Mental illness is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a health condition involving changes in emotion, thinking, or behavior. These issues relate to all diagnosis and can even vary from day to day. This may present as waning performance at work; worsening communication with others; difficulty paying attention in school or work; or a general inability to care for oneself. Mental illness can take many forms, from depression and anxiety to severe schizophrenia and a full spectrum in between. Difficulty functioning is also on a spectrum: some people may only experience minor impairment, while others lose the ability to leave the house and fulfill obligations. Regardless of the acuity of a persons symptoms they deserve high quality and compassionate care; Even if they don’t believe they need help at all.
Who needs a mental health intervention?
A mental health diagnosis is difficult for all involved, not just the patient. Understanding your loved one diagnosis and symptoms is key. When your loved one is in crisis you will wonder if there is anywhere to turn. If your loved one is exhibiting any of the above warning signs – especially if you suspect their ability to function is decreasing – it becomes clear that they need treatment. If they are unable or unwilling to accept their diagnosis or follow a treatment plan, then it’s time to stage a mental health intervention. Like any disease, mental illness should be treated the moment it is detected for best chance of recovery. The longer you wait to address it, the more likely it is that the sufferer will experience long-term psychological damage.
What to expect during an intervention.
Because of the complexity of mental illness, it is incredibly important that the intervention process is facilitated by a trained and qualified professional. It can be difficult to identify these disorders because many of them present overlapping symptoms – alternatively, substance abuse could mask telltale signs of a disorder. Your loved one may not believe that they have a problem, and may not have ever received a formal diagnosis. They also may have a previous treatment plan that they have chosen to ignore. They often also believe that they know what’s best for their health, even in the midst of a crisis. This is why Intervention 911 recommends that mental health interventions take place under the supervision of a trained facilitator.