May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month! Every year, the month is set aside to educate communities about the problems of mental illness as well as the many different services that are available to help people with mental health problems. Many celebrities have revealed their triumph over mental illnesses, such as Angelina Jolie (depression and self-harm), Katherine Zeta-Jones (bipolar disorder), and Halle Berry (suicide attempt). By providing continuing education in our communities, we can encourage our friends, families, and coworkers to seek help if we suspect a mental illness.

At Kingwood Pines, we treat patients with crisis symptoms of mental illness, but many people with mental illness can function well in society and hold full-time jobs if their symptoms are treated consistently. The following information is provided by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). NAMI is a resource that provides support for patients and their families who are dealing with mental illness.

What is mental illness?

A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

Other conditions sometimes related to mental illness include episodes of psychosis, insomnia, sleep apnea, suicidal thoughts and actions, homicidal thoughts or actions, and tardive dyskinesia.

What does recovery look like?

As people become familiar with their illness, they recognize their own unique patterns of behavior. If individuals recognize these signs and seek effective and timely care, they can often prevent relapses. However, because mental illnesses have no cure, treatment must be continuous.

Individuals who live with a mental illness also benefit tremendously from taking responsibility for their own recovery. Once the illness is adequately managed, one must monitor potential side effects.

The recovery journey is unique for each individual. One of the most important principles is this: recovery is a process, not an event. The uniqueness and individual nature of recovery must be honored. While serious mental illness impacts individuals in many ways, the concept that all individuals can move towards wellness is paramount.

For those who are unstable with their mental illness or are in a crisis, Kingwood Pines provides no-cost assessments at our hospital 24-hours-per-day, 7-days per week. Information and appointments can be made by calling our intake department at 281-404-1001, but appointments are not required. If you or anyone you know is in a mental health crisis, we are right around the corner and would be glad to help!

If you have a group that wants to know more about Kingwood Pines Hospital’s services, we are also happy to provide community outreach. Call our Business Development Department at 281-404-1039. Let’s work together to keep our community happy and healthy!