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Mental Health Resource Guide

Clinic Locations in Boise & Meridian

Table of Contents:

When talking about mental health, it usually refers to our current emotional and psychological state, how we feel about where we are in life, and how we interact with others and the world around us. Good mental health means we are happy with ourselves, are well-adjusted in our surroundings and can adapt well to changing emotions in the face of stress or other issues. Over time, poor mental health can lead to mental illness, which is usually classified as a health condition that involves changes in thinking, emotion, or behavior, resulting in a negative emotional or psychological state. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, or age, can be diagnosed with mental illness. 

 

What Are Some Common Mental Health Disorders?

Somewhere around 20% of adults experience the symptoms of a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. Here are some of the most common mental health diagnoses:

Major Depression
Symptoms of major depression include a loss of interest in activities, a lack of motivation, and prolonged feelings of sadness or negativity lasting longer than six weeks.  Physical symptoms include aches and pains, fatigue, or changes in appetite.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
GAD often displays as persistent, excessive, and intrusive feelings of worry or nervousness, which can lead to difficulties sleeping and concentrating. Those diagnosed with GAD sometimes feel physical symptoms like a racing heart, trouble breathing, or tightness in the chest. 
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is noted for causing very distinct mood shifts in those who have it. These moods range from feelings of mania (i.e. impulsive, excited, restless, energetic, euphoric), to feelings of extreme depression.
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Complicated Grief
When we experience the loss of a loved one, grief is a common reaction. However, grief that lasts for a long time and does not go away may cause additional symptoms like numbness or detachment from reality, or an inability to function in day to day life. 
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Often known as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder can occur in people who have experienced an extremely distressing situation, like witnessing a brutal crime, being involved in a serious accident, or serving in military combat. Symptoms include flashbacks of the incident, anxiety, nightmares, or heightened reactions.
 

What Causes Mental Health Disorders?

While science and medicine still have a lot to learn about what causes mental health disorders, in many people, it is one or a combination of these factors: 

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Genes
Research suggests that some mental illnesses are hereditary. This means that if some members of your family have been diagnosed with a mental illness, the likelihood of you being diagnosed as well increases.
Stressful and Dangerous Environments
Sometimes, the environment we grew up in or the environment you currently live in can contribute to mental illness. For example, children who grew up in neglectful households, or people who work in dangerous environments may be more subject to mental disorders. 
Poor Habits or Addictions
Habits like smoking, poor eating, and not getting enough sleep or exercise can all increase your risk of mental illness.
Brain Chemistry/Biology
For some people, an imbalance in brain chemistry is the main cause of their mental disorder. Their brain simply does not produce chemicals in the right amounts to maintain mental health. 
 

What Are the Risk Factors for Mental Health Conditions?

Sometimes, certain factors in our lives can contribute to the risk of mental illness. The most common risk factors include:

Trauma
Serious accidents or witnessing violence (trauma) can affect how you feel about yourself and the world around you. It can create a stress response, and this stress response can continue to occur long after the trauma is over, resulting in anxiety disorders or PTSD. 
Drugs
Taking certain drugs can result in brain damage or injury or can alter your brain chemistry. Since your brain chemistry is one of the biggest factors that affect your mental health, drugs can have a serious impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing. 
Abuse
Childhood or domestic abuse, whether physical, emotional, financial, digital, verbal or sexual, can leave abuse victims more at risk of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Stress
Exposure to extreme amounts of stress from work, relationships, or other factors can have a lasting effect on both physical and mental health.
Family History
If your parents, grandparents, or siblings have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you are more likely to have it as well, because of both genetic and environmental factors. 
 

What Are Some Complications Surrounding Mental Illness?

Left untreated, mental illness can worsen over time. Using ineffective coping mechanisms to deal with your illness can lead to complications like:

Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Many times, people turn to drugs and alcohol to help lessen the symptoms of their mental illness. Over time, they may need these drugs to feel normal and get through their day. 
Financial Issues
In mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, where impulsivity is common during manic periods, uncontrollable spending can lead to financial problems. In other cases, disorders like anxiety and depression may make it difficult to find steady work pay your bills on time. 
Work Performance
Anxiety and depression can sometimes make it difficult to concentrate on important things, and will also sometimes cause insomnia. Feeling sad, stress, fatigue, or unfocused can have a serious effect on your work performance. 
Relationship Conflicts
Sometimes, it can be difficult for family and friends to deal with the more frustrating and alarming symptoms of mental illness, leading to relationship conflicts. 
Other Health Conditions
Over time, untreated mental illness can have a devastating effect on your body. Because self-care is difficult when you are experiencing mental illness, it often results in a poor diet, poor sleep, and lack of exercise. Also, because your body is constantly fighting the distress of mental illness, you may get sick more often due to a compromised immune system. 
Increased Isolation
Mental illness is draining, and sometimes all you want to do is be alone. As mental illness worsens, people tend to isolate themselves from loved ones and friends. 
Low Self-Esteem
Mental illness can make you feel broken, and when we are unable to fight it or just "get over it," we may feel like there is something seriously wrong with us, leading to low self-esteem. 
 

How Can You Maintain Good Mental Health?

Maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining good physical health. There are some things that you can do every day to stave off mental illness and keep yourself in your best mental shape. Follow these self-care tips:

Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet loaded with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and healthy fats is exactly what your brain needs to thrive. Processed foods, sugar, simple carbs, alcohol, and unhealthy fats are fine as a treat occasionally, but eating them regularly will take a toll on you both physically and mentally.
Meditation and Yoga
These two practices can help you focus your attention on the moment at hand, relieving stress, reducing anxiety, and increasing your awareness.
Exercise
Exercise, even in small amounts, can have a positive effect on your mental health. Go out for a walk, jog or bike ride, gather some friends to play sports, or grab your jump rope! Exercise challenges your body and mind, helps keep your heart and lungs healthy, and burns off stress. 
Have a Hobby
Participating in a healthy hobby, no matter what it is, can give you a creative outlet and can help get your mind off the troubles of everyday life. It can help you connect with others who are interested in the same things and will give you something to look forward to.
Maintain a Good Sleep Schedule
Going to bed and waking up every day at the same time can help you make sure you are getting plenty of healthy sleep. 
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Set Healthy Boundaries
It is important to know when to say no, both in your personal life and at work. Trying to take on everything or fix other people's problems may mean you are not caring for yourself in the best way.
Watch for Signs
It is normal to occasionally feel stressed, sad, or down in the dumps, but keep an eye out for symptoms of mental illness that last for more than a few days. 
Visit your Doctor Regularly
Seeing your doctor for yearly checkups can help you build a relationship of trust with your doctor, so it is easier to openly discuss any mental health concerns you have.
Ask for Help
If you have symptoms of mental illness, ask for help. Talk to your doctor, a therapist, or a loved one who can help you find the assistance you need to get better. 
 

How Is Mental Illness Diagnosed?

Your general practitioner or psychologist can diagnose mental illness. Many times, they will schedule an appointment to discuss your feelings and symptoms with you. They will likely conduct a physical and some lab screening to rule out anything else that may be causing your symptoms. You may have to visit with them a few times so that they can notice patterns in your feelings or behavior before they can make a proper diagnosis. 

 

How to Get Help with Mental Illness?

It may take a little time to find a treatment plan that works for your diagnosis. In many cases, medication, therapy, or a combination of both are recommended to combat your symptoms. Talk to your doctor, as they can provide you with more information about where to get specialized help. It's also important to recognize that there are many different types of counseling and therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, etc., so if one type doesn't work for you, you aren't out of options. 

There are also many other types of non-invasive treatments that can help mental illness that does not respond to therapy or medication. One of the most promising ones is TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). Used to treat persistent depression, TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate the nerve cells in the brain, which helps to alleviate symptoms of depression.

 

Contact MidValley Healthcare for Help with Depression

The ramifications of depression can be debilitating both physically and mentally. If you are concerned about someone you love or feel that you may have depression, MidValley Healthcare can help. We understand that life can be complicated and strive to assist people with getting the help they need to discover a better quality of life.

MidValley Healthcare offers services for behavioral health and related treatments. We can also provide treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy for Major Depressive Disorder. Recovery from depression is possible. To make an appointment or learn more, give us a call today at (208) 888-5848 or submit our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing how we can help you find happiness again.

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