I Know There’s a Mental Health Problem. Now What?
Roughly one in every eight people has a mental health issue of some kind, and numbers are rising. From additional pressures in everyday life to navigating a global pandemic, mental health issues have increased substantially in recent years. When it comes to treating a mental health problem, recognizing there’s an issue is the first major step toward recovery. If you’re sure you have a mental health problem, you can take steps to live a healthier, happier life.
What Exactly is a Mental Health Problem?
Mental health is a broad term that encompasses a range of emotional, psychological, and behavioral issues. Mental illnesses typically involve problems functioning in work, family, or social situations. Examples of mental health problems include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Whether stemming from genetics or outside factors (like stress or trauma), mental health problems can be addressed and treated. People with mental illness can live a happy and successful life. If you’ve realized that you have a mental health problem, there are steps you can take to improve your mental, psychological, and physical situation.
3 Steps to Address a Mental Health Problem
When you’ve identified a mental health problem, take these steps toward recovery.
1. Enlist the Right Support
As in any recovery situation, the key to a successful outcome is enlisting the right support. Surrounding yourself with positive influences, encouraging people who are free of judgment, and trained professionals who are experts in helping you through your recovery are essential for setting you up for success. Benefits of a strong support system include:
- Overall well-being
- Improved coping skills
- Lower levels of depression
- Less stress
It’s important to know your options and realize that you have the power to include or exclude whoever you want to be part of your recovery team. Your support system could consist of trusted mentors, caring friends and family, and even certified doctors. Whoever you choose to include, be sure to set clear boundaries.
Name your limits and hold people accountable to them. Realize that it’s okay to make your mental health a priority, and if anyone on your support team breaks your trust or goes against your wishes, it’s your right to remove them from your team.
2. Choose a Good Recovery Program
Begin the search for a recovery program that can help you overcome or at least effectively treat your mental health problems. Programs are available in a range of formats, including:
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Peer recovery programs
- Medications and outpatient management
Consider which type of recovery program is best for you, then ask trusted friends and doctors for referrals. Check with your insurance company to see who they recommend. Reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for possible contacts. Monitor social media chats and forums to see what programs other people are using, and what kind of experiences they’ve had.
Once you have a list of programs, research each of them and find the one that is the best fit for you. Whichever you decide to go with, you need to be prepared to commit to the process of recovery and treatment. Mental health problems will not correct themselves on their own. Trust in the program and see it through to completion.
3. Seek Out a Reputable Therapist
A therapist can be a powerful tool in your mental health recovery process. Talking with someone about the things that weigh on your mind can help bring relief and understanding to the source of your feelings. A reputable therapist can help you identify root problems without judgment, all while helping you reach personal acceptance for a positive outlook on life. When seeking out a potential therapist, look for:
- A positive connection and good rapport
- Someone you feel you can trust
- A person who believes in you
- Good communication skills
- Someone who makes you feel comfortable
You might also consider things like certifications and licenses, as well as someone who specializes in your particular mental health issue.
Seek Help for Your Mental Health
Ethos Recovery provides people in recovery the support and resources they need for long-term sobriety. From substance abuse to mental health issues, our all-male community in recovery builds the skills for self-empowerment and personal development for the best possible outcome.
Contact us today to schedule an assessment or to tour our facility.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.