The rationale for recommended mental health treatments is, unfortunately, too often left unexplained. Many factors may contribute to this problem, including (but not limited to):
(1) an overburdened health care system that limits the frequency and duration of appointments, to
(2) doctors who recommend treatments without explaining the basis for those recommendations, and
(3) people who, for whatever reason (anxiety, fear, timidity, embarrassment,...), do not ask the questions necessary to fully understand their health condition and the available treatment alternatives.
I'm creating this blog with the aim of shedding some light on mental illness and mental health treatment options. Knowledge is power. The more you know about the treatments that are available, the more informed choices you can make - and help others make - about achieving optimal mental health and well-being.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),
22% of women experience a mental illness over the course of a year. About half of them get treatment for their mental illness (that's the group represented by the orange slice of the pie on the right).
14% of men experience a mental illness over the course of a year. About one third of them receive treatment for their mental illness (that's the group represented by the orange sliver of the pie on the left).
If you don't personally suffer from mental illness, you know other people who do - some combination of your family members, friends, colleagues, classmates, and so on...
There's a good chance that you or the other people you know - the ones who are suffering from mental illness - are not getting treatment. And, of those who are treated for mental illness, many have unanswered questions about their mental health condition and treatment options.
Over time, I will likely use this blog to address both psychopharmacologic (Psychiatric Medication) treatments and Psychotherapeutic (Talk Therapy) treatments. As a starting point, I will review some of the Landmark Studies that inform the decisions psychiatrists make about psychopharmacologic treatments. I will begin by sharing some of the take-home points from the Star*D study in my next post.
I also welcome requests for mental health related topics to be addressed in this blog. And, I am happy to offer straight-forward Dear Abby type advice about personal situations related to mental illness, treatment.
If you have questions that you'd like to ask a Psychiatrist, you can complete the "Dear Doctor" form at the bottom of this to send me an e-mail message. Or, feel free to leave a comment.