May was Mental Health Awareness Month; mental health issues in the United States are at an all-time high. Much of the increase can be attributed to the pandemic, however, overall incidences of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders have been on the rise for many years now. Currently, there are 44 million adults in the U.S. who are afflicted with mental illness, which represents approximately 18% of the adult population. Approximately 42.5 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, making it the most prevalent mental illness. Depression is the second most common, with 17.3 million adults suffering from this condition, followed by substance abuse, 19 million; PTSD, 12 million; suicidal thoughts, 9.8 million; bipolar disorder, 3.3 million; and schizophrenia, 1.5 million (Source: Mental Health America).
To restore normalcy, people are searching for treatment for suicidal ideation, depression, PTSD, postpartum depression, and other mood disorders. Ketamine treatments are among the many solutions that have done wonders for those who need treatment for suicidal thoughts and other mental illnesses. If you suffer from treatment-resistant conditions like over 33% of Americans – meaning conventional medicine is of little to no help – consider opting for Ketamine Infusion Therapy.
What is Mental Health Awareness?
If there is one thing that these statistics should tell you, it is that you are not alone. Mental health disorders affect one in five adults in the U.S. There should be no stigma and no shame in reaching out to a medical or mental health professional for help. So, why is mental health awareness month important? Because it aims to break these stigmas and bring awareness to the cause.
Also, in terms of knowing how to improve mental health, it is essential to recognize if you are suffering from a mental health disorder so you can get a proper diagnosis. By being aware, and looking past or away from certain stigmas, you can achieve this more easily.
While nothing can replace consulting with a mental health professional for suicidal ideation, PTSD, or other mental health issues, there are several resources online that can help you understand the different types of disorders. Here are a few:
- Mental Health America (MHA) offers free online screenings to determine if you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. The questionnaires are anonymous and an easy first step toward understanding more about your situation. Additional resources are provided for those who want to seek treatment. Here, you can learn more about all the latest treatments such as ketamine for PTSD, ketamine for alcoholism, and more.
- A Depression Assessment that is among the most widely used and respected self-assessments available called the PHQ-9 is formatted on a simple and easy-to-use interactive page on Ketamine Clinic Los Angeles’ website. There is a lot of useful information in the test results and supporting pages of ketamineclinics.com to assist you in assessing your condition and the available resources. After taking the assessment you will be one step closer to knowing more about your mental health, and how to improve your mental health going forward. Additionally, you can research various ketamine infusion therapies like ketamine therapy for depression, ketamine for alcoholism, postpartum depression, etc.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the country’s largest grassroots mental health organization. This nonprofit group works to both raise awareness of mental health issues and provide resources for those suffering from mental health disorders. Their website contains a variety of informational and support options, including a helpline, online discussion groups, and a library of valuable materials. If all else has failed in providing the treatment you seek, refer to their website to learn more.
- The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders and is part of the National Institute of Health. Their site offers the latest information on mental health research as well as resource listings for those seeking help. There is also a section that provides information on almost every type of mental health disorder, including signs and symptoms, treatments, and downloadable brochures with additional information. A worthy option to brush up on your knowledge of ketamine treatments.
- The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and other mental health disorders. The organization offers information on how to better understand the different types of mental health disorders in addition to a directory of mental health providers.
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a nonprofit organization that provides support and education to people throughout the country who live with mood disorders. Their site offers information and ways to connect with more than 500 support groups and 150 chapters across the country. They offer a “wellness toolbox” that contains helpful tools for managing mental health as well as an extensive support resource center.
Even if you do not suffer from a mental health disorder, that doesn’t mean you should not take steps to manage your mental wellness. Just like exercise and good nutrition help us take care of our physical wellness, it is also important to take preventative measures to ensure our mental well-being. Here are a few things you can do daily to maintain your mental health, as well as manage your level of stress and anxiety:
- Understanding the connection between physical and mental health can go a long way in knowing how to improve mental health. Exercising and eating right impacts both your physical and mental well-being. Managing stress and anxiety help you both physically and mentally, too. Physical and mental health are inextricably intertwined and each has a tremendous impact on the other.
- Take a few moments every day to step away from your daily routine to meditate, practice breathwork, or go on a short walk. A few short breaks each day will do wonders for your overall mental well-being.
- Begin every day by thinking of three things you are grateful for. Having gratitude is a big part of good mental health. You don’t need to just have gratitude for big things such as your spouse or children; you can also be grateful for something as simple as the weather or a good breakfast.
- Keep a journal and write entries periodically throughout the day. Oftentimes writing something down, particularly things that make you angry or frustrated, is a good way of letting them go.
- Plan something fun. Having something to look forward to is a great way to stay positive and alleviate stress. Even if it is just dinner at a nice restaurant with your spouse, it is important to have things planned in your immediate future that you enjoy doing.
Diet plays a large part in our overall mental health as well, and research continues to reveal the vital connection between the gut microbiome and healthy cognition and emotional regulation. Patients with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder have been known to have vast differences in gut microbiome composition when compared to those of mentally sound persons. Here are a few ways to use food to boost your mood and support your mental health:
- Eat your greens! - Diets rich in fruits and veggies are less likely to incur disease-causing bacteria. Treat your microbiome to spinach, broccoli, onion, leeks, asparagus, sweet potatoes, squash, and kale.
- Add a probiotic - Probiotics are full of live bacteria that our bodies need to help promote a healthy gut. Supplements are available, but whole foods provide a greater source of nutrition and better boost the body’s abundance of beneficial bacteria.
- Eat more fat (the good kind) – Balancing healthy fats is the path to vitality. Some fats are anti-inflammatory and support immunity and nutrient absorption. Modern diets typically consist of too many Omega-6 fats and not enough Omega-3 fats, the latter being a good source of energy and facilitating the body’s proper use of protein. Good fats include wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut meat, and ghee.
- Avoid refined sugar - These sugars digest so quickly that our microbes don’t have the chance to break them down, which can lead to stomach lining inflammation. Avoid refined sugars and artificial sweeteners often found in smoothies, protein bars, nut butters, and yogurt.
- Skip the processed foods - Preservatives, saturated fats, high salt content, and low levels of nutrition and fiber found in processed foods dehydrate the body and digestive tract, causing upset stomachs and promoting disease. Avoid or minimize dairy, processed meats, junk food, baked goods, prepackaged snack foods, and alcohol.
If you suffer from any sort of mental health disorder, no matter how small or how big, it is important to address it head-on. Generally speaking, mental health issues do not go away on their own; like any disorder, they must be treated. Mental Health Awareness Month not only brings awareness to those seeking initial treatments or diagnoses but to those currently battling with any mental health disorder as well. For added mental health treatment, consider ketamine infusion treatment options. The various available treatments include but are not limited to ketamine for PTSD, ketamine treatments for anxiety & depression, and ketamine for alcoholism.
Boasting an 83% success rate for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders, Ketamine Clinics LA have been a leading provider of mental health assistance since opening their doors in 2014. If you need help getting your life back on track and are struggling with a mental health disorder, we’re here to help. Contact Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles to determine if Ketamine Infusion Therapy may be right for you.