Here we will go over six tips for finding help for your mental health.
Life as we know it is forever rapidly changing, making it hard to keep up with each day and seemingly harder to maintain a healthy mind and body.
As of 2023, nearly %25 of Americans have been prescribed a prescription for their mental health, making it one of the largest and unspoken health crises of our time. Luckily, receiving help is becoming easier each day.
Let’s jump right in.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have a mental health disorder or are struggling psychologically, you should contact your doctor to discuss receiving help.
Your primary care provider can conduct a mental health assessment. There are multiple assessments used to determine which condition you may have and each assessment will be a series of questions related to your emotions, thoughts, and how difficult life has been since your symptoms began.
If your doctor feels you have a mental health condition, they will likely prescribe an antidepressant or anxiety medication and make a referral to a psychiatrist and therapist. Your psychiatrist will provide an official diagnosis and take over your existing prescription or offer a different one.
The therapist’s duty is to teach you coping skills and help you process any trauma, stress, and other negative emotions.
Talk to The Local Hospital
If you don’t have a doctor to speak with or would like information and suggestions for alternative or additional mental health options, the hospital can be a valuable tool.
Every hospital has a patient advocate, social services, or information center staffed by professionals able to help you find internal and external health resources for your specific needs.
Hospitals also have a financial resources department that low-income individuals can rely on for help when they can’t afford health care so you never have to worry about how you will pay for your mental health treatment.
Talk With Loved Ones
Although you shouldn’t rely on your loved ones to primarily be your support system, talking to them about your mental health can be helpful.
Your loved ones can provide an ear to vent to, comfort, and advice when feeling low.
Additionally, mental health conditions are incredibly common and chances are that you have a few loved ones that have already been down this same road and have words of wisdom and therapist suggestions to offer.
Join Support Groups
Support groups are great for those who want a place to vent to others and learn from them in an anonymous, unbiased, and nonjudgmental place.
There are support groups for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. Many individuals choose to go to alcoholics anonymous meetings even when they aren’t in recovery because the ten-step program is highly beneficial to anyone struggling in life.
You can find in-person support groups at your local church, community center, or through your doctor. Virtual support groups can be found online at places like Facebook, Reddit, and ADAA.org.
Make Lifestyle Changes
When you have a physical health issue, your doctor will likely preach the importance of living a healthy lifestyle full of exercise and fresh fruits and vegetables. However, the benefits healthy living has on your mental state are underappreciated.
Sitting in the sun naturally triggers the release of serotonin (our body’s happy chemical). Physical activity of any kind also triggers the release of serotonin and improves depression and anxiety symptoms, cognition, and self-esteem.
A healthy diet consists of fresh produce, less sugar, and the elimination of processed foods, preservatives, and added sugars. When you change your diet to a healthier one, your hormone production stabilizes, decreasing the amount of stress hormones (cortisol), and increasing the amount of mood-lifting endorphins (oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin).
Use Home Remedies
In addition to changing your diet and activity level, there are many other things you can do or take at home to improve your mental health.
St.John’s Wort- St.John’s Wort is a yellow flower native to Europe that can be found in capsule form and used for depression, ADHD, and OCD.
Cannabis- The cannabis plant has many cannabinoids which can relieve anxiety and depression symptoms. THC has psychotropic properties (meaning it gets you high) and CBD is non-psychotropic but both are capable of decreasing symptoms. Some strains are more beneficial than others so consider talking to a dispensary staff member before making a purchase.
Diaphragmatic Breathing- Diaphragmatic breathing is the practice of consciously using your diaphragm to take deep breaths. This breathing technique helps control the nervous system and relax.
Yoga- When performed correctly, yoga can lower stress hormones, increase endorphins, provide a greater sense of well-being, and improve self-esteem.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids– Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to be an effective mood stabilizer with the ability to improve depression, bipolar disorder, brain fog, and anxiety. You can find omega-3 in capsule form or naturally in fish, hemp seeds, walnuts, edamame, Brussels sprouts, and more.
Although these natural remedies are beneficial, they should not be the sole replacement for therapy and prescribed medications.