There are many different ways that a person can react to a mental health disorder diagnosis. Some find relief, finally getting answers to why they were struggling so much. Others may react with fear, believing that their lives as they know it is now over. Many more simply don’t know what to do, and the lack of mental health education and stigma leaves a blank on what to do next.
A diagnosis is not the end of the world, nor is someone’s life over. It can be confusing or scary to get a diagnosis, but in no way does it mean that someone is bad or broken. Instead, a diagnosis should be thought of as a step in a journey. You cannot heal what you don’t know is wounded, and having a diagnosis helps you get the treatment you need for recovery. But what do you do next? Luckily, the answer to that is simple.
Contact Your Local Mental Healthcare Facility
The first step once getting your diagnosis is to find a mental healthcare professional. This is done by contacting your local mental healthcare facility. Mental healthcare professionals are therapists, psychiatrists, and other treatment providers specialized in treating your mental health.
Depending on the type of mental health disorder, you may need a team to help you get well. Usually, someone has a therapist. This is a person who treats someone using types of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, helps someone confront the underlying issues of their mental health disorder. They then teach someone healthy skills needed to navigate and cope with their disorder.
Therapists can also offer other types of treatments that may help you. The mental health field is constantly discovering new types of therapies to help treatment-resistant disorders. A good example is neurofeedback therapy, which can help those that struggle with anxiety and depression learn self-regulation.
Sometimes a person may need medication to treat the symptoms of a disorder. A common example is anti-depressants, used to help treat people who are struggling with depression and other mood disorders. This medicine helps people function in their daily life by lessening the symptoms they feel. Not everyone needs medication, nor will it work well for all disorders. For this, you will need a psychiatrist. This is a person who can prescribe medication and perform medical tests.
Our minds and bodies are linked together. If one is failing, the other is quick to follow. You may also need specialized doctors to help keep you healthy, such as a nutritionist to help you eat well or even a sleep doctor to help you rest. Having a team of people to help you makes a diagnosis more manageable and, thus, less scary.
Get a Support Network Together
A support network is made of people who can support you in your time of need. Humans need social interaction, and isolating oneself is never healthy. It’s important to have people that you trust, especially when you have a mental health disorder. Remember to educate the people close to you about your mental health disorder and communicate your needs. Sometimes you can even bring someone along with you to give you some support during treatment.
Some people get support from a hobby or a club. Having people that like the same things you do not only gives you the social interactions you need but the joy of doing something you love. Many people find support online, forming groups that have every interest, from gaming, to working out, to anything you can think of. Having a support network online is perfectly acceptable; just remember to stay safe online.
Others may make use of a support group. A support group is made up of people that have a similar disorder to you. This way, you have a group that can fully understand your struggles and can offer advice and personal experiences that may help you. Many times, a mental healthcare facility, hospital, or community center will have meetups for support groups. If you would like to join a support group, speak to your treatment provider, they may know of groups that are currently meeting.
Know What to Do in a Mental Health Emergency
Just like how you need to know what to do in case of a fire, so to do you need to know what to do if you are in crisis. When someone is in crisis, that means they are in psychological distress. Many times this involves thoughts of self-harm or even suicide. If you feel like you may harm yourself, you are in crisis. That is why you must make a plan now, as trying to make a plan in the middle of an emergency is difficult at best.
It’s vital to write down and remember important resources that can help you in an emergency. Many treatment providers will provide numbers that you can call should you ever be in crisis. They may also provide addresses to mental healthcare facilities or hospitals with 24/7 access during an emergency.
Several hotlines exist that a person may call should they be in crisis. Some are very specific to age groups or particular crises, but one that accepts all callers is the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. They can assist you in finding the help you need during a mental health crisis.
Any mental healthcare professional can help you draft a crisis plan. Once you have your plan, let your support network know, especially any important phone numbers they can call on your behalf if you are in a state where you cannot speak or make the call yourself.
Remember that a diagnosis is not the end of the world. It’s only the beginning of the road to your recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, call your local mental healthcare facility today.
It’s important to remember that just because you have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder, it doesn’t mean that your life is over. It’s possible for anyone to learn how to live with their mental health disorder and even achieve recovery. All it takes is asking for help. Acera Health in Costa Mesa, California, helps clients learn how to manage their mental health disorder so they can focus on doing the things they love. We employ compassionate mental healthcare professionals that can help clients find the right treatment to help manage their disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health disorder, don’t wait. Call (949) 647-4090 today.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.