“It is impossible for the part to be well if the whole is not well”
Imagine you had trouble breathing. It would interfere with your daily life because you wouldn’t be able to concentrate or work to the best of your abilities. You would go to the doctor, and they would diagnose you, perhaps recommend some tests and then prescribe medication to improve your breathing.
Would you feel ashamed? Would your choice to see a doctor be questioned?. You probably wouldn't hear "Just try breathing harder. It’s all in your lungs!"
So why can’t mental healthcare be the same?
Like any other illness, suppressing any mental concerns or distressing emotions can create psychological, physical and emotional problems. Mental health can impact your physical health directly. It can lead to a greater risk of contracting physical diseases and ailments. It might also increase the likelihood of self-harming behaviour. It is not uncommon for people with poor mental health to experience physical symptoms such as pains, gasteritis, breathing difficulties etc. as well as low motivation, mood disturbances, low self-esteem which might, ultimately, affect all other domains of your life.
According to the National Mental Health Survey conducted in 2016, around 10.6 per cent of Indians suffered from a mental health condition. Globally, about 1 in 7 people have a mental health or substance abuse disorder. There must be hundreds more who suffer from poor mental health but do not fall under the label of a disorder, or cannot access proper psycho-education to diagnose themselves. These numbers have increased during the last 2 years, given the stress from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Treating the mind requires a multidimensional approach: this means addressing the biological, psychological and social aspects of mental illness. So, some comprehensive treatment plan aim to provide an individual with support, self-care skills, therapy and psychiatry.
A psychiatrist can help you understand your illness via a thorough assessment of your symptoms. Based on the results of this assessment, he/she will usually create a personalised care plan which may or may not include a prescription for medication.
In some cases, they may refer you to a clinical psychologist for additional tests & treatment as well. It’s important to let your psychiatrist know about any side effects of medication, so they can further adjust your treatment plan.
An interesting finding at Amaha has been that almost 30 per cent of clients do not require psychiatric medication. It is also important to note that all medications do not lead to dependency in clients.
Psychiatrists can provide urgent care for sudden mental health symptoms or concerns and they can also support you in managing long-term mental health conditions.
Psychotherapy is provided by a trained psychotherapist with appropriate experience & training in therapy and mental health.
The difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that the former has a medical degree with a specialisation in psychiatry, while the latter has a non-medical post-graduation with a specialisation in clinical, counselling or applied psychology.
Understand the patterns of you feelings, thoughts and behaviours
Learn coping strategies to manage difficult situations
Support you through your choices and work on your decision-making skills
Learn how to make better choices
Work on improving your communication & interpersonal skills
Get to the root of your mental health concerns
Some research studies also suggest that seeking support by releasing suppressed emotions in a safe space, helps you learn coping mechanisms, that rewire the brain in the long term. It may provide you with a whole new perspective on your experience, and that can be life-changing.
When combined effectively both methods of treatment help in:
Treating long-term physical & psychological symptoms
Helping you cope with any future stressors and minimising chances of future relapse
Psychiatrists & therapists often work together to arrive at a diagnosis and create holistic treatment plans that address different aspects of a mental health condition. This integrated approach has been found to improve long-term mental health outcomes.
That’s why integrated healthcare matters. Instead of running from pillar to post to consult counsellors, therapists and psychiatrists, accessing it all under one platform helps you get the best chance at recovery. That’s where Amaha comes in. We offer self-care activities, trained therapists, experienced psychiatrists and community support, no matter where you are on your mental health journey.
GoodTherapy Editor Team. (2018, September 1). Benefits of Psychotherapy. Good Therapy Org. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from https://www.goodtherapy.org/benefits-of-therapy.html
Kallivayalil R. A. (2012). The importance of psychiatry in undergraduate medical education in India. Indian journal of psychiatry, 54(3), 208–216. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5545.102336
Keer, J. S. (2020, April 10). 3 Reasons Why Psychiatry is Important for Everyone. Better Outlook. https://betteroutlookmn.com/3-reasons-why-psychiatry-is-important-for-everyone/.
Walton, A. G. (2022, April 14). 11 Intriguing Reasons To Give Talk Therapy A Try. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/06/03/11-intriguing-reasons-to-give-talk-therapy-a-try/?sh=3d0ee2124ebb