Living and coping with a mental health issue, be it depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, triggers unbelievable trauma. Mental health issues and conditions disrupt our life quality, shattering our self-esteem and self-worth. No one should have to live with the perpetual hopelessness of depression or the gnawing stress of anxiety disorders.
And yet, mental health issues plague millions worldwide, impairing their life quality and functionality. Therefore, the services performed by mental health professionals are life-changing and essential in maintaining a healthy society. Professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors dedicate their lives to uplifting mentally challenged individuals.
They perform an invaluable service by uplifting people and helping them recover from emotional and mental turmoil. Let’s take a closer look at how professionals can help people living with mental health conditions.
1. Diagnosing & Treating Mental Disorders
Most mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia and personality disorders, are much more complex than physical illnesses. Chronic illnesses, be it cancer or diabetes, usually have a clear cause and effect. It’s easier to identify the culprits and symptoms by running a few medical tests.
It’s easier to stage early interventions and make an accurate diagnosis with physiological illnesses. But diagnosis and treating mental disorders is increasingly complex and challenging. So psychologists and psychiatrists work together in collaborative teams to diagnose and treat these complex disorders.
In most cases, overlapping symptoms make it challenging to identify the underlying condition. Mental health professionals have to dedicate more energy, time, and effort to work with patients and understand their issues. They deploy therapeutic techniques alongside clinical practices to help patients cope, manage and recover from disruptive symptoms.
Aspiring psychologists and psychiatrists typically start their journey with a bachelor of psychology and then carve out advanced specializations and training. Advanced training and higher education are of the utmost essence in building the expertise to treat complex mental disorders. Mental health professionals also have to build credibility by gaining experience under the supervision of licensed practitioners.
2. Emotional Support & Guidance
Not all people seek mental health support for the treatment of complex disorders and challenging conditions. Many people visit counselors and therapists to gain emotional support and benefit from their guidance.
People experience all kinds of trauma stemming from adverse experiences. Some experience the trauma and stress of challenging life events, such as a cancer diagnosis or the death of a loved one. Others struggle with the trauma of a toxic relationship with a narcissistic parent or an abusive partner.
Mental health illnesses are also passed down through genes inherited from our parents. Experiencing depression or developing a panic disorder without understanding the reasons behind the negative emotions is a harrowing ordeal. People often seek mental health professionals’ support to make sense of their negative emotions and experiences.
Therapists work with people to understand, overcome and cope with their internalized trauma and improve their life quality. People struggling with phobias, adverse childhood experiences, and complex personality disorders often get little compassion from their loved ones. Their family and friends struggle to understand their illnesses and often demonize and blame them for their behaviors.
Mental health professionals create awareness to help patients and their loved ones understand the complexities of psychiatric disorders and conditions. Counselors provide the support, compassion, and guidance people need to overcome their issues and build a healthy life.
3. Correcting Damaging Behaviors
Substance abuse, alcohol dependency, and kleptomania are all damaging and unhealthy behaviors that impair our physical and emotional wellbeing. These damaging behaviors require correction because they interfere with our abilities to function as contributive community members. These unhealthy habits render us incapable of functioning as healthy and productive adults.
Did you know that substance abuse and alcohol dependence are the leading causes of homelessness and poverty? Similarly, impulse control disorders, such as kleptomania, the urge to steal, get people in trouble with the law.
Phobias of height, snakes, airplanes, and other activities that may seem laughable to some, end up dismantling a patient’s life. Correcting and eliminating these behaviors are challenging, and therapists usually deploy cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help their patients. Therapists work with their patients to correct damaging behaviors with therapy and clinical interventions.
People with substance abuse and alcohol dependencies experience debilitating withdrawal symptoms. They require specialized treatments with medicinal support to overcome the painful withdrawals and therapy to reinforce healthy and positive beliefs.
4. Finding a Community
There’s nothing more powerful and inspiring than finding a community where people share their experiences, struggles, and traumas. As a result, support groups and group therapy are increasingly popular and serve as life-saving outlets for millions.
Psychologists and counselors help create communities of people with similar grief and trauma to promote solidarity and create a cohesive support group. Many people who struggle to abstain from alcohol or drugs feel motivated when they find support in group therapy sessions. That’s primarily why the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) model is mainly effective at curbing addictions.
Similarly, veterans find support and motivation from groups of multiple other veterans sharing their experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder. The credit for creating such powerful supportive communities go to mental health professionals who work closely with these patients. Finding a community can genuinely prove life-changing for a person struggling to stay focused and determined on their mental wellbeing goals.
Mental health illnesses are increasing alarmingly, which reinforces the need and significance of mental health professionals. The social and economic costs of mental health disorders and issues are unprecedented. These illnesses contribute to rising poverty and homelessness statistics, driving societies towards ruin and disruption.
Psychologists and other mental healthcare providers work tirelessly to reduce the social and economic costs of mental illnesses. In addition, they provide the much-needed care and compassion mentally challenged people need to improve their life quality.