Mental Health Treatment

A mental disorder also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode. Many disorders have been described, with signs and symptoms that vary widely between specific disorders. Such disorders may be diagnosed by a mental health professional.

The causes of mental disorders are often unclear. Theories may incorporate findings from a range of fields. Mental disorders are usually defined by a combination of how a person behaves, feels, perceives, or thinks. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain, often in a social context. A mental disorder is one aspect of mental health. Cultural and religious beliefs, as well as social norms, should be taken into account when making a diagnosis.

Services are based in psychiatric hospitals or in the community, and assessments are carried out by mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers, using various methods such as psychometric tests but often relying on observation and questioning. Treatments are provided by various mental health professionals. Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options. Other treatments include lifestyle changes, social interventions, peer support, and self-help. In a minority of cases, there might be involuntary detention or treatment. Prevention programs have been shown to reduce depression.

Common mental disorders include depression, which affects about 300 million, bipolar disorder, which affects about 60 million, dementia, which affects about 50 million, and schizophrenia and other psychoses, which affects about 23 million people globally. Stigma and discrimination can add to the suffering and disability associated with mental disorders, leading to various social movements attempting to increase understanding and challenge social exclusion.

Yes, mental illness can be treated. This means that many people who have a mental illness, and are treated, recover well or even completely. However, because there are many different factors contributing to the development of each illness, it can sometimes be difficult to predict how, when, or to what degree someone is going to get better.

When you or someone you know starts to feel mentally unwell, the first step in obtaining treatment is to see a doctor or other health professional for diagnosis. After a thorough assessment, a doctor can make a diagnosis based on a particular pattern of symptoms. A decision can then be made about the best treatment for these symptoms and their underlying causes.

Treatment means all the different ways in which someone with a mental illness can get help to minimise the effects of the illness and promote recovery.

It can involve psychological therapy, medication, and various supports in the community, as well as people with the mental illness helping themselves.

  • Psychological therapy
    A doctor, psychologist or other health professional talks with the person about their symptoms and concerns, and discusses new ways of thinking about and managing them.
  • Medication
    Some people are helped by taking medication for a while; others may need it on an ongoing basis. The doctor should explain the benefits and possible side-effects of medication before it is prescribed. Medical research shows that many mental illnesses are associated with changes in our brain chemistry. Medications help the brain to restore its usual chemical balance, so that the symptoms are reduced or even eliminated.
  • Community support programs
    Support programs are especially important for people with recurrent symptoms or who have a psychiatric disability. This support may include information, accommodation, help with finding suitable work, training and education, psychosocial rehabilitation and mutual support groups. Understanding and acceptance by the community is also very important.

There are lots of things that people with a mental illness can do for themselves, to help recover a balanced life. Healthy eating, getting plenty of sleep, and regular physical activity are all important to good mental health. Learning skills which help deal with stress, feeling down, relationships or the symptoms of the illness, are also ways in which someone with a mental illness can look after themselves.

How do I find out more?

If you are ready to enter treatment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a substance abuse treatment locator. With this simple tool, you can enter your zip code and find drug and alcohol treatment services located near you. Restore Africa® also offers local rehab resources and has full-service treatment centers in Karen, Nairobi County and Kikuyu, Kiambu County.

If you or a loved one is seeking addiction treatment, Restore Africa® has treatment centers located across the country and can create a substance abuse treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Reach out to our caring admissions department today to discuss your needs and begin the journey toward recovery.

Speak to an Intake Coordinator now.

+254 (0) 20 4403 716

Your well-being is our option.

Dr Peter Onyango
Founder & CEO, Restore Africa

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