Monday, June 10, 2013

Your Choice for Sobriety

My treatment depends on the type of mental illness I have, how bad I am suffering and what will work for me to control my illness.  This is the case for any one suffering from a mental illness.  If you have a mild mental illness the treatment you get from one health provider may be good enough, however often times a team might make sure of all your psychiatric, medical and social needs are seen to if you are incapable of handling your own affairs.  This is important especially with severe illnesses such as schizophrenia and at this present time psychiatric medications do not cure mental illness; yet they can improve the conditions you are suffering from.  The medications can also make treatments such as psychotherapy more effective, depending on your situation and how your body responds to the medications.  Some of the most commonly used prescription psychiatric medications are antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti anxiety, and antipsychotic medications.
Psychotherapy is used to treat mental illness by talking about your illness and anything related to such.  While participating in psychotherapy you learn about your illness, your moods, feelings, thoughts and your behaviors; you also learn coping and stress management skills.  There are other treatments besides medications and Psychotherapy.  I went through a Substance Abuse treatment program, of which I found out I was not alone in my use of illicit substances and alcohol.  Substance Abuse is common and occurs with mental illness.  It can interfere with treatment and also worsen the mental illness.  If you can’t stop using drugs or drinking you need to see a therapist about psychotherapy and medications as well as a Twelve Step program such as A/A or N/A.
Even as I have stopped using drugs and drinking, I still am a part of an outpatient program from which I get support from my therapist and friends alike while continuing to use a mood stabilizer which helps me with my manic phases.  This keeps me from reaching out into other directions which would only be destructive to my character and well being.  If you work with your health provider you can both decide what is best for you depending upon your illness and how severe it maybe.  In the case of taking medications you would want to be aware of the side effects and other preferences you may have concerning medications and or treatments and remember your decision to get better, rest with you, your family members and doctor to help you make the right choices for a better life. 
Written by Donald S.

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