Various Treatment Plans for Abnormal Mental Illnesses


There are many treatment options available today to help control mental illness. The most important thing, is to admit to having a problem, then seeking the proper help and sticking with recovery, and/or a lifelong program of recovery. The use of diet, exercise, and supplements has gained in popularity in recent years. It has been shown to help with mental illness, and to have the benefit of not causing any side effects, except a healthier mind and body. Let's look at some of the choices in treating mental illness.

When to Get Help and Why

Anyone who feels that their behavior is damaging to themselves, or others, should seek help from a mental health professional. The sooner a mental health issue is diagnosed and treated, the sooner the patient will begin to feel better, and start to live a more productive life. Also, getting help right away, while symptoms are still new, helps the patient avoid health issues, potentially hurting others, and other problems that result from untreated mental illness.

The First Steps

Admit you have a problem and that you need help. Then find a professional, or ask someone to help you find one. You can look on the Internet, you can call your family doctor, or you can check a local phone book. You can also ask friends and family to refer you to someone. There are several very successful 12-step programs that have helped millions recover from alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling problems, eating disorders -- and even support groups for those with a variety of disorders. These should be used in conjunction with therapy and medication, if needed.

Psychologist v. Psychiatrist

Psychologists use a variety of therapies to help treat mental illnesses, with great success. They do not prescribe medications, and so may not be a good choice for disorders that require prescription drugs, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or clinical depression. In general, psychologists treat non-medication disorders, and psychiatrists treat disorders that require medication and a medical doctor. Sometimes these two professionals work together to treat a patient, using medications to alleviate symptoms, while the psychologist works with the patient at resolving any underlying issues.

Treatment with Medication Only

Some disorders are treated with medication, but this is not recommended, as even schizophrenia has psychological implications that would benefit from talk therapy, or behavioral therapies. Nearly all disorders can benefit from seeking the assistance of a qualified psychologist to help them work through various issues that either caused their illness, or came about as a result of their illness

What Medications to Avoid

Paxil is a severely difficult prescription drug to stop taking. Thousands of people have experienced neurological problems, including brain shocks, debilitating illness, and mental discomfort, when trying to withdraw from this medication. Entire websites and lawsuits have been devoted to problems with this drug. Do not try to wean off of it by yourself, without help, and do not allow a doctor to prescribe it to you for mental illness. Ask for something else, and if the doctor insists, find another doctor.

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Abnormal Psychology course?

Self-Help Groups

Groups such as AA, NA, GA, OA, Alanon and Alateen have helped millions recover from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, and gambling problems, and have helped family members of those addicted to find support in living with an addicted person. They cost nothing to attend, and, as the names imply, they are anonymous, so people will not say they saw you at a meeting, and you do not have to give out your name or any personal information. Meetings can be found all over the country, and all over the world; dates, times, and addresses of meetings can be found online.

Vitamins, Diet, and Exercise

A combination of vitamins, diet, and daily exercise has shown great success in alleviating the symptoms of mental illness; it also helps prevent mental illness, and in some cases, even cures it. Daily exercise is proven to elevate mood, enhance self-esteem and self image, and increase energy. Certain vitamins are also used for mental illness, the most recent being Omega-3 fatty acids, which some studies say help to alleviate depression. Certain diets, which encourage healthful eating, can help the body and mind function better, and help adjust hormonal problems. You should see a nutritionist about finding a diet that would work well with your particular situation. While not a cure-all, or a replacement for medication and therapy when required, these three things can go a long way in helping one maintain a healthy body and mind.

Alternative treatments for mental illness are also gaining in popularity, and can enhance a program of recovery, as outlined by a professional. Some people swear by the following therapies for alleviating, or completely removing, their symptoms, and restoring them to good health. Again, these are meant to be used in conjunction with the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Alternative and experimental treatments include:


An ancient Chinese medical practice that incorporates the use of very fine needles to balance a person's nervous system.


Another ancient practice which has a spiritual basis. Yoga involves exercising the body and mind. It helps strengthen and balance the body, and relaxes the mind considerably.


The use of quiet, calm following of the breath, and slowing thoughts down, so that the mind becomes clearer and calmer. Meditation has helped millions of people alleviate mental disorders, even those considered "incurable." Anyone can meditate, even those who are physically unable to exercise or do yoga.


There are many excellent treatments for mental illness and it is important to remember that most, if not all, illnesses are treatable, and even curable. The first step in treatment is getting the person to admit they have a problem. Denial is highly ingrained in those with mental disorders, and often they are not even able to admit to having one until they are hospitalized for physical damage, or problems caused by the disorder. Next steps include entering therapy, getting medications, if needed, and using healthy diet, exercise, and meditation or yoga to help ease the mind of stress and agitation.


New Discoveries and Hope in Identification and Treatment

The Newest Ideas Concerning Abnormal Disorders

The most recent studies in mental health indicate that many disorders of the mind are caused by genetics, heredity, and hormonal imbalances. New research shows that those with mental illness have different brain chemistry and genes, than those who do not. These findings are helping scientists discover new ways to treat and cure a large variety of disorders.

Doctors and scientists are constantly trying new methods of treating mental illness. It is studies and observations such as these that lead to the discovery of exercise, diet, and supplements as excellent ways to avoid, treat, and minimize the symptoms of mental illness. Many therapists are trying new behavioral conditioning techniques to help those with compulsive disorders overcome their problems, with great success.

Treating and Addressing Previously "Untreatable" Disorders

Schizophrenia, some sexual disorders, and certain addictions were seen in the past as untreatable, and/or incurable. That view is changing in the 21st century. With new information gathered from gene research, scientists are discovering that people who suffer from these types of disorders have different brains that the rest of the population. They are using this new information to find ways of treating and curing compulsions and illness never before thought possible. A recent experiment included giving those with sexual compulsion and violent anxiety disorders, very high doses of Omega-3 fatty acids. The result was a marked improvement in the frequency and duration of compulsive episodes. As a byproduct of this study, these supplements helped reduce depression and anxiety in many of the patients. This is exciting news, and research in this area is continuing.

The Future of Treatment for Abnormal Psychology

New studies into the human mind and how it works occur daily. As doctors learn more, they will be better able to find, and use, non-evasive, non-addictive methods of treating and curing mental illness. The future of treatment is moving away from heavy drug use, surgery, and imprisonment, towards the use of more holistic methods of treatment. The use of yoga, meditation, healthy diet, exercise, and supplements may seem odd now, but 20 years from now, they will be more commonplace than medications for helping combat mental illness.


The future holds great hope for those who suffer from mental illness, particularly those who suffer from previously labeled "incurable" types. The most important road to treatment of any disorder, however, is a will and desire to recover, and an ability to admit there is a problem to be treated. Then, and only then, can treatment begin, and start to turn the suffering of the mentally ill into a joy of living a full and meaningful life. It is important to remember that there is hope -- mental illness is treatable.