Your mental health influences your overall ability to cope with the demands of daily life. When you feel overwhelmed, the psychotherapists at Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice offer culturally competent services and a broad range of evidence-based therapies. To schedule a free initial consultation with the director Karen L. Smith MSS, LCSW, email or call the office in Center City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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What is mental health?

What is mental health: an umbrella term describing your cognitive, emotional, and behavioral state of being. When your mental health is good, you’re able to maintain a productive job, engage in satisfying relationships, participate in your community, and usually cope successfully with daily stress.

Your overall mental health can suffer greatly during times of stress and conflict, in your work, or family, or in your communities. Significant illness or loss, being a member of a disenfranchised group, losing a job, or needing to move out of your community are all examples of issues that can impact your psychological and emotional functioning. Even positive events in your life, like the birth of a child, or a desired promotion, can tip the balance of your mental health and well-being.

What causes mental health distress?

Like self-esteem, our emotional and psychological health is built on a combination of many factors as opposed to a single event. Examples of factors that can influence your mental health negatively include the following:

  • Biology: Genetic tendencies and the balance of brain chemistry
  • Life experience: Current or past trauma, abuse, loss, illness, lack of social support
  • Environmental stressors: Unemployment, divorce, alcohol or drug abuse, societal disenfranchisement

What are different mental health disorders?

Besides being a way to describe overall well-being, mental health can also be a reference to specific disorders. Chances are you’re familiar with some common mental health disorders:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Mood and bipolar disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Addiction, alcoholism and drug use disorders

What types of treatments are available?

The first course of action for most serious emotional and psychological distress is psychotherapy. While medications may be indicated, either temporarily or long term, it’s important to see first if sufficient change can be made without medication. For many, medication is essential, but we can only really determine that if we have tried other reliable treatments first.

The best plan for you depends on your diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms. Getting your life together is always a confluence of many variables. For many clients, psychotherapy and the changes in your life that therapy allows you to make will be sufficient. But when medications are necessary, they are indeed necessary.

You may also benefit from complementary therapies, such as holistic care, nutritional counseling, mind-body therapies, art therapy, or music therapy. Some clients benefit from concrete evidence-based treatments like dialectical behavior techniques (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), and mindfulness meditation. There are many options available, and the goal is to create a plan that combines therapies to best meet your mental health needs.

The team at Full Living includes therapists with extensive training and experience in all different types of therapy. Your therapist also helps coordinate any other services you might need, ensuring you have comprehensive care.

If you’re ready to address the issues impacting your mental health, email or call Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice.

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