Your Story is Important. Hope is Real, Help is Real.
About 1 in 5 adults experience mental health conditions each year. United States’ suicide rate per year has increased to 13.26 per 100,000 individuals. This being nearly 30,000 individuals each year.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a mental illness is defined as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. This most commonly affects a person’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. It is crucial that symptoms are noticed early on and support is provided to increase the likeliness of recovery. Some common signs of mental illness are excessive worrying or fear, feeling excessively sad or low, extreme mood changes, changes in sleeping and eating habits, substance or alcohol abuse and thoughts of suicide.
There are more than 200 different types of mental disorders. Amongst those, the most common are: Clinical depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, dementia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and autism.
Each mental illness has different symptoms and treatment options from another. Even people with the same diagnosis will have different experiences, needs, goals and objectives for treatment. There are three main treatment types for mental illnesses: Psychotherapy, psychosocial treatments and medications. Psychotherapy is when a person speaks with a trained therapist in a safe and confidential environment to explore and understand feelings and behaviors and gain coping skills. This is commonly referred to as “talk therapy.” Types of psychotherapy include: Cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, interpersonal therapy, metallization-based therapy, psychodynamic therapy and the use of therapy pets. The second treatment type is psychosocial which includes different types of psychotherapy and social and vocational training. The aim is to provide support, education and guidance to people with mental illness and their families. This can lead to fewer hospitalizations and less difficulties at home, at school and at work. Types of psychosocial treatments are psychotherapy, psychoeducation, self-help and support groups, psychosocial rehabilitation and assertive community treatment. Most medication treatment plans typically consists of pills or capsules, taken daily. Although, some can also be available as liquids, injections, patches or dissolvable tablets. Different types of medication vary based on the mental illness. Someone who experiences psychosis would take antipsychotics. Antidepressants are prescribed for people experiencing depression. There are also anti-anxiety medications and mood stabilizers. Treatment plans often overlap one another and aid the other treatments.
A major self-help organization is To Write Love On Her Arms. They are a non-profit organization designed to spread awareness and provide resources to help those who struggle with mental illnesses. They stress that hope and help are both real. Among different facts about mental health that they list on their website, they provide local treatment centers and hotlines around the world.
If you or anyone you know has a mental illness, it is important to get help. In regards to a crisis, there are national hotlines with trained professionals to talk you through it. National hotlines are listed below:
National Hopeline Network
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
24-hour Chat: online.rainn.org
24-hour Chat (Español): ohl.rainn.org/es/
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ)
Treatment Referral Hotline
911 AND ANY LOCAL EMERGENCY ROOM ARE ALSO GREAT RESOURCES IN TIMES OF CRISIS.