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Mental Health Focus: Treatment & Recovery

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Each week throughout January I’ve written a Mental Health Focus to help #EndTheStigma around mental health and to encourage others to talk openly and honestly about their own mental health. These posts have been partly inspired by Ruby Wax’s TED Talk (see 5 Brilliant TED Talks About Mental Health) and partly by the Time To Change Campaign.

In this blog post I want to write about treatment options and discuss recovery.

Treatment Options
Treatment options vary depending on the individual, but may include:

  • Medications – such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety, mood stabilisers, antipsychotics or other medications to manage associated symptoms (such as sedatives in the short term to help a person sleep if they have been suffering with insomnia). This may be one medication or a combination of different medications.
  • Talking Therapies – such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling or psychotherapy.
  • A combination of medication(s) and talking therapies.

Treatments maybe prescribed by a GP or by the GP making a referral on to services that provide Talking Therapies. For most people they will be treated in their community.

Only people with severely poor mental health, usually where they are deemed a risk to themselves or others maybe treated as an inpatient on a hospital ward. This hospital admission might be on a voluntary basis or by sectioning someone under the Mental Health Act (1983).

Recovery
This is what the Mental Health Foundation write about recovery:

In mental health, recovery does not always refer to the process of complete recovery from a mental health problem in the way that we may recover from a physical health problem.

What is recovery?
For many people, the concept of recovery is about staying in control of their life despite experiencing a mental health problem. Professionals in the mental health sector often refer to the ‘recovery model’ to describe this way of thinking.
Putting recovery into action means focusing care on supporting recovery and building the resilience of people with mental health problems, not just on treating or managing their symptoms.

There is no single definition of the concept of recovery for people with mental health problems, but the guiding principle is hope – the belief that it is possible for someone to regain a meaningful life, despite serious mental illness. Recovery is often referred to as a process, outlook, vision, conceptual framework or guiding principle.

(From: Mental Health Foundation, Last Accessed: 31st December 2014.)

I have recovered from past episodes of poor mental health, as have other people I know. Although I have recovered from these episodes, I know that I have to keep a close eye on my mental and emotional health.

Some people have more difficulty with recovery than others. My hope is that as medical research improves our understanding of how the brain functions, this will improve our treatments of mental health conditions – meaning people with mental health conditions will suffer less, that it will be easier for them to recover and that they will spend more of their lives in recovery.

This is my last Mental Health Focus blog post. I’m sure that as time goes on, I’ll write about mental health again. How do you manage your own mental and emotional health? Leave a comment below.

And remember…
If you are experiencing an episode of poor mental health, two useful websites are: Mind and SANE. If you are feeling suicidal please visit your nearest A&E Department for crisis support.

Blog soon,

Antony

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