4 Ways To Treat Mental Illness

As a patient, you have the right to guide your mental health treatment. You have options. When you know your options, you will be able to express your treatment goals more effectively when you visit a mental health clinic. Learn more about the four ways to treat mental health disorders. 

1. Psychotherapy 

Psychotherapy refers to one-on-one talk therapy between a therapist and a patient. 

Some common types of psychotherapy include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) — behavioral therapy that attempts to correct undesirable reactions to trigging thoughts by changing those thoughts and teaching coping mechanisms
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) — behavioral therapy that teaches patients to accept their thoughts and learn how to respond appropriately
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy — behavioral therapy that reduces anxiety when triggers occur using simple cognitive processes
  • Gestalt therapy — humanistic therapy that emphasizes mindfulness and being present in the patient's unique experience without strict goals or emphasis on other people
  • Psychodynamic Therapy — relationship-based therapy that seeks answers for mental health issues in past trauma and negative relationships (oftentimes repressed)

2. Medication

People with moderate to severe mental illness may benefit from medication. A psychiatrist will analyze the patient during a quick medical appointment (as opposed to a therapy appointment) and prescribe medication, such as antidepressants or antipsychotics. The psychiatrist will monitor the patient's progress. Many times, medication is combined with other treatment methods.

3. Group Therapy

Group therapy puts peers together. The participants will meet people with similar concerns, making them feel understood. The participants can also help each other and act as good influences on each other in regard to mental health goals. Shy patients will need to speak in front of a group of people and learn to talk about their feelings to a group of people.

4. Holistic/Alternative Treatments 

Holistic treatments are designed to treat the whole body, including the mind. These treatments trade medication and stuffy therapy rooms for organic supplements, healthy food, exercise, meditation, energy healing, and other all-natural methods. Holistic treatment methods don't have as much solid data as other methods and aren't usually covered by insurance, but they work wonders for those who commit.

Many patients have a misconception about treatment options. Before you pick a therapist, consider your favorite treatment methods and find therapists who specialize in those areas. Give your treatment method time to work. If after several weeks you don't see results, talk to your mental health professional about making a change.

Reach out to a local mental health clinic to learn more.