Psychiatric hospitals are not always satisfying. Many clients have different experiences when they are admitted to this kind of facility. I meet with patients and often hear this: I’ve never been through something like this before. I don’t know how THIS works, or I am
not REALLY CRAZY like the rest of these people. Some patients have a genuine concern about the process while other clients think they are TOO GOOD to receive mental health treatment. Those patients believe inpatient level of care does not gratify them and they do not want to be labeled as going to the crazy house. They’ll say: I have to get back home to my children, or I have to go to work I can’t stay here!
Despite their reasons for not wanting to be in the hospital, an assessment must take place by a psychiatrist or psychiatric care professional before they are released. Someone who suffers from a heart attack or severe illness, do not tell physicians they have to go home because they have other things to do. They accept the assessment and recommendation from the doctor, however, patients in psychiatric care do not always agree with treatment due to the stigma society placed on mental health.
Having a mental illness DOES NOT mean you are CRAZY! A tragedy can cause you to have a mental disorder: the death of a loved one or loss of a job are common stressors that provoke depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. The stigma society puts on mental health can make the average person not understand someone who suffers from mental disorders. Mental health needs to be an open discussion just like other health issues. The more we are aware of what to do and how to treat individuals who suffer from mental illness, the more people are willing to accept treatment.
So why is psychiatric care important? It’s vital because Mental Health Professionals are trained to educated and help clients obtain stability with their mental health needs. Having a disorder is not easy to treat. It’s not a visible injury that you can watch heal. Mental illness is from within. There’s no scratch from depression (unless you are self-harming yourself) which makes it complicated to provide treatment for a patient. Psychiatrist and other Mental Health Professionals observe behaviors, document the medications patients receive and listen to clients who are open about their problems.
Just because mental illness is not a VISIBLE illness that does not mean it is not important.
Some clients refuse to follow up with mental health treatment because they believe they can handle their sickness on their own. There are patients who think they don’t need to take medication, partially because they are not aware of their behaviors. Understand this: our mental wellbeing is just as important as our medical health! Even if you do not have a mental illness it is important to understand the dynamics of treatment. 1 in 25 adults experiences a mental illness. That’s about 9.8 million people, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness. Which means, you probably know someone who suffers from some form of mental illness. Despite the negative outlook from society, the right help and appropriate doctoring will give patients a better understanding of their mental disorder.
Tips to Understand the Importance of Mental Health
• Be open to advice: professionals are there to help clients understand their behaviors. They will give clients adequate knowledge whether it’s reading materials, participate in coping skills groups, medications, therapeutic services, etc. When a person opens themselves for advice or treatment they attentively do better. Open yourself up and grow!
• Be honest: people who are honest receive straightforward treatment. Do not think you are stupid or dumb when you tell a psychiatrist how you feel. Honesty gives psychiatrists a better picture of therapeutic services and/or prescribe medication.
• Get active in group: listening and sharing concerns with other individuals who suffer from similar issues forms bonds. Having a support system from clients who face equivalent situations, helps individuals who suffer from mental illness. It’s easier to communicate with someone who knows how you feel because they have similar experiences. Talking about your problems makes it easier to cope and handle similar conditions in the future.
• Ask questions: psychiatric treatment can be scary when you do not know what to expect. If something does not sound right to you and you need further explanation, just ask. Mental Health Professionals are designed to make you comfortable when discussing your mental health needs.
• Continue treatment: if the psychiatrist thinks you need additional medication, and wants you to follow up with a program geared towards your illness, be sure to follow through. Your mental illness is the psychiatrist best interest. When you take your mental health serious you will be on the road to recovery!
Mental illness is nothing to be afraid of. People are in this profession for a reason, and it’s to help you. Be honest with your treatment and allow professionals and family members to be a part of your care. You will conquer mental illness and help someone who else who may struggle with it in the future.
Community Convo: What are your thoughts about psychiatric care? Have you ever felt down and out? How did you get yourself out of it?