Mental health disorders are more common than you may think. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental illness in a given year. If you’re struggling with a mental illness or know someone who is, check out this guide to learn more about the common disorders, their symptoms, and how they’re treated.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by feelings of fear, worry, and apprehension. People who suffer from anxiety disorders have difficulty controlling their thoughts and emotions and may experience panic attacks or other physical symptoms. When seeking help for an anxiety disorder with a mental health therapist in Los Angeles, you’ll likely receive long-term treatment to help you handle your anxiety effectively. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment your therapist may implement that allows people to shift their thoughts and behavior. Exposure therapy is a type of therapy that helps people to face their fears. Exposure therapy effectively treats several anxiety disorders, including phobias and social anxiety disorders. Your therapist may also choose to pursue mindfulness-based therapy, which is a type of therapy that helps people to focus on the present moment.
Many different medications can be used to treat anxiety disorders. The most common medicine used to treat anxiety is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs are antidepressants that help increase serotonin in the brain. Other medications that can be used to treat anxiety include Buspirone, which helps to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain and is effective in reducing anxiety symptoms.
Substance Abuse Disorders
Substance abuse disorders are a group of mental health disorders that involve the misuse of drugs or alcohol. Substance addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use. There are several types of substance abuse disorders, including alcohol use disorder, cannabis use disorder, cocaine use disorder, opioid use disorder, and stimulant use disorder. Each type of substance abuse has its own set of symptoms and risks. People with substance abuse disorders often have other mental health conditions like anxiety, mood, and personality disorders. Substance abuse can also increase the risk of developing other physical health conditions, such as heart disease and liver disease.
Treatment for substance abuse disorders typically involves a combination of behavioral therapy, medication therapy, and peer support. Behavioral therapy focuses on helping people change their behaviors related to drug or alcohol use, while medication therapy may include prescription medications to help reduce cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Peer support involves working with a therapist with personal addiction recovery experience.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can devastate people’s lives and lead to a wide range of problems, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide. Luckily, there are many treatments for PTSD, including therapy and medication. Therapy is generally the most effective treatment for PTSD. It can help people to understand their thoughts and feelings and to deal with the symptoms of PTSD. Treatment typically involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. CBT helps people understand the thoughts and feelings that contribute to their PTSD, while exposure therapy helps them face and deal with the memories and triggers that cause their PTSD symptoms. Medications can be used to treat PTSD, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
A variety of mood disorders are classified into two main types: unipolar and bipolar. Unipolar mood disorders involve only one pole of mood, either depression or mania, while bipolar mood disorder affects both poles. Mood disorders can be highly debilitating and often interfere with daily functioning.
Depression is the most common type of unipolar mood disorder. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness that persist for long periods and interfere with normal functioning. Other symptoms include fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts or behavior.
Mania is the most common type of bipolar mood disorder characterized by an overly elevated or irritable mood, excessive energy levels, racing thoughts, and impulsive behaviors. Other symptoms include decreased need for sleep, grandiose beliefs about oneself or one’s abilities, increased talking speed or amount of speech, and reckless spending or sexual behavior.
The most common mental health disorders can cause significant distress and impairment in people’s lives, and it is vital to seek treatment if you are affected by them. If you’re experiencing any of these mental health disorders, don’t hesitate to contact a therapist and begin your journey toward a happier and healthier lifestyle.