Mental Health Treatments
Often, individuals with severe symptoms or complex mental disorders are treated most effectively with a combination of psychotherapy and medication, sometimes complemented by additional treatments as well.
Although medications do not cure mental disorders, they play a vital role in relieving and managing symptoms, especially as part of an overall treatment program. Psychiatric medications are prescribed by physicians to address chemical deficiencies and imbalances in the brain associated with mental disorders. To get the most out of treatment, it is important to be actively involved in decisions involving medications, and to share any questions or concerns you have. You’ll want to ask your doctor about the expected benefits and potential side effects of any prescribed medication, and how it should be taken. Here, you can become familiar with the primary types of psychiatric medications, the conditions they treat, considerations in prescribing them and where to find reliable information on medical treatments.
Psychotherapy and psychosocial treatments may be part of an overall treatment plan for people living with psychiatric disorders or other mental health conditions. These treatments may also extend to their families. Psychosocial treatments include certain forms of psychotherapy (also known as “talk therapy”), psychoeducation, and even vocational and social training. Psychosocial treatments for mental illnesses can help individuals improve their functioning while lessening the negative effects of their illnesses. Learn about the different types of therapy and psychosocial treatments, what they involve, and how they’re tailored to each individual based on their specific situation and treatment needs.
In addition to medication, psychotherapy and psychosocial treatments, several types of brain stimulation therapies are valuable tools for managing and treating some mental disorders. These interventions involve touching or activating the brain using electricity, magnets or implants. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the most researched and effective stimulation therapy, and has the longest history of use. Two other stimulation therapies – repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and biofeedback – are other helpful strategies used for treatment. Find out how they work and for whom they’re appropriate.
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In this Section:
- Seeking Help / Treatment
- Types of Mental Health Professionals
- Treatment Settings and Levels of Care
- Other Mental Health Resources
- Common Mental Disorders
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Anxiety Disorders
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dual Diagnosis / Co-occurring Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Intellectual Disability (Mental Retardation)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Substance Use Disorders / Addictions
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Other Mental Health / Emotional Concerns
- Learning Disabilities
- Mental Health Treatments
- Mental Health Information Sources