Treating Mental Health Disorders

Mental health is a combination of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health treatment is important because it helps us realize our potential, living a life with purpose and meaning, forming positive relationships with others, and experiencing peace of mind, contentment, happiness and joy. 

 What is an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorders are serious problems that cause significant worry or fear that doesn't go away and may even get worse over time. Most anxiety disorders lead to people being needlessly restricted in life.  We all feel anxious at times, after all, anxiety is a normal human emotion designed to help us be careful and keep us safe.  It becomes a disorder when the anxiety is fairly constant and has a negative and intrusive impact on the quality of a person's life.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder.  

 Treatment Options

Although each anxiety disorder has unique characteristics, treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” and medications. 

Anxiety

 
 

Depression

 

 

 

 

What is depression?

Depression is mental health disorder characterized by persistent low mood or loss of interest in activities, with significant impairment in daily life.  Possible causes include a combination of biological, psychological, and social stressors. For a given individual the respective weight of these dimensions may vary.   

  Types of Depression

There are many different types of depression.  A common confounding type of depression is bipolar depression. While not inherently more severe or difficult to treat than other types of depression, the treatment is different, standard antidepressants often fail to help a patient achieve stability.  Confounding issues regarding possible depression are sadness and grief which, though very painful, are not pathological.  It is often helpful to consult a doctor or therapist who can help you understand and  address your unique  issues.

Treatment Options

The mainstay of treatment is usually medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two.   Medications to treat depression have been around for decades, however, exciting new medications options are emerging.   Ketamine, for example, has recently been given FDA approval to treat severe depression. It is among a class of newer medicines that offer the promise of not only having a strong and positive biological effect, but also appearing to enhance ones counseling.

 

Bipolar Disorder

 

 

 

 

What is Bipolar Disorder?

 

Bipolar Disorder is a diagnosis that relates to individuals who have stormy moods.  The condition is characterized by a spectrum of severity, from individuals with mood swings on one end, to classic manic depression on the other.   Patients on the less severe end of the spectrum are quite common.  Many people with bipolar disorder often initially come to their doctors complaining of feeling depressed and hence are often repeatedly treated with antidepressants which often do not work very well.


The exact cause of bipolar disorder isn’t known but a combination of genetics, environment, and altered brain structure and chemistry may play a role.  Manic episodes may include symptoms such as high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes include symptoms such as low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. Mood episodes can last days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.

Patient's on the less severe end of the spectrum often experience moodiness and emotional volatility.

  

Treatment Options

Bipolar disorder is quite treatable but there are a lot of subtleties to its pharmacologic treatment so that referral to a specialist is often a good option if the condition is suspected.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

 

 

 

 

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress is condition in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event or overwhelming event.
The condition may last months or years.  Triggers can unexpectedly bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.

Symptoms may include nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions to stress, anxiety, or depressed mood.
Treatment includes counseling with an experienced therapist as well as the possible use of medications to manage symptoms.

  Treatment Options

Treatment typically includes working with an experienced therapist as well as the possibility of medications to manage symptoms.

 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

 

 

What is ADHD?

ADHD is lifelong condition characterized by attentional problems, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
ADHD often begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood. It may contribute to low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and difficulty at school or work.
Symptoms include limited attention and hyperactivity.

  Types of ADHD

ADHD, combined type is the most common type of ADHD.  It is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors as well as inattention and distractibility.

ADHD, impulsive/hyperactive type. This, the least common type of ADHD and is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors without inattention and distractibility.

ADHD, inattentive and distractible type. This type of ADHD is characterized predominately by inattention and distractibility without hyperactivity.

Treatment Options

Treatments include medication and talk therapy. Stimulants are the best-known and most widely used ADHD medications.