Mental health is when an individual suffers effects to their psychological and mental well-being. It affects how they think, feel and act as well as how they deal with factors such as stress, how they relate to other people and the choices that they make.
Throughout this article we will be looking at the places people can go to get help with their mental health, as well as the treatments available for mental health problems.
Mental Health in the present day
When someone has a mental health problem, they are actively encouraged by health care professionals to be involved with their care and recovery. Most people choose what care plan they want in place which may include medication, counselling or even self-care.
Although there is still a stigma around mental health, there is a lot less of a one than there was even 50 years ago. This can help people to open up more about their mental health, even if it was just to a health care professional.
GPs and health care professionals are a great resource for people. They have training in mental health, can refer people for counselling and are allowed to prescribe people medication if needed. There is a lot of medication out there for people that have mental health problems and people may decide that medication will be the only way to help them feel better.
Types of medication
Medication can be prescribed to people suffering with mental health problems. Sometimes people will stay on them for a shorter period of time, however for some mental health problems, like Bipolar Disorder, the individual will decide to stay on medication on a long term basis to help prevent episodes of mania.
Common mental health medications include:
- Anti-depressants – These are prescribed for people that are experiencing depression. They work by boosting the activity of chemicals in the brain, such as noradrenaline and serotonin, these are involved with regulating a person’s mood.
- Antipsychotic drugs – These are prescribed to people who are experiencing psychotic experiences including schizophrenia, some types of bipolar and sever depression. They also can be prescribed in very small doses for people that are experiencing severe anxiety. Antipsychotic drugs work in reducing and controlling psychotic symptoms.
- Mood stabilisers – They are prescribed to people experiencing bipolar disorder, mania and hypomania. There are 5 different drugs that can be prescribed.
- Anxiety medication – These are prescribed to people experiencing anxiety. They can help to reduce symptoms and help a person to feel more relaxed, but they won’t cure anxiety.
There are lots of different types of medication for mental health problems, for instance there is more than 1 type of anti-depressant. Each have slightly different ingredients or doses, as medical advances happen more medication will keep coming out. Like all medication, people can get side effects from them or one type of medication may not agree with them where as another will.
Types of therapies
Sometimes people decide they don’t want to rely on medication to make them feel better. They may feel by getting to the root cause, this will help them to get better. There are different types of therapies out there for people to try including:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – When a person has this type of therapy, it will be 1 to 1 with a trained therapist. They will help you to notice and challenge any negative thinking patterns that a person may have that could be causing them to have a mental health problem. It can help you change your thinking patterns to situations that could have previously caused you to be thinking negatively and in turn be experiencing a low mood.
- Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) – This therapy is based on CBT, however it has been changed to help people that experience emotions intensely. DBT helps people to manage difficult emotions by helping a person learn how to recognise and accept them, it is often used with people who experience borderline personality disorder.
- Counselling – This type of therapy involves a trained professional, you speak to them about your thoughts and feelings. Counsellors can help you to understand things better as well as recognise unhelpful patterns and help you to find ways to change them. They can help people that have experienced upsetting past experiences and hard life events. Counsellors can also help people that have depression or anxiety.
- Mindfulness – This aims to help people become calmer and less stressed and cope with difficult thoughts. Mindfulness can help a person who has anxiety too and help a person to deal with their thoughts.