The topic of mental health and its relationship with spirituality is quite a sticky wicket. Prayer, which was until recently considered unscientific, has now been shown to have beneficial effects on patients.1 Similarly, the current belief in psychiatry is that mental illnesses can be treated by medical professionals only and the person who is mentally ill has no control over their lives.
They will be able to make a full assessment of your symptoms and your physical and mental health in general as well as take into consideration any other factors involved including any family history of mental illness in order to make an accurate diagnosis because an accurate diagnosis is essential if the right help and assistance is to be offered.
Let us not forget that our brains are not fully developed until we are about 25 years of age – and that they then have what is called ‘plasticity’ which allows the brain to change, and increase neuronal connections and pathways, in response to our physical and emotional needs and experiences.
However, your doctor might feel that you could also benefit from other mental health services so once he or she has made a diagnosis they will be able to start you on a suitable treatment programme which could include medication and/or referral to other professionals or specialists in the community mental health team as required, for example, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, various types of counsellors or therapists and so on.
Others will tell you that eating well, getting enough sleep, having some confidence and respect for one’s self and having enough time set aside for one’s self are all things that a person can do in order to improve and maintain their good mental health.