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What Does It Take to Manage Your Mental Health?

mental healthstressbehavioral healthholisticHealth & Wellness • 2 min read • Jan 14, 2015 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Kat Smith

California Kaiser Permanente mental healthcare workers have taken a weeklong walkout to demand timelier, more effective care for individuals suffering from mental health disorders. With the quality of mental healthcare provided by this large organization called into question, you may wonder what type of care is most effective for the management of mental health. Here are some insights on the strategies that anyone might use to promote better mental health or seek care when the signs of conditions like depression or anxiety disorder arise.

A holistic approach

Many patients displaying classic signs of depression, anxiety, and other common mental disorders will be prescribed medication with little or no follow-up that might address the root of the problem more effectively. With psychosocial treatments, one-on-one counseling, and case management, patients tend to have more success in their recovery with or without psychiatric drugs. Patients also tend to respond positively to a holistic approach to mental healthcare, which might include a well-rounded diet, exercise routine, and planned social activities. Even individuals who are not struggling with behavioral or mental disorders can benefit from a whole body approach to managing mental health for the prevention of depression and related conditions.

Non-medication therapies

Medication does often play an important role in managing mental health conditions by reducing symptoms and restoring the balance of chemicals in the brain. However, medication is only part of the equation. Patients need ongoing support and guidance since medications may have significant side effects that could lead to self-medication with recreational drugs or alcohol, which has dangerous consequences. Individual therapy sessions are a great place to start when it comes to supplemental therapies for mental health, and sessions are often covered by insurance.

Healthy stress relief

Stress is a complicating factor for any mental disorder, and it can cause problems on its own, even without a mental illness present. Therefore, stress management is another critical area to consider for maintaining mental health. Healthy avenues for stress relief include yoga, massage, breathing exercises, or verbal exercises in situations where another person is a source of stress. If you find yourself reaching for alcoholic beverages or junk food for comfort in times of stress, you may only be adding to the problem.

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Kat Smith