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Don’t Neglect Your Emotional Health

Don’t Neglect Your Emotional Health

When to consider seeing a mental health professional

Is a problem in your life dragging you down? Is it making it hard to function, feel in control or be happy?

Emotional troubles like this are more common than you suspect—by some estimates, in any given year 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. struggle with a mental health problem like depression, severe anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Mental illness is not a lack of willpower, moral failing, or character defect. It is a manifestation of brain dysfunction, sometimes brought on by external stressors or adverse events, and sometimes is brought on completely by genetic predisposition,” says David Murdock, MD, a fellowship-trained psychiatrist with Memorial Medical Group.

If you are struggling, a mental health professional can help you feel like yourself again. Using talk therapy and possibly medication, this professional can help you:

  • Come up with plans for solving problems
  • Change behaviors that hold you back
  • Feel stronger when facing challenges
  • Examine how the way you think may negatively affect your emotions
  • Heal pain from your past

The encouraging news: Most people who seek help get better. For example, more than 80% of people treated for depression improve.

Keep this in mind too: Seeking help is never a sign of weakness. It takes strength to admit things need to change and to learn new coping skills and grow.

Which professional?

There are many different types of mental health professionals. Your primary care provider can advise you on which type of professional is the best match for you. So might a friend who has been in counseling. You can turn to a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, pastoral counselor or another mental health professional.

No matter who you go to for help, it's important to be open to new ways of behaving and thinking that can help you get your life back on track.

“The greatest benefit of receiving treatment for mental illness is that people are able to live up to their full potential and live happy and productive lives again. Medications alone cannot fix circumstances or problems, but they allow a person’s brain to function normally in order to address life's issues effectively,” Dr. Murdock explains.

To learn more about the services and providers offered through Lake Charles Memorial Health System’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic and to see if you qualify for free mental health counseling, click here or call 337.480.7800.