Mental Health Disorders
Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health disorders that affect an individual’s mood, thinking, and behavior.
It is common for individuals to experience mental health concerns on occasion, but these concerns develop into mental health disorders when the signs and symptoms are ongoing and interfering with every aspect of the individual’s life.
A mental illness, if left untreated, can wreak havoc on an individual’s ability to function, and can create problems in many aspects of life including school, work, and relationships. It is important for individuals who are struggling with a mental health disorder to seek proper treatment to prevent future complications.
Types of Mental Health Disorders:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Major Depressive Disorders (MDD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Personality disorders
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Codependent Personality Disorder
Treatment for Mental Health Disorders
Regardless of the diagnosis, each mental health disorder should be taken seriously, and treatment should include medication (if appropriate) combined with psychotherapy. Sometimes treatment requires a length of stay at a residential treatment facility before the client can be treated on an outpatient basis.
Treatment for a mental health disorder is long-term and can last years or even throughout the individual’s life. This is mainly because there are no cures for mental illnesses.
AKUA Mind & Body’s Primary Mental Health Treatment Centers aim to lessen the symptoms associated with a specific disorder. With the proper treatment regimen, it is possible for an individual to be symptom-free for a long-term period.
AKUA Mind & Body Treatment Program
AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. We offer both intensive inpatient programs as well as outpatient treatment. AKUA Mind & Body works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that their treatment plan is specifically tailored to their needs, and not just their disorder.
An individual who is diagnosed with one or more mental health disorders, coupled with one or more substance abuse disorders, is known to have co-occurring disorders. Formerly referred to as dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders affect approximately 8 million individuals in the United States.
Individuals with co-occurring disorders are more likely to have impairments in daily functioning, and within their relationships and work life.
Having two disorders also increases the likelihood of relapse in these individuals. Both disorders must be treated simultaneously, so one disorder does not linger and cause the individual to relapse.
A Psychotherapy Treatment Approach:
The majority of mental health disorders are treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Many individuals may need to undergo long-term treatment, such as at a residential treatment center.
- Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Psychotic Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are generally treated with medications in conjunction with psychotherapy
- Personality Disorders are treated with psychotherapy alone.
- PTSD usually requires specific forms of trauma therapy including trauma informed care and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
- Most mental health disorders will be treated with some form of family therapy, individual therapy, and/or group therapy.
In general, psychotherapy works towards the following goals:
- Identifying and managing underlying issues that trigger harmful behavior
- Learning coping skills to better manage distress
- Learning how to regulate and cope with unhealthy emotions
- Learning how to improve self-image and self-esteem
- Developing skills to improve relationships and social skills
- Developing healthy problem-solving skills
The following psychotherapy approaches are used to treat mental health disorders:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Identifies the negative thoughts, feelings, and distorted emotions associated with depression and anxiety, and uses behavioral techniques to transform these negative thought patterns into positive outlooks and positive actions. Behavioral techniques include self-control therapy, problem solving, and social skills training.
- Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT): Similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy, but also includes mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques.
- Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): Works to recognize the inner conflicts within oneself. Identifies conflict within personal relationships and inner feelings associated with self-esteem. Building relationships, learning coping mechanisms, and developing conflict resolution skills can help diminish these triggers and form positive behavior patterns in future conflicts.
- Eye movement desensitization (EMDR): An eight-phase treatment technique that includes brief, interrupted exposures to the traumatic event, and recalling the feelings and emotions associated with the traumatic event. The therapist determines which traumatic memory to trigger first and asks the individual to hold this specific memory and associated symptoms in their mind. Bilateral (left and right side) visual, auditory, or tactile stimuli are used to desensitize the intensity of the traumatic feelings.
Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Treatment
The majority of private insurance plans cover most treatment regimens for mental health disorders. There are a large amount of affordable generic medications that can be used for treatment in place of more expensive brand names. Always check with your insurance provider to ensure that your psychotherapy and medications are covered by your insurance plan.