The prevalence of mental illness in the United States can not be overstated. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, “1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.” Additionally, “1 in 20 U.S. adults experiences serious mental illness each year,” and “suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14.”
With statistics like this, not only do we feel that mental illness is, unfortunately, exceptionally high, but it is also imperative that it is addressed. More specifically, to address it for long-term recovery.
It is one thing to initially treat those struggling with issues of mental illness. It is something else entirely to maintain an individualized plan for long-term recovery. The importance of creating a plan for long-term mental health recovery can also not be overstated.
This long-term recovery may include pharmacological treatment, therapeutic treatment, and/or holistic treatment. But, whatever the treatment plan ends up being, it should be made with long-term recovery in mind.
Understanding Mental Illness
The term “mental illness” can often either carry a lot of stigmas or can be used out of context or misrepresented. This is why having a reasonable basis for the actual definition of mental illness can be helpful. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) breaks down mental illness into two categories:
- Any mental illness (AMI)
- Serious mental illness (SMI)
They define any mental illness as a “mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. AMI can vary in impact, ranging from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe impairment.” As you can see, SMI also falls under the AMI category, but it also garners its own.
The NIMH also defines serious mental illness as a “mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.” The primary distinction is that SMI, without professional help, is often disabling to the individual. Now let’s look at the reasons why seeking recovery from mental illness is so crucial.
The Importance of Treating Mental Illness
While the stigmas surrounding mental illness have certainly waned in recent years, they have not disappeared completely. These stigmas can include the concept that mental illness is all in your head, or that therapy is only something for people that can’t manage their own lives, or even equating mental illness with “craziness.” Sadly, this can still stop people from getting the help they need, even though all of these stigmas are foundationless.
Regardless of the severity, it is important to understand that mental illness is relative to the individual. What matters to that individual is whether or not their issues of mental health interfere with their everyday lives. If this is so, then it is important to get some form of treatment, if only for the manageability it will bring into their lives.
Of course, that last statement primarily describes those dealing with mild issues of mental illness, which certainly does not minimize the importance of seeking help. But, for those on the more serious side of the mental health spectrum, getting help could be more m immediately imperative.
Beginning a Treatment Program
There are a few steps it takes to get started treating issues of mental health, which include:
These are seemingly simple words, but they can be difficult to acknowledge.
The first step of awareness comes from realizing that issues of mental illness are not the individual’s fault and that in fact most of the disruptions in their life are stemming from these issues. Rereading that overarching definition of mental illness can help with this awareness.
The next step of acceptance is understanding that these issues of mental illness will most likely never go away on their own and that getting help is never a sign of weakness.
That third step of action is the really big one. That is because making that physical step toward treatment is the one that is really going to connect the individual to the recovery plans that are going to make them well again.
Continuing a Treatment Program
At The Phoenix Recovery Center, we wholly understand and believe in two things. The first is that we believe that each client deserves an individualized treatment plan. The second is that we feel the best way to a healthy recovery from mental illness is to make that plan with long-term recovery in mind.
Just as no individual is the same, we feel that no path to mental health recovery should be the same either. That is why we take an individualized diagnostic/assessment approach for each of our clients.
Remember, while it is a great starting point, we don’t feel that the goal of mental health recovery is getting back to the status quo. Rather it is stepping over that status quo and discovering what you can be now that mental illness is longer holding you back.
There are many steps to take in the journey of treating a mental illness. Those steps do not conclude when you leave the doors of a recovery facility. It is important to have a long-term plan for recovery from mental illness, so your symptoms don’t resurface and become disruptive to life yet again. This long-term plan may include continued individual, family, or group therapy. It may include medication. It may also include tapping into the local community for support groups or holistic opportunities that help you stay on the right path of your recovery journey. Mental illness does not have to control your life anymore. Call The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185 for help.