Mental and emotional health is not always something we are naturally inclined to want to discuss. We all struggle with challenges, stress, life changes, emotional ups and downs, and more throughout life. In fact, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), “Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.” That is a startling statistic. And, it is largely because what is classified as “mental illness” is a broad range of symptoms. NAMI further clarifies what constitutes a mental illness and how one can arise in any individual, “A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis…A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too.”
Because there are often multiple factors that can lead to deteriorating mental and/or emotional health, it is important that treatment be holistic. While many doctors may simply prescribe a pill and send a patient on their way without any additional treatment, a naturopathic physician wants to treat the whole person with the goal of dramatically improving overall mental and emotional health. Treating a symptom may be fast and effective (and is certainly the right treatment for some patients), naturopathy goes beyond the symptom and treats the root cause of mental and emotional health problems.
A holistic approach to mental and emotional health includes a variety of treatments. Your mental and emotional wellness (or lack thereof) can contribute to a variety of other illness and diseases in your body so achieving balance and wellness is important. Naturopathic treatments include things like psychological techniques such as counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, acupressure, acupuncture, herbal and nutritional supplements, and more. Through the healing of the gut, hormonal balance, counseling, and addressing any other physical imbalances, you can begin on a path to healing and achieving mental and emotional health, naturally.