According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental illness, with one in twenty living with a severe mental illness. A quarter of chronic mental illness begins before the age of 14.
In the US, 18 percent of adults suffer from anxiety disorders, and depression is the leading cause of worldwide disability.
Findings of the medical spending survey published in 2013 found in 2016 that one in six Americans takes a psychiatric drug, including sedatives or antidepressants.
While access to mental health resources is abundant and availability has helped break the stigma surrounding mental health, some patients seek non-pharmaceutical approaches to mental health management ̵
Psychiatric practitioners refer to these approaches as holistic or integrative. They look beyond the diagnosis for other factors in a patient's life, from relationship strength to nutrition, to change lifestyle changes for the better.
John Stiteler, owner of Total Health Guidance in Orlando, says that positive mental health is both practical and behavioral
"Medication can be part of this practical part, but it requires a much greater chance of treating a patient holistically "Stiteler said.
A physician of naturopathic psychology, Stiteler and his associates analyze many aspects of a patient's life to find out which items can cause problems in other areas.
"Often we see people who deal with the four big D & # 39; s – divorce, debt, depression, diabetes – not just the most obvious, because they are all related," said Stiteler.
The practice offers services such as acupuncture and detoxification massage, nutritional advice, relapse prevention and counseling.
"We are by no means unlike medicines, in some cases it is needed, we are trying to educate and make drugs a bridge, not a crutch," Stiteler said.
Licensed clinical psychologist Lara Davis specializes in working with young professionals in Orlando who are overwhelmed with life expectancies such as careers and relationships. She believes that drugs can be a real game change for patients – but that it's not for everyone.
"Drugs are a very individual decision that should be made with a therapist and a competent medical provider Psychiatrist.It has been shown for some diagnoses that finding therapy and finding the right medication will be an optimal combination of treatment can, "said Davis.
"For some, medications are not needed and for some it makes a big difference, I like medication as another tool in the toolbox, but not the only answer."
When patients first arrive, Davis takes a major educational approach for practical reasons that may make a person feel distressed. She discusses the patients' sleep, nutrition, hydration and exercise patterns and presents practical solutions, such as going to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal or scheduling meals and snacks. Talk therapy is also important, she says.
"Therapy is for everyone.It is not only reserved when you feel really sad, anxious or after a trauma, it can be used as a prevention to gain clarity, to re-focus and to be about yourself to learn from an unbiased source, "she said.
In many cases, small changes in lifestyle can lead to major psychological breakthroughs. Covyn Montemayor is a Total Health Guidance Acupuncturist in Orlando and practices East Asian medicine with a focus on mindfulness.
"Lifestyle plays a big role in maintaining and restoring mental health – I would say the most important lifestyle choices that affect one's health are diet, exercise, and sleep – each has an equal impact on both body and mind." said Montemayor.
Talking to a therapist can also relieve a lot of fears.
"The majority of people tend to think things over and others think, and the space these two exchanges offer creates room for a lot of perceived stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, anger, grief, and more." said Montemayor. "I very much encourage my clients to talk to a counselor who can speak objectively about their relationships, situations and lives."