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How do I know I need help?

Monday, March 24, 2014

How do I know I need help?

Mental health is a complex part of overall health that often requires a lot of time and energy to understand.

Mental health is a complex part of overall health that often requires a lot of time and energy to understand. Individuals may seek treatment for anxiety, depressed moods, racing thoughts, irritability, mood swings, or other concerns. Although there are many reliable sources describing the symptoms and treatments of various mental health conditions, most people needing or considering treatment are coping with situations made more complex by the various factors in their lives. Because of this, identifying a particular condition on one’s own is rarely simple.

Unlike a physical illness, which usually has easily recognizable symptoms that are similar in most individuals, a mental illness can be as unique as the person who has it. An illness like depression affects a person’s friends, family and job, and the reverse can be true as well. The way to tell if treatment is needed is to look at the degree to which family, friends, work, and a person’s overall sense of well-being are hurt or hindered by factors relating to a person’s mental and/or emotional state.

If you’re thinking that mental health treatment might be an option, chances are, you can probably receive some benefit from it. Checking it out can provide you with knowledge, and it may also get you some peace of mind. Look online, examine some providers’ websites, and ask your friends, doctors, or insurance provider for suggestions.

In most cases, mental health treatment is your choice. The professionals work for you, not the other way around. You have the right to understand your treatment and why it’s being given to you. So ask as many questions as you feel you need to.

Seeking help is not a sign of weakness or a cause for shame. Despite the narrow and stigmatizing views that may be held by others or reinforced in the media, seeking mental health treatment reflects good judgment and a willingness to work toward feeling better. If you are worried about getting “labeled,” discuss this with your provider as well. In some cases, an official diagnosis is not necessary for ongoing treatment. Some providers delay a diagnosis until they know a person better. Since many treatments apply to a range of diagnoses, the name of your condition is often less important than the helpfulness of your chosen treatment.

Many people endure some trial and error before finding the treatment or treatments that work for them. Medications often take several weeks for a person to feel their effects. Talk therapy often works best with participation on the part of the person in therapy. Depending on your symptoms, needs, and preferences, you may receive therapy, medication, or both. You may see one provider for medication and another for therapy. Providers may also recommend peer support groups, where you can discuss your symptoms, treatments and challenges with others in similar situations.

Mental health treatment is confidential. Your insurance does not need to be notified if you pay for office visits and medications out of your own pocket. If you do involve insurance, you are likely to face fewer restrictions than those seeking treatment just a few years ago, as new legislation has expanded coverage for many mental health conditions.

The conditions you seek treatment for do not define you, and with the right treatment, your illness does not have to limit you. If you’re considering mental health treatment, we recommend giving several methods and providers a try, if this is financially feasible for you. Again, your treatment is your choice, and you have the right to reject any treatment that doesn’t work for you while continuing to search for one that does. Hope is only a phone call away. Let us help.  Just call 573-860-1601 or 1602.