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.

 Mental health problems are the leading cause of disability in the U.S., costing our society countless hours of productivity each year.

The types of mental illnesses are wide-ranging and are classified according to symptoms and characteristics.  It is not always easy to pinpoint a specific mental disorder. This is in part due to similarities between some of the symptoms of various illnesses. Although many established treatment methods have proven to be effective, approaches to treatment are continuously evolving and depend upon circumstances and contributing factors that are unique to each individual.

The Most Prevalent Types of Mental Disorders

Nearly nine percent of Americans suffer from some form of depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Depression falls into the “mood disorders” category and can range from relatively mild depression to potentially debilitating “major depression.”

Other mood disorders include manias and manic disorders — which are indicated by abnormally elevated moods and elation — and bipolar disorders, which carry symptoms such as fluctuations between mania and depression or “mood swings.”

Personality disorders are another common category of mental illness. These are indicated by unstable and socially abnormal behavior patterns and include disorders such as schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Mental illnesses such as OCD and various phobias are often also categorized as anxiety disorders.

The statistics on mental illness in our society are sobering. But the good news is that expertise in the areas of OCD treatment, depression treatment and overall mental health treatment continues to advance. Innovations in research, medications, psychotherapy, behavior modification techniques and the advent of technology such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS treatment) are resulting in increasingly positive results in the treatment of a wide spectrum of mental disorders.

From stress-related issues to a more acute mental illness such as bipolar disorder, psychological problems are wide-ranging in their symptoms and severity levels.

When determining which treatment route that an individual struggling with mental health problems should take, the first step should be a psychiatric evaluation conducted by a mental health professional. Once the problem is pinpointed, usually some level of “talk therapy” will ensue.

Depending on the severity of the condition, a combination of psychotherapy and medication are often central to a patient’s treatment plan.

If medications are deemed necessary, a patient might have to try several different types before finding one that adequately treats and stabilizes their symptoms.

Research and case studies have proven that medications can be a vital component in improving a patient’s mental well-being. But the importance of an experienced therapist who can guide a patient toward an improved mental outlook cannot be overstated.

Why Psychotherapy?

For many of us, it is difficult to understand how the person who seemingly has it all —

looks, intelligence and some level of “success” — can be so anguished on the inside. There could be several reasons as to why this anguish has developed, such as a phobia, major traumatic experience or genetic predisposition to a mental illness.

How Treatment Helps

One benefit some individuals who have participated in psychotherapy treatment have experienced is an increased self-awareness of their mental health problems. By having an enhanced understanding of the reason or source of their mental anguish, patients are often able to better process their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

A good psychotherapist can lead a patient toward perspective and help them achieve a sense of peace in their lives by confronting the issues responsible for the fear, anxiety and self-doubt in question.