The most common treatment options for mental health conditions are types of therapy, or medication. Often, the two will be used in conjunction in order to provide the most effective care.
Both therapy and medication can seem like daunting concepts but they are designed to help you, and many people have effective treatment from them.
However, it is also important to note that any of these treatments, whether medication or various therapies, are not for everyone. Some things will work, and others won’t – it is important to find what works for you, and this may involve some trial and error.
Talking therapies, or talking treatments, will typically be regular appointments where you will have a safe space to explore and process difficult experience and/or emotions with a professional. Talking therapy can also be referred to as ‘counselling’.
Sometimes, talking therapies can be done in groups which can provide a sense of community and peer support as you will be with others who have had similar experiences to you.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of talking therapy, but one which aims to change thought patterns and negative thought loops which can prevent us from coping with our problems. It is a type of treatment which will explore, and aim to ‘re-programme’ unhelpful beliefs, and attitudes. It will also teach you coping mechanisms to deal with a variety of challenges related to your mental health.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
This is an interactive technique which aims to deal with trauma and PTSD. It involves the practitioner directing eye movements while you are asked to recount, and relive experiences which are traumatic or triggering for you. This is not a type of talking therapy.
There are a number of different medications, such as antipsychotics which may be prescribed for symptoms of schizophrenia or psychosis; antidepressants which are typically used by those with depression but can also be for those with anxiety and other conditions; and mood stabilisers which could be used for those with bipolar disorder.
Within each type of medication there are subsets, which will have some side effects, and may have considerations for other lifestyle choices such as decreasing or eradicating alcohol consumption. Your prescribing doctor will share these side effects and lifestyle changes with you when making a prescription.