Accessing the services of a mental health professional is not necessarily an indication that you or your loved one has a mental health “disorder.” However, it is important to access professional assistance for the following reasons:
- A professional evaluation is the best way to identify a mental health issue and level of severity.
- Early intervention will help to reduce the likelihood of symptoms reoccurring.
- Short-term interventions can be highly successful when undertaken by a seasoned professional.
If you or your loved one is found to meet the clinical criteria of a mental health disorder, all is not lost!
The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals who receive a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments or support have a significant reduction of symptoms and an improved quality of life. (www.nami.org).
Numerous Options Available
When it comes to treatment, there are numerous options. These options should be explored with a mental health professional as there is a wide range of “talk therapies,” some of which have shown good outcomes for certain disorders. Furthermore, one can utilize other ancillary interventions, such as nutrition, physical activity, spiritual guidance and social interaction, any of which can provide additional support and healing. Use all the resources available to you.
Medication can be an important component to treatment, though not necessarily the first intervention one should try. If you or your loved one is in crisis or unable to function during regular daily activities, medication may be immediately necessary. However, medication should not be used as a “quick fix.” We recommend exploring all the possible options before taking medication. That said, the research shows that the best results are obtained through a combination of medical and non-medical treatments.
Self-empowerment is critical throughout the treatment process. You are the expert on you. Take the time to explain symptoms and to ask questions.