Britney Spears had been lying low, not posting on social media for months following news that her dad, Jamie, had endured a life-threatening medical emergency. Over these last three months, Spears has been prioritizing time with her father and family. At the same time, Spears has struggled to maintain her own mental balance due to the overwhelming emotional distress caused by these events.
On April 3, Britney Spears posted a short note on Instagram, stating she needed to take, “a little ‘me time.’” Apparently, for about a week she has been residing at a mental wellness facility for some emotional nourishment. It is admirable, knowing her prior mental health challenges from over a decade age, that Ms. Spears had the sense to proactively seek out support, rather than allow her mental state to deteriorate. In 2008 she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and has been able to overcome the challenges of the disorder and achieve substantial success in her profession.
Spears offers an excellent example of the importance of recognizing when we are emotionally fragile, and then taking action to get help. Too many people suffer from undiagnosed, untreated mental illness, only leading to impaired functioning and a poor quality of life. As Ms. Spears accesses the professional help that will help to heal and strengthen her mind, body, and spirit, she will find herself in a much stronger place, and can be a source of strength for her father and her family in the days ahead.
Overcoming Barriers to Getting Mental Health Treatment
It is sad to think that, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only 41% of those who suffer from a mental health disorder seek treatment for it. Untreated mental health issues can lead to more serious medical conditions, loss of employment, financial distress, substance use disorders, and suicide.
Some of the primary barriers to receiving help for a mental health condition include:
- Low perceived need for treatment. Those with mild to moderate mental health disorders may not see the need for treatment. They may believe they are equipped to handle the issue by themselves, or once in treatment may soon drop out thinking they can manage their mental health without structured treatment.
- Stigma around mental health issues. A negative stereotype still stubbornly clings to anything associated with mental health. People may resist seeking treatment because they know the perceptions that people have about mental illness and don’t want to be lumped in with those negative beliefs.
- Finances. Mental health services may be unavailable to some due to lack of insurance. Without insurance, the expense of therapy is cost prohibitive. Low income individuals may qualify for state programs and assistance, but middle income earners without insurance have few options.
- Medication. One survey regarding barriers to mental health treatment found that a whopping 20% of respondents resisted seeking treatment because they did not want to be put on psych meds.
How a Mental Wellness Facility Can Restore Balance
Although there may be some resistance to getting help from a mental health practitioner, the fact is that much good can come of making one’s mental health a priority. By seeking support at a mental wellness facility, either residential or outpatient, the individual in psychological distress encounters a range of therapeutic activities and compassionate providers that can help them move through the setback and restore emotional balance.
Starting with something as simple as rest, a wellness retreat can provide a quiet, soothing setting where your mind can find solace and peace, absent of the usual triggers that can keep you off balance. This setting carves out a space devoted to healing your mind and soul, prioritizing wellness. Partnering with the mental health practitioners in psychotherapy sessions, and journeying with others during group therapy sessions, provides fresh new perspectives and techniques that you will take along with you.
What Services Does a Mental Wellness Facility Offer?
With such a wide range of possible mental health conditions to consider, it is difficult to define the exact treatment methods that will be accessed for someone seeking psychological support. However, most mental health disorders are helped through two fundamental interventions, which are a combination of medication and psychotherapy. These remain the cornerstone of treatment for mental health conditions, however additional therapies and activities help to round out and fine-tune a treatment plan.
Psychotherapy. With various modalities to select from, a psychiatrist or licensed psychotherapist will access the significant healing properties of psychotherapy. There are several short-term approaches, usually lasting less than 12 weeks, that can provide powerful insights and constructive change that result in substantial improvement in functioning. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, solutions brief focused therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy.
Long-term therapy, usually psychodynamic therapy, is beneficial for longer timeframes where in depth exploration of one’s past is indicated for a positive recovery outcome. Deep-seated emotional scars, such as those related to childhood trauma, abuse, sexual assault, or neglect are best served with the longer term psychotherapy.
Medication. There are literally dozens of drugs on the market for assisting with mental health disorders. The most commonly prescribed categories include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines), mood stabilizers, and anti-psychotic drugs. Rarely is medication alone the sole treatment plan. Medication can work well with ongoing psychotherapy.
Holistic activities. Holistic therapies are used to round out the treatment plan. These therapies are excellent tools for reducing stress and anxiety and promoting relaxation. Many can be practiced at home, and some can be practiced anywhere. Incorporating the holistic activities into the daily routine can help augment the effects of the conventional therapies. Holistic activities include mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, guided meditation, massage therapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, gardening therapy, and art therapy.
The Treatment Specialist Online Resource for Mental Health Information
The Treatment Specialist offers in depth information about a wide array of mental health topics, as well as those pertaining to addiction and dual diagnosis. Our specialists are available to answer questions and to guide individuals toward treatment options and other resources. If you feel the need to address a mental health issue, and need some direction, please reach out to The Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.