Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Treatment for mental health disorders

1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health disorder.

The most common signs of mental illness include but are not limited to; anxiety, depression, bipolar, post-traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety. Mental illness interferes with your social life, thoughts, and feelings and daily functioning.

Luckily, most of these disorders are treatable with the help of mental health experts like psychologists, psychiatrists, and peer support groups.


  • Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy involves communication between patients and therapists that is intended to help people:

Find relief from emotional distress, as in becoming less anxious, fearful or depressed.

Seek solutions to problems in their lives, such as dealing with disappointment, grief, family issues, and job or career dissatisfaction.

Modify ways of thinking and acting that are preventing them from working productively and enjoying personal relationships.

Many different kinds of psychotherapy have proved effective in helping people feel better, resolve problems in living and modify their attitudes and behavior in constructive ways. Knowledgeable psychotherapists select and recommend a treatment approach that is known to be well-suited for addressing a patient’s needs and concerns, and they tailor their procedures to fit each individual patient’s personality style and life circumstances.

  • Support group

A support group, or social support group, is a group of people who are led by a professional and come together with a goal of overcoming or coping with a shared problem.1 With the leadership of the professional, they share help, comfort, encouragement, advice, and guidance to face their challenges together.

The leader of the group is generally someone who is not struggling with the problem faced by the members of the support group and is specifically trained to provide support to them. This is what sets a support group apart from a self-help group, which is a group that comes together to face challenges without a professional leader.

  • Other therapies

Besides psychotherapy and medication, treatment can also include creative therapies to speed up the recovery process.

Complementary treatment like Yoga helps to calm the body and improve physical flexibility. Frequent exercise, on the other hand, helps in the treatment of stress and anxiety.

People suffering from mental illness should exercise at least daily for about 30 minutes. Nutrition is another essential component of mental health treatment.

Eating a healthy diet can help alleviate symptoms of eating disorders and improve the patient’s overall well-being. You can also try meditation and animal therapy.

  • Medication

Although no medication can directly cure mental disorders, your doctor can recommend various prescription drugs to help you mitigate the symptoms.

This medication alters the brain chemicals that are responsible for mood and emotions. They also improve the effectiveness of other treatments like talk therapy.

These medications come in different forms and work in different ways. Your doctor will recommend a certain medicine based on your condition.

  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis is an ideal treatment for both mental illness and substance abuse disorder. People who suffer from stress and depression tend to self-medicate by taking alcohol or hard drugs.

Dual diagnosis provides simultaneous treatment for both conditions which enhances the recovery process.

For example, if a patient suffers from anxiety and is addicted to alcohol, treating the underlying mental condition can help prevent relapse and maintain sobriety.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term therapy technique that can help people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns.

CBT rests on the assumption that the way people think and interpret life’s events affects how they behave and feel.

Therapy sessions focus on exploring and developing methods to deal with challenges and behaviors that arise day to day. This type of therapy can be effective in treating depressionanxiety, bipolar disorder, and various other mental health conditions.

Changing distortions and perceptions

CBT aims to transform any ways of thinking and behaving that stand in the way of how a person would like to live their life. This involves identifying negative perceptions or distortions that are affecting behavior.

If people learn fearful or unhelpful ways of thinking, they can start to think in this way automatically. CBT focuses on challenging these automatic thoughts and comparing them with reality.

When a person comes to view a particular situation in a more helpful way, their distress often decreases, and they can then take actions or make decisions that are more likely to serve them in the long term.

During a course of CBT, a person can learn to:

  • develop an awareness of automatic, unhelpful thoughts
  • challenge underlying assumptions that may be unhelpful
  • distinguish between facts and unhelpful thoughts
  • develop a more helpful way of thinking and seeing situations


If you suffer from mental illness, treatment is available. Mental illness can take different forms and each form has its mode of treatment. This is why you need to consult with a professional. Your psychiatrists may recommend prescription drugs like antidepressants, mood stabilizers anti-psychotics, or anti-anxiety drugs depending on the type of illness. Where medication isn’t an option, psychotherapy treatment will do. In addition to medication and talk therapy, complementary treatment like exercise, nutrition, yoga or animal therapy may also be used.

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