Mental health disorders can be debilitating and difficult to manage, but there are a variety of treatments available to help. Psychotherapy, medications, and somatic treatments are all options for treating mental health disorders. Psychotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of mental illness provided by a trained mental health professional. Medications don't directly cure mental illness, but they can help manage symptoms.
Somatic treatments include drugs, electroconvulsive therapy, and other therapies that stimulate the brain. Most studies suggest that a treatment approach that includes both drugs and psychotherapy is more effective than any of the treatment methods used separately. Psychiatrists are the only mental health professionals licensed to prescribe medications, but other mental health professionals such as clinical psychologists, nurses specializing in psychiatry, and social workers can provide psychotherapy. Primary care doctors and other types of doctors may also prescribe medications to treat mental health disorders.
In recent years, significant progress has been made in the field of psychotherapy. By creating an atmosphere of empathy and acceptance, the therapist can often help the person identify the source of problems and consider alternatives for dealing with them. The emotional awareness and vision that a person gains through psychotherapy often result in a change in attitude and behavior that allows them to live a fuller and more satisfying life. Psychodynamic psychotherapy, like psychoanalysis, emphasizes identifying unconscious patterns in current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Supportive psychotherapy is based on the empathic and supportive relationship between the person and the therapist. It encourages the expression of feelings and the therapist provides help in solving problems. Electroconvulsive therapy is the most effective treatment for severe depression, but it can cause temporary memory loss. Other therapies that stimulate the brain, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation may be beneficial for people with depression who don't respond to medications or psychotherapy. Antidepressants are medications that can help you sleep if you have serious problems sleeping or calm you down if you experience severe anxiety (sometimes called anti-anxiety medications).
Agomelatine is a new type of antidepressant that may be used to treat major depressive episodes. The symptoms that define each mental illness are detailed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. Working together with your primary care provider or mental health professional can help you decide which treatment may be best for you based on your symptoms and severity, your personal preferences, the side effects of medications, and other factors. In most cases, a mental illness won't improve if you try to treat it on your own without professional care. However, your healthcare provider can perform tests to rule out other conditions that may affect mental health. If you have a mild mental illness with well-controlled symptoms, treatment from your primary care provider may be sufficient.
As a result, many mental health disorders can now be treated almost as successfully as physical disorders. Some people find complementary and alternative therapies to be helpful in managing stress and other common symptoms of mental health problems. When you're living with a mental health problem or supporting someone who has one, access to the right information is vital. Your treatment depends on the type of mental illness you have, how severe it is, and what works best for you.