Awareness of mental illness is—thankfully—on the rise in the United States today. An important part of our growing awareness is recognition that mental illness is a disease like any other, causing symptoms—and behaviors—that are sometimes beyond control, but not beyond help. As awareness grows, so too does our ability, as a society, to recognize, diagnose, and treat mental illness as we would any other disease or physical ailment.
Yet before we can truly have an educated discussion about mental illness, its impact on individuals and families, and the range of potential treatment options available today, it is critical to understand exactly what mental illness is.
- Mental health is a state of emotional and psychological well-being that facilitates effective functioning in normal everyday activities such as work and/or school, enables healthy relationships and social interactions, and gives us the ability to adapt to change and cope with stress and adversity.
- Mental illness is a collective name for any emotional and/or psychological disorder involving changes—usually negative—in our emotional state, thinking, and/or behavior. A mental illness usually in some way undermines the ability to effectively participate in routine activities, social interactions, and/or relationships, and interferes with the ability to cope with distress.
Mental illness can take many forms and manifest in many different ways. It does not discriminate; mental illness can impact anyone of any race/ethnicity, gender, age, income level, social status, geography, or any other aspect of cultural identity. It may be relatively mild, involving only a slight and/or occasional disruption to everyday living, or it can be severe, preventing any type of normal functioning. It can manifest as one or more physical symptoms or it may present solely as an emotional concern.
Most importantly, mental illness can be difficult to recognize. It isn’t always obvious when a distressed emotional state moves from a temporary mood or feeling to a serious mental health concern. Due to the perceived stigma around mental illness, many people may be reticent about discussing it or seeking professional help. Often, friends and family play a critical role in helping loved ones seek treatment and professional help. Hopefully, as awareness about mental illness grows, the stigma surrounding it that all-too-often prevents sufferers from seeking help, will diminish.
How is Mental Illness Treated?
Like diseases of the body, mental illness is treatable. Under appropriate medical and/or psychological care, many people suffering from mental illness can see drastic improvement in their ability to function at work, at school, and in society. Scientists and researchers are learning more every day about how the brain works and about how mental illness changes the chemistry of the brain in different ways. Luckily, they are also discovering new and increasingly effective treatment options.
A “one-size-fits-all” approach to treating mental illness is almost never effective. There are many different types of mental illness, each of which can impact an individual very differently. Therefore, any appropriate and effective treatment for mental illness must be closely tailored to the symptoms and needs of each individual patient, and then monitored carefully over both the short- and long-term. Usually, treating a mental health concern requires a long-term commitment on the part of doctors and the patient’s support network (friends, family, etc.) to ensure continued effectiveness and, hopefully, success.
In general, treating a mental health disorder usually requires a multi-faceted approach, including physical evaluation, psychological therapy and/or counseling, and medication. The combination of these three elements will depend on the specific nature of the illness, its unique symptoms, and the needs of the patient. Self-help, lifestyle changes, and an active and involved support network of trusted family and friends also play a critical part in any successful treatment.
Traditionally, physicians and psychiatrists have relied on—in many cases—a combination of therapy and antidepressants. Unfortunately, antidepressants are not always appropriate: they simply don’t work for everyone or can have serious side effects. Moreover, all antidepressants take time to become effective and carry the risk of long-term addiction.
Scientists are beginning to understand the potential benefits of IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy as a treatment for mood disorders. This revolutionary treatment—harnessing the power of a well-known and safe anesthesia—has the potential to bring real and lasting relief to many individuals suffering from mental illness, when properly administered as part of a long-term treatment plan.
Contact Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a mental illness, we encourage you to contact Dr. Steven L. Mandel at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles today to find out if IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy may offer an appropriate treatment option.
We encourage you to visit our website at www.ketamineclinics.com or contact us at 424-343-8889 to schedule an appointment.
For more information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling 310-270-0625.