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Psychiatric conditions or mental illness are more common than you think. Mental illness also runs in families. Some of the most common mental health conditions include anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and even fear.

These conditions and others like them interfere with your behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and even your life. Although finding out that you have a particular mental health condition is frustrating, there are plenty of good reasons to believe you can improve your quality of life.
There are a wide range of treatments available for mental health conditions. Never be afraid to ask for help. Complimentary and alternative therapies aren’t considered part of mainstream care. That means you are unlikely to find this treatment through your health insurance program. They could be used to complement your standard treatment, or perhaps, as an alternative to standard treatment. If by chance your medical insurance does cover this type of expense they might be called holistic treatments.
Different complementary and alternative therapies might assist with different symptoms. They can focus on your mental, physical, or spiritual well-being. Keep on reading to find out more about complementary and alternative therapies.
So, What Can You Do?
Scenario #1 Use Medication

Psychiatric medications never cure mental illness. However, they can improve symptoms. Furthermore, psychiatric medications can help make other treatments, e.g. psychotherapy, more effective. The ideal medications for you will rely on your specific situation, as well as how your body reacts to the medication.
Commonly Prescribed Medications:

  1. Antidepressants. They’re used to treat anxiety, depression, and other conditions. They may help improve symptoms such as lack of interest in activities, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy, hopelessness, and sadness.

  1. Mood-stabilizing medications. Most commonly used to treat bipolar disorders. Sometimes they’re used alongside antidepressants to cure depression.

  1. Anti-anxiety medications. They are used to treat anxiety disorders, including panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. They might also help reduce insomnia and agitation. Typically, long-term drugs are antidepressants that help with anxiety. Although fast-acting anti-anxiety drugs assist with short-term relief, they can also cause dependency. Therefore, they would be used short term.

  1. Anti-psychotic medications. Typically, used to treat a psychotic disorder, e.g. schizophrenia. They might also be used to cure bipolar disorders or complement antidepressants to treat depression.

So why do people often stop taking these medications


While some of these side effects can be minimized by changing your prescription, when you take your med’s or what you take them with there are still some very serious side effects.

Every part of your digestive system seems to be affected in a negative way, from nausea to constipation. Your mood could become anxious, you could suffer fatigue or confusion.  On top of this you may have problems with insomnia.  Weight gain and sexual problems are often common.  If it were me, I would be VERY worried about all these side effects.

Scenario #2 Using Herbal Medicine

Herbal remedies are generally substances obtained from plants. They’re often used as a means of treating and preventing various health disorders. They can come in different forms, including liquid drops, teas, capsules, or even skin creams. They are commonly referred to as “herbal medicines”. That means products that focus on treating, curing, or preventing a diagnosed health problem.
Here are a few examples:
  1. St.John’s wort. Is a herbal remedy that often helps patients with mild-to-moderate depression symptoms. However, it doesn’t seem to work that well when it comes to severe depression. It can interact with certain medications and antidepressants. Therefore, talk to your doctor before trying this option.
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids. These are natural fats predominantly existing in huge amounts in cold-water fish like salmon. They can enhance the effectiveness of an antidepressant in certain patients with depression. Today, omega-3 supplements are being studied as a substitute for antidepressants during pregnancy.
  1. Valerian. Extracted from a pink flower’s root it can relieve anxiety and help enhance sleep like other sedatives. It might be a perfect alternative to consider for the elderly or even kids - two groups particularly vulnerable to the side effects of prescriptions. The only problem is that it takes some time for the effects to kick in, if you’re looking for quick relief, look elsewhere.

Before you buy a herbal medicine, ensure that it contains a Traditional Herbal Registration number (THR) or a product license (PL) number on that packet. Typically, a PL number implies that medical trials have proven that the remedy works and is safe to use.
Some herbal remedies may have an impact on another health conditions you have or on a medication that you use. These are known as interactions. Much like prescription drugs, herbal medicines can also cause side effects and can interact with other drugs. Always let your health care provider know if you add herbal remedies to your treatment plan.
You should approach any form of medication or supplement with equal caution and make sure that you have all the necessary information to feel confident about your choice.
Scenario #3 Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care has always been known to help patients with mental illnesses via the application of holistic treatment to alleviate the many symptoms that are brought by poor mental health. As you might know, mental health issues cause imbalances in the body that play a role in these symptoms. The good news is: chiropractic care can help! Upon consulting a chiropractor, s/he will give you a thorough examination and pinpoint areas within the spine that may benefit from manipulation.
Apart from spinal manipulation, chiropractors can also provide many other treatments that alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. It often implements a mind & body approach to focus on particular problem areas. They usually do this by looking at every health area, such as diet, exercise, therapies, supplements, and adjustments.
Even More Options from your Chiropractor…

Massage therapy with chiropractic care. In general, mental illnesses can cause many health problems, such as insomnia, muscle tightness, high blood pressure, and stress. Studies support the idea that massage therapy and chiropractic care can reduce stress and blood pressure symptoms. Chiropractic care along with massage therapy can also help significantly with muscle tightness that causes pains and aches in the body, along with migraines and tension headaches. Lastly, stress plays a vital role in our overall health, and can cause our minds to go into overdrive and even make sleeping difficult.
Supplemental vitamins. Even tiny changes, for example incorporating vitamins and supplements into your diet, might have a positive effect on the symptoms associated with mental health issues. Your chiropractor might recommend various vitamins, including A Vitamin B complex, Omega or , Vitamin D, Magnesium, etc. Each supplement has its distinct way of helping alleviate some symptoms that patients might experience, such as muscle tightness, sadness, anxiety, stress, fatigue, etc.
By eliminating nerve blockages, most chiropractors are enhancing a healthy flow of nutrients and blood across the body. Since the nervous system runs from head to toe - it means a single misplaced vertebra in the spine might result in trouble elsewhere. If the spine is aligned - and the CNS is working effectively, it can result in increased immune system performance, and soothing any pains and aches associated with stress.
One of the best advantages of chiropractic care is that it is all-natural. People taking depression and anxiety medication usually complain of the side effects, including fatigue, weight gain, nausea, and insomnia. Since chiropractic care primarily works to relieve anxiety symptoms, you may potentially avoid or minimize the necessity of taking prescriptions and experiencing the side effects. Remember, don’t change or stop your medication without your doctor’s approval.

Scenario #4 Acupuncture & Massage

Acupuncture is essentially based on an old Chinese treatment. Typically, an acupuncture practitioner will use small, thin needles and put them into your skin at specific points on your body. Most practitioners believe that these needles can help to begin the recovery process in your body.
This method reduces stress by helping to restore a healthy flow of energy, qi, across the body. Acupuncture actually does so via the application of needles positioned in certain parts of the body. On the other hand, massage therapy targets particular muscles and other body parts to relieve tension.
The application of acupuncture and massage may also help regulate symptoms of mental health issues and enhance overall well-being by promoting the secretion of endorphins – these are hormones released by the brain that cause pleasant and positive emotions.
An increase in endorphins may improve mood and offer an emotional boost, which can help patients with mood disorders, e.g. anxiety or depression. Furthermore, acupuncture and massage therapy help by reducing the amount of cortisol in the body.
This method provides safe and effective treatment alternatives for people who don’t want to risk experiencing side effects or negative reactions to prescriptions used for mental illness. These types of alternative medicine may also work more effectively and faster than therapy for patients with mental health disorders.
Although acupuncture involves the use of needles, they’re very thin and applied safely whenever they’re inserted. Both acupuncture and massage have low risks of side effects, e.g. soreness, and are considered safe for most.
Scenario #5 Homeopathy

Homeopathy entails using very diluted natural substances to treat mental and physical health conditions. Homeopaths believe that when a substance is diluted the energy still remains and it can be very useful in terms of healing, and less likely to bring any unexpected side effects. Certain people find that opting for homeopathic remedies for depression, anxiety, and stress makes them feel a great deal better.
While some doctors don’t see any benefit to homeopathic treatment this practice has persisted since the 1700’s and there is plenty of evidence it helps people experience better health and a better quality of life. 
It’s also worth noting that homeopathic remedies are usually made from high dilutions of natural substances. As a result, they don’t share the unpleasant side effects or withdrawal symptoms of traditional antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and tranquilizers. Furthermore, because they never cause any sort of interactions you can feel confident using them in combination with other treatments or medications.
Other ways to improve your mental health:
Increase physical activity.

When it comes to mental health exercise can be extremely important when it comes to your recovery. Physical activity is a proven mood elevator that could bring positive ripples into most aspects of your life. Increased energy, muscle strengthening, and weight loss can all result from routine exercise. Ensure that you choose an activity you love doing so that you can stay motivated to follow it.

Take sleep seriously. Always listen to the voice in the back of your head saying, it is time for bed. Low-quality sleep, as well as lack of sleep, could have a huge effect on how you feel the following day. It could make you more irritable, and lower your ability to concentrate on the work at hand. That means it’s essential to ensure that you’re having enough sleep every night.

Modify your diet/ eat well. One factor that plays a role in poor mental health is the deficiency of nutrition your body receives by depriving it of certain healthy foods. Rather than choosing junk or processed foods, opt for natural options for your diet. Fish, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains contribute to a better lifestyle that enhances positive mental health.
Meditate Regardless of your particular religious or spiritual beliefs, meditation  can be a joyful and effective way to reduce stress and boost your mental health. Regardless if you choose to simply download an app on your smartphone, or follow an in-person guide at a workshop or class, several resources can help you to relax and breathe in this practical way.
When it comes to mental health there are many choices and many side effects, be careful to talk to your healthcare provider and don’t be afraid of alternative holistic practices. The above options can prove to be useful. They have been for hundreds of years, they can work alone or complement other treatments, and can even improve your quality of life. 
If you need help determining whether you have a mental condition or want help navigating an existing mental illness, seek professional assistance.

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