Mental illness still carries a stigma. If people have a broken arm, then they get a splint. If people have an infection, then they get an antibiotic. If they have high blood pressure, then they take medication for it. No one bats an eyelash. But, as soon as someone says, “I suffer from mental illness,” society brands them as defective. In truth, receiving treatment or taking medication for mental illness is no different than any other illness. Not seeking therapy and medication could result in disaster, so getting proper mental illness treatment is crucial to your quality of life.
Just a decade or two ago, it wasn’t known that a combination of psychotherapy and medication was a much better treatment option than either method. Since then, mental health professionals and researchers have developed treatment strategies that use the best from each method to be most effective.
The benefits of therapy include its flexibility. Therapists can change both the treatment and their approach as they learn more about you and your particular mental illness or illnesses. The drawback is that once you leave the therapist’s office, you must maintain many of the benefits yourself. The benefits of medication include its ability to support your treatment and management of your mental illness or illnesses for long periods between sessions. For example, suppose your therapist introduces you to coping mechanisms in a session, even if remembering and applying those mechanisms is difficult outside of the office. In that case, you can rely on the medication benefits to assist with your coping.
Health conditions that arise because of your behaviors are part of behavioral health. These behaviors include eating disorders, addictions, and even self-harm. They are not mental health conditions themselves, but they come about because of an underlying mental illness.
Treating the underlying mental illness or illnesses through medication and therapy will alleviate those mental health issues, which will help control or eliminate behavioral health concerns. Many benefits of therapy depend on the kind of therapy in question.
When it comes to therapy vs. medication, each person’s case, while possibly similar, will require an individual treatment plan. One person might respond well to cognitive-behavioral therapy, while another might do better with trauma-informed therapy. One person might tolerate Prozac while another needs Effexor instead because of the detrimental side effects of Prozac. You might need something different. It’s up to your psychiatrist to determine the best treatment plan involving therapy and medication.
Therapy and medication are tools that the psychiatrist uses to help you cope with your behavioral and mental health concerns. No one treatment, or even pair of treatments, is the answer. There is no mental-health panacea available. The psychiatrist’s acumen, experience, and intuition must combine with your desire to receive help and control your mental and behavioral health conditions. It’s a team effort.
Mind Body Wellness understands this symbiotic relationship between therapist and patient. Our holistic approach is to treat your entire body at the same time. Our experience qualifies us to handle your treatment caringly, responsibly, and effectively. Contact us today to find out more.