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What are the Different Kinds of Therapy for Mental Illness?

By K. Gierok
Updated May 17, 2024
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Living with mental illness can be very difficult, not only for the individual diagnosed with the condition, but also with the family of the individual diagnosed. Several effective treatment methods exist that are often very successful for those suffering from mental illness. Prescription medications are one of the most common types of therapy for mental illness, though more alternative forms of therapy such as exercise and massage have also proven effective. In addition, the use of psychotherapy and behavior therapy have also provided good results for those suffering from mental illness.

Medicine has long been used as a popular form of therapy for mental illness. For some, prescription medication may regulate physiologic functions of the body, or aid in the mediation of imbalances. While a wide range of prescription medications used in the treatment of mental illness exist, the most common types include anti-psychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers. These medications are typically only prescribed to those under the care of a physician.

Another type of therapy for mental illness is exercise and massage. Studies have shown that individuals who engage in physical activity tend to experience increased levels of satisfaction with life than those who do not exercise. This was found to be caused by the release of endorphins during exercise, which provides a feeling of euphoria. In addition to the release of these hormones, exercise has been found to be a great way to manage anxiety and depressive disorders. Individuals who are suffering from mental illness should be encouraged to participate in physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day in order to achieve best results.

Psychotherapy is another popular type of therapy for mental illness and is commonly used with good results. In psychotherapy, a licensed psychologist speaks with the patient in an attempt to determine the source of pain or disturbance. Patients are typically encouraged to discover their own solutions to life's problems through psychotherapy.

Behavior therapy is also commonly used to treat patients who suffer from mental illness. In behavior therapy, therapists try to recondition patients' beliefs and attitudes through risk, reward, and punishment. In order to achieve success with this method, it is essential that the patient commit to a substantial period of time in the care of a qualified professional. In addition, the therapist in charge must have experience working with the particular type of mental illness experienced by the patients in order to produce effective results.

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