Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet it’s often overlooked. In the United States, one in five adults suffers from a mental illness, yet only 41% of those adults receive treatment. That’s a problem. Psychiatric care can be vital for those suffering from mental illness, yet so many people go without it. Let’s take a look at why psychiatric care is so important.
Mental Illness is Common and Treatable
One of the biggest reasons why psychiatric care is so important is because mental illness is actually quite common. In fact, as we mentioned before, one in five adults suffers from a mental illness. That means that if you don’t suffer from a mental illness yourself, chances are good that someone close to you does.
And yet, despite how common it is, there’s still a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness. People are afraid to seek help because they don’t want to be labeled as “crazy.” But the truth is that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of—it’s just like any other illness, and it can be treated with the help of a professional.
Psychiatric Care Can Save Lives
Another reason why psychiatric care is so important is that it can literally save lives. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and 90% of suicides are committed by people who suffer from a mental illness.
But here’s the good news: suicide is preventable. With proper treatment and care, people who are suicidal can learn to manage their condition and live long happy lives. Psychiatric care can be the difference between life and death for people with suicidal thoughts, which is why it’s so important.
Psychiatric Care Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Finally, psychiatric care can improve your quality of life even if you don’t have a diagnosable mental illness. We all go through tough times in life, and sometimes we need someone to talk to about our problems. A therapist can be a great sounding board and provide helpful insights and guidance. Even if you’re not dealing with anything serious, psychiatric care can still improve your life by helping you deal with everyday stressors in a healthy way.
Types of Psychiatric Disorders
The most common types of psychiatric disorders include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Depression is a common mental health disorder that causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities that someone once enjoyed. Depression affects how we think, feel, and behave; it can interfere with a person’s daily life. Symptoms of depression include changes in sleep patterns, appetite or energy levels, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and thoughts about death or suicide.
Anxiety is an intense feeling of fear or worry that can be overwhelming and hard to control. It can cause physical symptoms such as sweating and trembling as well as emotional symptoms such as difficulty sleeping or focusing on tasks. Anxiety can be triggered by stressful events or situations such as public speaking or taking tests but the exact cause is still unknown. Common anxiety disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme shifts in moods ranging from periods of extreme highs to periods of extreme lows. During manic episodes, people may experience high energy levels with decreased need for sleep along with racing thoughts and impulsive behaviors. During depressive episodes, people may experience feelings of sadness or hopelessness along with a lack of energy and motivation to do anything. Bipolar disorder is often treated with medication such as mood stabilizers but lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms.
As you can see, there are many good reasons why psychiatric care is so important. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help—it could literally save their life. And even if you’re not dealing with anything serious, psychiatric care can still improve your quality of life. There’s no shame in seeking out help when you need it, so don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.