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Mental illnesses are health conditions that create a disruption in a person’s thinking, feelings, relationships, and daily functioning. They create some distress and diminish the individual’s capacity to engage in the ordinary activities of everyday life. It is essential to know that mental illnesses are medical conditions. They have nothing to do with a person’s character, intelligence, upbringing or willpower. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illness is a medical condition caused by the brain’s biology

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In Adults:

  1. Confused thinking
  2. Long-lasting sadness or irritability
  3. Extreme highs and lows in mood
  4. Excessive fear, worrying, or anxiety
  5. Social withdrawal
  6. Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  7. Feeling angry
  8. Delusions or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
  9. Unable to cope with daily problems and activities
  10. Thoughts of suicide
  11. Denial of obvious problems
  12. Many unexplained physical problems
  13. Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol

In older children and pre-teens:

  1. Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  2. Not able to cope with daily problems and activities
  3. Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  4. Excessive complaints of physical problems
  5. Defying authority, skipping school, stealing, or damaging property
  6. Fear of gaining weight
  7. Extended negative moods, often along with poor appetite and thoughts of death
  8. Frequent outbursts of anger

In younger children:

  1. Changes in school performance
  2. Poor grades despite strong efforts
  3. Excessive worrying or anxiety
  4. Hyperactivity
  5. Persistent nightmares
  6. Persistent disobedience and/or aggressive behaviour
  7. Temper tantrums
Yes, of course.When healing from mental illness, early identification and treatment are of vital importance. Based on the nature of the disease, there is a range of effective treatments available. It is essential that the affected person is proactive and fully engaged in their recovery process for successful treatment. Many people with mental illnesses diagnosed and treated respond well, although some might experience a return of symptoms. Even in such cases, with watchful monitoring and management of the disorder, it is possible to live a fulfilled and productive life.
Mental illness is a result of multiple causalities, i.e. various factors are involved. Research indicates towards a mix of genetic, biological, psychosocial, and environmental factors as the root of most conditions.
The treatment for any mental illness is complex. Depending on the diagnosis of the mental disease, the treatment process, the time is taken will vary.
Counselling is a process in which the affected person and therapist work together to create a change in the client’s life, which the client wishes to work on. These aspects could be relationships, work-life, family, self-worth, personal growth, perceptions or irrational belief systems. Counselling is a safe, supportive and non-judgemental space. It allows a person to express their experiences, emotions, and thoughts otherwise challenging to share. It can help them to find ways to cope with and manage difficult situations in their lives.
When a person goes for counselling, they can expect to have a non-judgemental and empathetic therapist. Counselling is an area in which the client and therapist work closely with difficult situations or emotions to make the client feel more comfortable. Counselling can help the client make sense of the world around them. It can help them process their feelings about the world and people around them and to develop healthy coping mechanisms for the harrowing experiences that they might have. Every person’s journey of counselling is unique and might take a different path.
No, counselling is helpful for individual facing any form of distress in different areas of life such as work, relationships, career and personal issues. Counselling is also beneficial for individuals looking at self-growth and development.

Since starting treatment is a big step for individuals and families, it can be very overwhelming. It is essential to be as involved and engaged in the treatment process as possible. A few critical things to know before starting the process are:

  1. Sessions usually last up to 50 minutes to 1 hour;
  2. Sessions typically take place once a week or twice a week, depending on the severity of the issue.
The most important goal of counselling is the development of individuals – the therapist becomes a facilitator or guide in this process. However, the client is the one who ultimately makes the decisions.
Client confidentiality requires that therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals protect their client’s privacy by not revealing the contents of therapy. Confidentiality includes not just the contents of treatment but often the fact that a client is in therapy. However, Licensed mental health professionals can break confidentiality in some circumstances. One of the most common scenarios is when a client is a threat to himself/herself or others. In such a case the therapist may notify the person in danger or tell someone who can keep the client safe.
Yes. Addiction can be treated successfully. There has been significant scientific research over the years in the field of addiction and its treatment. This has led to the development of evidence-based interventions in substance use disorders that helps people stop abusing alcohol and other drugs and resume sober, productive lives.
Addiction is a chronic illness. That means it is incurable; however it is treatable. Like other incurable diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, it can be managed successfully. Treatment helps the affected person to counter addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain and behaviour of the addict. If treatment is adhered to, the addict can regain control and achieve balance in their lives.
Not really. The disease of addiction is chronic. Thant means that a relapse is likely at any time – just as a relapse is likely in other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma or heart disease. These diseases also have physical and behaviourial components. Treatment involves changing thinking and behaviour patterns. Therefore a relapse does not mean treatment has failed. It only means that the treatment has to be reviewed or reinforced.
Research indicates that a combination of medications and behavioural therapy is the most effective treatment method. Community support groups are also important in maintaining recovery.
Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment. This helps in stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and prevent relapse. Withdrawal management – When an individual first stops using drugs or alcohol, he or she may experience a variety of uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms. Certain medications are designed to reduce these symptoms, and make this stage easier. Staying in Treatment – Some medications may be used during treatment to help the brain adapt gradually to the absence of the abused drug. These medications help in minimizing cravings, thereby helping the addict to focus on counselling and psychotherapeutic inputs. Preventing Relapse – Addiction experts have identified that certain triggers such as stress and cues linked to the individual’s drug and alcohol using experience cause a person to get into a relapse mode. Medications are being developed to counter such triggers and help the person sustain his or her recovery.
Behaviourial therapy such as CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) helps in modifying attitudes, enhance life skills to handle stressful circumstances and environmental factors that may trigger craving and lead to relapse. Behavioural therapies can also complement the effectiveness of medications and help people remain in treatment longer. Since addiction affects all areas of the person, treatment must address the whole person, including his social, ethical and spiritual areas.
Since addiction is a chronic condition, recovery is a lifelong process. Actually, treatment may be viewed as a continual process of relapse prevention. However, when the individual starts the treatment process, he may be in an outpatient or residential setting. This intense period is crucial in initiating a sustainable treatment. Rehabs have differing durations. Earlier, most rehabs had six to nine month duration in USA. However, since insurance companies now cover only 28 days, many facilities have adapted to this period. In UK, the huge pressure on the national health services has created a ‘detox-oriented’ short stay regimen. However, research has indicated that a minimum of three months (90 days) is required to effectively manage withdrawals, provide therapies and prepare the addict to enter a new life. The ‘Gold Standard’ of 90 days is increasingly advocated throughout the world, even in the United States by leading rehabs such as the Hazelden Betty Ford. In cases of dual diagnosis – when the addict has a co-occurring psychiatric condition – the duration may be extended.
The most effective treatment programs need to help the addict get into recovery from a life that has been dominated by the obsessions and compulsive behaviours of active addiction. The addict has been living a life that is a never-ending cycle of chasing his or her drug of choice and completely ignoring family, work and health. To be successful, treatment should address all these areas. Moreover, good rehabs also provide support to the families of the addict or alcoholic. Since addiction affects not just the individual but all those around him, appropriate education and counselling should be provided to the family members. This helps in repairing the damages caused to others and goes a long way in rebuilding broken relationships. Family support is also found to be useful in minimizing the chances of relapse. Therefore, the best treatments incorporate a variety of therapeutic services into an integrated model. This then is individualized to suit the person in recovery. The treatment is aimed to addressing all affected areas of an addict’s life – physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual. Hope Trust rehab in India offers an integrated model that has proven to be most effective in treatment of drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling and dual diagnosis. It incorporates a menu of services that include medications, cognitive therapy, Yoga, meditation, 12 Step principles and family support. This aids the overall recovery of the person from a medical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual perspective. Since inception in 2002, the evidence-based treatment provided at Hope Trust has been helpful to clients from all over the world.