When struggling with a persistent mental health issue your whole world just feels “off.” You don’t feel well, you suffer from deep fatigue, you withdraw from friends and family. You just generally are not yourself at all. Because our mental health is so tightly connected to every other aspect of our being, when our psychological wellness is impaired it affects everything about us.
It is so very important to treat our mental health with the same level of attention that we give our physical health. Too often people ignore the need for professional mental health support and suffer needlessly. This ends up taking a toll on general health, job performance, and relationships, and allows the condition to worsen over time.
The most effective mental health treatment helps you return to normal functioning while also improving your quality of life. A quality comprehensive program can unlock the underlying issues that have possibly contributed to the problem, and help you heal. Prioritize your mental health today and get back to the life that you deserve.
The Difference Between the Blues and Depression
People very often proclaim, “I am so depressed!” to describe a challenging period they are going through. Everybody suffers through life’s ups and downs, and when we hit a low patch it can feel like we will never be happy again. But experiencing a bout of the blues is not the same as having a depressive disorder.
Depression is a serious and complicated mental health disorder. To date, science hasn’t yet discovered what exactly causes depression. There are various theories as well as identified contributing factors, but the actual brain science has yet to be discovered.
The DSM-5 provides diagnostic criteria that enable a mental health provider to make a diagnosis. He or she will rely not only on the DSM-5 but also on a personal interview, a review of mental health history, a physical exam, and assessment tools like the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D). The diagnostic criteria include the following. When five or more symptoms are present for a minimum of two weeks, then a diagnosis of major depressive disorder can be made:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, low mood
- Sleep changes, such as insomnia or hypersomnia
- Loss of interest in usually enjoyed activities
- Weight changes
- Sluggish or agitated movements
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Inappropriate feelings of shame, guilt, hopelessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety Disorder
We live in a highly stressful time. The pandemic has inflicted the nation with extreme worry and uncertainty for months now. Stress levels are high and show no signs of letting up any time soon. However, experiencing stressful times in our lives is not equivalent to having an anxiety disorder. Chronic stress or recurrent negative life events, however, may develop into an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are very prevalent, with about 40 million Americans dealing with one each year. There are various types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety, panic disorder, and anxiety related disorders like PTSD and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
When irrational worrying is out of proportion to the stressor itself, then it is likely an anxiety disorder. Classic signs of anxiety disorder include:
- Excessive worrying, feelings of distress or dread
- Muscle tension
- Feeling edgy, tense
- Dwelling on problems, can’t let it go
- Physical symptoms, such as headaches or gastrointestinal distress
- Racing heart
- Shallow breathing
To diagnose an anxiety disorder, a doctor will first want to rule out a medical condition or a medication that may be causing the symptoms. If there is no health issue, the individual’s care will be transferred to a mental health provider. The psychiatrist will interview the person about their symptoms and level of impairment, as well as consult the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.
When It’s Time to Consider Residential Treatment
People experiencing mental health issues will usually first obtain psychiatric help through their doctor or a local mental health provider. The decision to pursue residential treatment is made when the outpatient treatment efforts are no longer effective. For example, symptoms may be worsening in spite of outpatient treatment, causing increasing disruption in daily functioning.
The residential setting can be of great benefit to someone struggling with deteriorating mental health. These settings provide a quiet, safe, and nurturing environment to focus on treatment and healing, without the daily triggers of regular life. Treatment plans are customized to suit each person’s unique needs, making the interventions more targeted and efficient.
Some signs that residential care is the appropriate level of care include:
- Extreme mood swings
- Extreme impairment in daily functioning
- Experiencing serious interpersonal problems
- Experiencing sleep disturbances
- Acting out or disruptive behavior
- Mental confusion
- Extreme irritability or agitation
- Personal hygiene is ignored
- Difficulty concentrating
- Exhibiting extreme anger or violent acts that threaten others
- The disorder is causing health problems
- Memory problems
- Engaging in self-harming behaviors
- Hallucinations or delusional thoughts
- Paranoid thinking
- Substance abuse
- Having suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts made
What Conditions are Treated in a Residential Mental Health Program?
An expert team of mental health providers will include a psychiatrist, psychotherapists, clinicians, and adjunctive therapists who are trained to treat the following disorders:
Depression is a complex mental health condition that may be a short-lived event or persist for a long periods. Depression is characterized by an overall sense of sadness, changes in eating and sleep habits, decreased energy level, difficulty in concentration, loss of interest in usual activities, and suicide ideation. Types of depressive disorders include:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Generalized anxiety features feelings of being overwhelmed by worry and irrational fears. Symptoms include persistent thoughts of dread, restlessness, muscle tension, irritability, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Types of anxiety disorder include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depression, features extreme and intense mood swings that shift between depressed mood and a manic state with little or no warning. Types of bipolar disorder include:
- Bipolar I disorder
- Bipolar II disorder
- Cyclothymic disorder
- Unspecified bipolar disorder
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder and develops in response to experiencing or witnessing an extremely traumatic event where one fears for their safety. These events may be related to combat, sexual or physical abuse, loss of a loved one, a serious illness, or a car accident, for example. Symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, agitation, detachment, avoidance of situations that trigger memories of the event, and self-destructive behavior.
Personality Disorder encompasses a range of mental health disorders that are characterized by a very rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving. People who suffer from Personality Disorder tend to process inner thoughts and cognition in a maladaptive way, causing difficulties in relationships, work, and school. Types of personality disorders include:
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that features overwhelming and uncontrollable obsessive thoughts and resulting compulsive acts used to reduce feelings of intense anxiety.
A substance use disorder may co-occur with a mental health disorder. Patients with a dual diagnosis will benefit when both disorders are treated simultaneously.
What to Expect in Residential Psychiatric Care
The most effective mental health treatment is available through a comprehensive residential program. These programs offer personalized care in a structured but comfortable setting. Meaningful therapeutic activities are scheduled each day to guide the individual toward healing and wellness. A well-rounded residential program includes the following interventions:
Daily psychotherapy sessions with the primary therapist will help establish a trusting relationship between patient and therapist. During these sessions the individual will explore the areas of pain or emotional dysfunction that could be contributing to the mental health disorder. Evidence-based psychotherapies might include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, or prolonged exposure therapy.
Medications are prescribed to help relieve the main symptoms of the mental health disorder. This relief allows the individual to better manage the condition on a daily basis, leading to a better quality of life. The individual’s current medications will be reviewed and adjusted if necessary. Drugs might include antidepressants, sedatives, anti-psychotic medications, or mood stabilizers.
While in treatment for a mental health condition it can be advantageous to meet with others who are experiencing similar mental health struggles. The small, intimate group setting allows for freely sharing personal stories or struggles. A clinician guides the topics of discussion and facilitates the group toward a productive meeting.
Family members gather to learn more about their loved one’s mental health condition, such as the symptoms, the signs of distress if the disorder worsens, and how to respond. Family members have an influential role in helping and supporting their loved one in managing the disorder. Improved communication skills and conflict resolution techniques are also taught in family therapy.
PSYCHOSOCIAL PROCESS GROUP
These sessions assist the individual in acquiring new social skills, such as coping skills, stress regulation, and problem-solving skills. These skills will lead to increased self-confidence and self-awareness within social settings.
To enhance the mind-body connection, restorative activities such as yoga classes, art therapy, and mindfulness meditation complement the traditional therapies.
Mental Wellness by Ken Seeley Offers Most Effective Mental Health Treatment
Mental Wellness by Ken Seeley is a residential mental health program based in Palm Springs, CA. Our program focuses on evidence-based, clinically proven therapies for gently guiding clients toward healthy functioning and wellness. For the most effect mental health treatment, contact KS Mental Wellness today at (888) 312-4262.