Treatment of Mental Health Disorders and Ilnesses
People with mental illness varying from depression to Schizophrenia categorize themselves as ‘sufferers’ which is not wrong on their part to say as a lot of pain keeps on creeping day by day. But calling them sufferers only as a means of representing their identity in the society is not at all justified. They are just like any of us human beings first. It’s just that they are undergoing certain problems due to illness of temporary or permanent nature like any other physical illness. When a person comes to know that he is suffering from any physical illness, he undergoes some treatment that may be medication or any other resorts like exercising etc.
Likewise, when a person comes to know that he is suffering from any mental illness he should take necessary steps to cure it if it is of temporary nature or if permanent then can go for lowering the effect of its symptoms.
How Can Mental Illnesses be Treated?
Now comes the question, how can mental illness be treated? For maximum people medication is one amongst many tools to treat mental health illness. But then another question creeps in that why do people opt for medication as a means to treat their illness rather than any other means? There are different reasons for them choosing medication such as on doctor’s prescription, to eliminate symptoms, have already exhausted all other treatments to no avail, cases of major and disabling mental illness which can actually give them their normal lives back as the only resort is medication.
How Medicines Help in Mental Health Illnesses:
With the help of medication, temporary relief can be provided but it is not the ultimate solution to the illness whether permanent or temporary in nature. Medication if taken will allow the body to react on its own, without any efforts by the person to act in a certain manner which obviously will help the patient to overcome the symptoms for a temporary period. But it is not the complete solution for the long run.
Sometimes, medication can act as a gateway to reach permanent solutions also. Many patients of mental illness could not opt-out for other methods because of their severe symptoms. So, in order to become stable, they use medicines first and simultaneously could opt for other methods easily. Medication is effective to treat the symptoms but also brings new symptoms to people’s experiences such as nausea, headaches, vomiting, insomnia, fatigue, etc.
Certain natural alternatives, in the form of Self-help Strategies, may also be used in combination with therapy and medication so as to provide for a more effective permanent solution to treat mental illness with reduced side-effects. Some examples are as follows:
- Meditation – helps in boosting mood and lowers stress level. The roots of mental illness lie in taking a lot of stress. In 2010, Dr. Norman Farb Assistant Professorin the Department of Psychology at University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada experimented to find out that meditation at regular intervals can decrease depressive symptoms.
- Exercise/yoga – Research shows that regular physical activity can prevent and treat mental health illness. In 2016, Professor F. Schuch at Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil concluded that exercise is an evidence based treatment for depression. Dr. Wendy Suzuki, Professor at New York University, concluded that 30-40 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week is enough to get out of depression. When a person exercises he releases dopamine and serotonin chemicals leading to a happy mood. A happy mood leads to encouragement for every activity.
- Healthy and balanced diet – Taking good food rich in nutrients like fish, nuts, vegetables, yogurt. People who take these in their diet suffer from very less chances of depression like fish and walnuts are rich in Omega 3 fats.
- Online resources – Websites, newsletters, online workshops, therapy sessions on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram can be of much help to inculcate the feeling of motivation by reading healthy content that is usually posted. This helps the person to come up with positive energy and in releasing negative thoughts.
- Books and documentaries – Various books like “The Depression cure: The 6- Step Program to beat depression without Drugs” by Dr. Stephen Ilardi and documentaries on youtube are uploaded for people undergoing such mental illnesses so that they can become aware of the symptoms and their solutions. It helps them in understanding that it is normal to have such problems and they are not the only ones dealing with these problems.
- Sound sleep – Research has shown that consistent bedtime routine that is waking up and sleeping at the same time daily can help a lot in overcoming such illnesses. Before going to sleep some relaxing activities like reading books can prove useful.
- Exposure to sunlight – As we know sunlight provides Vitamin D which helps in regulating sleep cycles. If a person takes sound sleep then it can reduce a lot of stress levels.
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs – Though, alcohol helps in escaping the current situation but may lead to worsening of other effects due to illness such as it interferes with proper sleep leading to frustration and high stress level.
- Increasing Social life involvement – Maximum of the negative thoughts comes when a person sits ideal so, it’s really important to involve yourself in social gatherings in order to shut the doors for negative thoughts and opening doors for new positive thoughts.
- Good music – A good taste of music with positive vibrations always helps a person to overcome stress and lead a way towards good mood and thoughts of encouraging nature.
These self help strategies are always fruitful in curing such illnesses without any side effects. It is your body and soul seeking solution to the problem so let it go on the positive side keeping in mind that medication is not the ONLY solution.
*All images are taken from www.gettyimages.com
A law graduate who hails from the Himalayan town of Palampur. Finds great interest in creative writing and aspires to become a judicial officer. Believes in the quote “No health without mental health.