According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness, one in every five American adults have some form of mental illness, while one in 20 are living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.
Living with a mental illness is more than just feeling sad or anxious. There are a lot of misconceptions about mental illness which can make it can be difficult to determine if someone is dealing with one, especially if they have been struggling for a long time. You may think some of the common symptoms — such as overeating, sleeping too much or struggling with your daily routine — are just how you are.
For those who do know they have a mental illness, the stigma surrounding such issues can lead them to not seek care. Some people may self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, which can lead to addiction, or may self-harm to attempt to cope.
Mental health conditions tend to affect every aspect of your life, physically and mentally. You may find yourself experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive fears and worries
- Social withdrawal
- Overeating or undereating
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Difficulties paying attention
- Inability to derive pleasure from hobbies
- Trouble keeping up with daily routines
Treating Mental Health Disorders
Most mental health disorders are treated with a combination of medication and therapy. At Sovereign Health, our expert doctors and psychiatrists decide the best course of treatment based on your medical history and patient history, as well as a psychical and psychiatric evaluation. Based on their assessment, our doctors and psychiatrists will design a treatment plan that fits your needs, and also addresses any underlying issues along with your disorder, such as addiction. Sovereign Health treats a number of mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma and more.
Medication For Mental Health Disorders
Treating mental health disorders usually involves some form of medication, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and/or antidepressants. Medication can often take several weeks to start working, so patients have to wait and see if the prescribed medication is for them. Patients may also experience side effects when taking medication. The most common side effects are:
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Decreased sex drive, sexual problems
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Trembling (specifically with mood stabilizers)
- Constantly thirsty; constantly needing to urinate (specifically with mood stabilizers)
While annoying, the benefits of medication usually outweigh the negatives; plus, side effects typically go away after a while. However, if a side effect is bothering you for a long term, talk to your psychiatrist about it. You may be prescribed a new medication.
Note that some medications, such as antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, can have serious side effects, so it’s important to be closely monitored by a psychiatrist if you are taking these.
One thing to realize is that medications like antidepressants typically only target the physical side effects of mental health illnesses, such as oversleeping or overeating. That’s why patients should also attend therapy and counseling sessions so they can learn the life skills needed to cope with the emotional effects of depression.