Has your emotional state been out of control lately?
Maybe you’ve been acting irrationally and self-destructive. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your loved ones are expressing concern over your behavior.
Are you just going through a tough time or is it something more serious?
One in every 5 Americans will develop a mental illness during any given year. If you’re one of these people, you don’t have to suffer alone.
Seeking treatment is an important first step when dealing with a mental illness. Here’s everything you need to know about where to get help.
Do You Need Help?
Everyone feels out of sorts from time to time. How do you know if it’s actually a mental illness?
One major clue is if your emotional state is interfering with your life in ways big or small. If you’ve noticed that you’re losing friends, jobs, or having a hard time in school it could be a sign of mental illness.
Other symptoms include:
- Extreme mood swings
- Substance abuse
- Feelings of constant worrying, paranoia or fear
- Changes in sleep or eating habits
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
These are just a sample of possible symptoms. If any of these apply to you, the next step is to see your doctor.
Getting a Diagnosis
The only way to treat mental illness is to first get a diagnosis. If you don’t already see a therapist, you can start by going to your general practitioner.
After telling them about your symptoms, they’ll likely refer you to a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will work with you to find a diagnosis.
Unlike a disease like cancer, diagnosing mental illness isn’t always as simple as taking a blood test. It might take the doctor time to get to know you and your symptoms.
It’s also common to end up with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance addiction. In fact, the statistics show that 29% of people with a mental illness also abuse alcohol or other drugs.
Figuring out precisely what your diagnosis or dual diagnosis is will allow you to find the right treatment options.
Treatment options for mental illness vary widely from patient to patient. You and your psychiatrist will work together to figure out what you need to get healthy.
For some people, medication is all that’s necessary to get back on track.
For others who aren’t functioning as highly, they might need an inpatient treatment program. At inpatient treatment, you stay in a facility for a period of weeks or months.
During this time, you’ll work with doctors to find the right medication. Your treatment will also include daily therapy in group and one-on-one settings.
If you also have substance abuse problems, you might first need to go to a detox facility. After that, you would move on to a rehab center.
Where to Get Help: The Takeaway
Coming to terms with your mental illness can be scary. But now that you know how and where to get help, you can start on the path towards healing.
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