The numbers vary according to the source, but they are still staggering.

The fact is that millions of Americans struggle with mental illness, addictions and a wide range of other mental health problems.

The good news is that many of these afflictions are treatable through psychotherapy and medication. However, successful mental health treatment is dependent upon a number of factors, not the least of which is often a decision on the part of the individual to do whatever it takes to get better.

Severe addictions and mental disorders at times require intervention to ensure an individual receives treatment. However, many others who suffer with mental health issues eventually find themselves at a crossroads. Eventually, they reach a point where they realize they have extreme difficulty in improving the quality of their lives unless they get help.

Not an Easy Road

Depending on the type and severity of a mental health condition, treatment can sometimes be a lengthy and somewhat arduous process. But for multitudes of people who have moved forward to live good and productive lives, strictly adhering to a treatment plan has been well worth the effort.

Whether undergoing depression treatment, OCD treatment or PTSD treatment, most treatment methods call for the patient to change certain behavior patterns and overcome thoughts and feelings they have become accustomed to over time. This can be difficult and even painstaking. But many come through these therapies and treatments with a much different outlook and often times a new lease on life.

An Ongoing Process

For most people with mental health conditions, treatment is an ongoing proposition. Even after successful therapeutic endeavors and finding the right medications, a patient can maintain and even improve their newfound wellness by creating a balance in their lives and developing healthier habits.

These may include:

●Changing to a more nutritious diet

● Exercising regularly

● Finding fun and creative ways to reduce stress

● Joining a support group


Fortifying the progress of a proven mental health treatment plan with positive lifestyle changes can help a patient create a healthy consistency in both their body and mind.

Millions of Americans suffer with mental illness. These come in various forms; from mood disorders and severe addictions to eating disorders. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure or “silver bullet” for most of these illnesses. However, mental health professionals now have a better understanding than ever before regarding the treatment of mental disorders. As a result, increasingly effective methods of psychotherapy are continually being developed.

Case-by-Case Treatment Plans

When an individual reaches a point where they feel the need to seek help, the realization that there is a problem is a positive first step in the healing process. The next step is for that individual to be thoroughly evaluated and diagnosed by a therapist.

The circumstances surrounding an individual’s mental health issues are as diverse as fingerprints. Each patient is very different and influenced socially by distinct environments and effected biologically by genetic makeup.

Although many therapeutic techniques may fit into categories such as “talk” therapy, behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, treatments for depression, bipolar disorder treatment, ADHD treatment and addiction treatment are all approached differently. Treatment plans for these and other conditions are constructed in a way that best suit a particular patient.

Unfortunately, many individuals who struggle with mental health problems never pursue treatment. Reasons for this often include a fear of being stigmatized or a lack of convenient access to care. But in this country, numerous mental health centers are located in close proximity to every major city. These facilities offer experienced mental health professionals to patients who require expert care in order to begin their journey toward productive and fulfilling lives.

C. Stephen Edwards, Director, Adolescent Psychiatry, Lindner Center of HOPE

Teen depression is a serious problem in the United States.  One in eight teens is likely to experience depression.  Teen depression is much more than just bad moods, growing pains or even feeling down.  Depression will impact every aspect of a teenager’s life.  It can lead to problems at school and at home, drug abuse, self-loathing, and even suicide or homicide.  As a caregiver, it is vital for you to understand the warning signs of teen depression.

Here is a quick guide to the behavioral changes of which you should be aware:

  • Sadness or Hopelessness
  • Irritability, Anger or Hostility
  • Frequent Crying
  • Loss of Interest in Favorite Activities
  • Changes in Sleeping or Eating Patterns
  • Restlessness or Agitation
  • Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt
  • Fatigue or Lack of Energy
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Thoughts of Death or Suicide

When evaluating your teen or a teenager you love, consider how long these symptoms have been present, how severe the symptoms are and how much the teen’s behavior changed.

Do not assume your teen will show the same depression symptoms as an adult, as this mental illness will present itself in very different ways depending upon the age of the sufferer.  Teens are more likely to show irritability or anger instead of sadness, and may become grumpy or easily frustrated.  Teen depression can also manifest with unexplained aches and pains.   Be aware of any headaches or stomachaches that are not able to be attributed to a physical ailment.  Depressed teens will show an extreme sensitivity to criticism.  They have feelings of worthlessness, which makes them more vulnerable to criticism, rejection and failure.

If you know a teen who is exhibiting these symptoms, you can help them find treatment.  Start by talking with the teen.  Express your concerns in a comforting, non-judgmental way.  Talk about specific behaviors and why those behaviors are concerning to you.  Visit a doctor and have your teen screened for depression.  This screening will include a physical exam and blood test to rule out any medical reasons that the teen may be experiencing symptoms of depression.

If there are no physical reasons for the symptoms, ask the doctor to refer you to a specialist.  Make sure you get the teen’s input.  Your teen is an important part of this decision.  He or she needs to feel comfortable with the specialist and the treatment setting or it will not help the recovery process.  It is imperative to find someone with whom your teen can connect.  Don’t be afraid to explore a variety of treatment options – from one-on-one therapy or group therapy to medication – until you find what works best.

Never be afraid to talk with your teen about depression!  In many cases, families are unaware of the symptoms of depression and they can easily miss the subtle signs.  Many parents and caregivers can mistakenly assume their teen will show the same symptoms as an adult.  Instead, learn the unique signs and symptoms of teen depression – it could mean the difference between life and death!


C. Stephen Edwards, Director, Adolescent Psychiatry, Lindner Center of Hope is the author of this article on mental health clinics, teen depression and mood disorders.  Dr. Edwards is board certified in general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry and board eligible in pediatrics. As Director, Adolescent Psychiatry at Lindner Center of HOPE he oversees the adolescent inpatient and outpatient programs. He specializes in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and abuse prevention. The Lindner Center of Hope offers a level of service to patients, families and referring physicians not typically found in health care today.  The unique infrastructure provides access to cutting edge treatments years before they become widely available.