Dealing with a Mental Health Diagnosis

Published November 17, 2019

Those who receive a mental health diagnosis for the first time often have one of two strong reactions right of the bat. Some people may be shocked and devastated and worry about how the diagnosis will affect their lives. Others may be relieved to find out that for the first time they can finally name their problem and seek out treatment along with medication. Whatever your reaction, there are steps you can take to cope with what comes next.

Stay Positive

If you are feeling sad or angry about your diagnosis, this can seem almost impossible. However, many people deal with mental illness and lead happy, successful and productive lives. With roughly one in five having some sort of a mental illness, by learning more, you can set goals and work toward improvement. You can begin to cope with how you feel, and how you plan to deal with it going forward in order to continue with a positive outlook on your newfound life.

Learn More

It’s important to learn more about your mental illness, but you also need to be savvy about your research. There is a lot of misinformation out there, especially if you are doing research online. Look for information from government agencies, universities and renowned medical facilities and for peer-reviewed research. Be wary of claims that promise easy cures and sound too good to be true.

Find Support

Family and friends can offer support. However, it can be difficult for them to really understand what you are going through, and leaning on them too much can also create a strain on the relationship. This is where support groups can come in handy. An in-person support group is best, but you can find support groups online as well. A therapist in Redwood City can also provide ongoing support. It can be helpful to have someone nonjudgmental who is not a friend or family member to bounce ideas off and listen to your fears.

Know Your Health Care Options

You may encounter challenges accessing the services you need depending on where you live, and the available coverage you have on the policy so it’s important to talk to your insurer. You’ll also need to find out which health professionals accept your insurance, and what the co-pay charges will be required at each visit. Some employers have an employee assistance program, called an EAP, that can help with mental health issues. Your local health department or a community health center also may be able to offer assistance if your health care is through a government program, or if you are uninsured.

Work with Health Professionals

Whether you need a doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a therapist or some combination, think of this person as a partner in your progress. You may need to visit more than one professional before you find one you are comfortable working with. You need to be open and honest with the professional or multiple who are treating you and follow their recommendations, but if there is some aspect of your you are uncomfortable with, be sure to bring it up right away.

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