourself when you are struggling with your mental health. Depending on the mental health problems you experience, you could potentially be a danger to yourself or others. Oftentimes, finding the right treatment for mental disorders can make the difference between life and death.
What Are the Symptoms of Mental Illnesses?
You usually cannot see mental health problems from the outside. These are typically internal struggles. Of course, the symptoms of mental illnesses vary based on your experiences, medical history, and diagnoses. For example, the symptoms of an eating disorder are usually very different from the symptoms of schizophrenia.
That being said, some commonly seen symptoms of mental health conditions include:
- Changes in mood and behavior
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Sudden health issues (stomachaches, headaches, etc.)
- Turning to drugs or alcohol to “cope” with emotional and/or physical pain.
As stated earlier, there are certain elements that can increase your risk of having these symptoms, such as your experiences in childhood and your family history of mental illnesses. If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, please seek treatment from a mental health professional as soon as possible.
How Do You Treat Mental Disorders?
Treating mental disorders requires professional help. For many people, it’s important to find a treatment facility that offers various therapeutic approaches that will actually help you based on your experiences and needs. The best rehab facilities will offer:
- Addiction treatment—Treating substance use disorders for alcohol, drugs, or prescription addiction should always start with a safe detox process. From there, you will be able to fully commit to the emotional and mental recovery journey to heal from addiction and all of the complications that come with it.
- Adult mental health services—This program offers services to treat conditions like bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD. Treatment options include medication management, group therapy, family education, and more.
- Crisis care—These services are most beneficial if you need a safe environment to work through mental health symptoms that can feel scary and harmful, such as having suicidal thoughts.
- Dual diagnosis program—If you find yourself dealing with addiction to drugs or alcohol in addition to having an untreated mental health condition, know that you are not alone and treatment is available. The dual diagnosis program will treat both mental health and substance use disorders to ensure the most effective recovery process.
- Partial hospitalization options—A partial hospitalization program is sometimes a necessary option for patients who cannot dedicate the time needed for intensive residential treatment but would still benefit from similar approaches offered in the adult mental health recovery program.
- Christian recovery program—With this option, you will use traditional approaches to recovery, such as the 12-step program, to work toward total physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Your relationship with your mental health shouldn’t have to leave you feeling miserable or helpless. With the right treatment and professional support, you can manage your mental health conditions and live a happy, healthy life.
Where Can I Treat My Mental Health Conditions?
Now that you no longer have to wonder, “What is mental health?” you can begin to work toward healing from these conditions and symptoms. At the Blackberry Center of St. Cloud, Florida, we believe in the importance of evidence-based mental health care. In addition to all of the services listed above, we are proud to offer further treatment options, such as recreational therapy and planning for post-discharge life, to give you the safest, most effective recovery process.