Ways to Deal with a Mental Disorder

Patients who have a mental disorder can relieve the symptoms by using complementary or alternative health approaches. In this article, we shall have a brief look into both methods to give you a perspective of what to expect from both.

Complementary health approaches

The recent years have seen a significant change in how people use traditional medication and therapeutic strategies. And while these methods have been instrumental in the wellness journey, they haven’t been able to lessen or clear mental illness symptoms ultimately. For this reason, many patients opt for complementary and alternative approaches to treat the condition. The non-traditional methods can be effective, though patients need to keep in mind that the FDA doesn’t review or approve most of them – compared to prescription medication.

Natural products

Natural products can lessen the mental illness symptoms in several different ways. While there are minimal data on the safety and effectiveness of different complementary practices, studies support that some of these approaches have low, if any, adverse effects.

Omega-3 fatty acids: these are a group of chemicals found in different foods. Research shows that some types of Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in the management of both mental and medical illnesses. Studies reveal that treatment with these chemicals can help decrease the risk of developing a more severe and chronic form of schizophrenia in young people who experience psychosis episode for the first time.

Valerian: this can help reduce anxiety and help enhance sleep. It is an excellent alternative for children and the elderly who are particularly sensitive to side effects associated with the medication.

Maca root: some cultures use Maca root to boost sexual response, but the potato-like plant can also help reduce libido, counter erectile dysfunction among other sexual-related side effects of antidepressants.

Folate: human body needs this vitamin to carry out a range of processes every day. Also referred to as vitamin B9 or folic acid, folate is something that the body doesn’t make on its own. Those suffering from mental disorders often have low folate levels and may gain more with supplementation.

Mind-body treatments: activities like meditation, tai chi, aerobics, and yoga are not just beneficial to the wellbeing but can also alleviate stress.

Medical treatment: psychotherapy

Commonly referred to as talk therapy, psychotherapy is a way to assist people with a wide range of mental disorders and emotional difficulties. It can help control or even eliminate troubling symptoms so the patient can function better.

Psychotherapy can address the impact of medical illness, trauma, and loss, difficulty coping with daily life and specific mental illnesses like anxiety or depression. There are numerous types of talk therapy, but some are more effective on certain conditions than on others. Again, these treatments can be used alone or in combination with other therapies or medication. Based on the therapist’s approach, vast strategies and techniques can be used. But almost all psychotherapy consists of building a therapeutic relationship, communicating and making dialogue, and working towards overcoming problematic behaviors or thoughts.

Types of psychotherapy

Psychologists often draw on one or more psychotherapy theories. A psychotherapy theory serves as the roadmap that guides psychotherapists through the process of understanding patients and their issues and coming up with solutions. Approaches to psychotherapy are divided into five broad groups:

Behavioral activation is a therapy that focuses on helping patients with depression take simple yet practical steps toward restoring their healthy lives. Its provided on a face to face or group sessions with phone calls or regular meets with a therapist. The aim is to motivate the patient to make small, positive changes in their lives. It also imparts one with problem-solving abilities to help deal with problems that affect their moods.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients to explore and change their perspective to life, and free themselves from unhelpful behavioral patterns. Cognitive therapists believe that by changing their thoughts, patients can change what they do and how they feel.

Humanistic therapy emphasizes on patient’s ability to make rational decisions and build to their maximum potential. Respect and concern for others are also central themes.

Holistic or integrative therapy is where a therapist combines elements from a range of approaches and customizes their treatments according to each patient’s needs.

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