Mental health disorders can be just as devastating to your overall well-being as any physical condition. According to the World Health Organization, the following psychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of disability and death around the globe:
- Bipolar disorder
In spite of the harmful consequences of mental illness — including social isolation, substance abuse, chronic unemployment, broken relationships and suicide — many of those who suffer from psychiatric disorders don’t get the help they need. In many cases, fear and denial make people with psychiatric illness reluctant to reach out. Yet getting treatment for a mental health disorder is just as important as getting medical care for high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or any other serious health problem.
Mental Health Disorders in the US
Mental illness is a widespread public health concern in the United States, affecting up to one in four American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Psychiatric disorders take a huge toll on an individual’s personal life, physical health and economic status. Among Americans between the ages of 15 and 44, depression is the leading cause of disability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2006 to 2007, 67.4 million people in the US sought medical treatment at doctors’ offices, public health clinics and emergency rooms for a mental illness.
Why is it so important to get treatment if you have a mental health disorder? Consider the following consequences of an untreated psychiatric illness:
- An increased risk of accidental injury or suicide
- An increased risk of chronic medical problems
- Difficulty finding and keeping a fulfilling job
- Separation from partners, spouses or children
- Exposure to substance abuse, poverty and homelessness
Getting treatment for a mental illness may not only improve your quality of life — it can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Is Treatment Really Effective?
Mental health disorders like depression, personality disorders or anxiety can make you feel hopeless about the future. You may wonder whether you really have a chance at achieving the kind of life you want, even if you reach out for help. But the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that treatment strategies for serious mental illness can be highly effective. The combination of therapy, social support and psychiatric medication has helped 70 to 90 percent of individuals with mental illness lead more satisfying, stable lives.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness or a substance use disorder, you have a lot of treatment options available. Individual counseling, self-help groups, family therapy and pharmacological therapy have helped many adults manage the symptoms of severe mental health disorders. With the help of compassionate professionals who are cross-trained in addiction recovery and mental health treatment, you can overcome both the symptoms of a psychiatric condition and the devastating effects of alcoholism or drug abuse.
Choosing the right recovery program is the first step in your journey to recovery. The addiction treatment centers that make up the Foundations Recovery Network offer fully integrated treatment for mental illness and substance abuse. We provide residential care and outpatient services for individuals suffering from a Dual Diagnosis at our facilities in California and Tennessee. Our goal is to give people like you the support you need to enjoy a lifetime of successful recovery.
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David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.