Trends in Mental Health in 2018
Everything is always evolving. There are even trends in mental health. Here are some of the things I am seeing in my practice.
Suicide is On The Rise
It used to be that a therapist could go her whole career without having a suicide. If her clientele was low risk, she might not even have to deal with suicidal ideation. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause for death in America. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide has increased for all age groups since 2001. If you are having suicidal thoughts, reach out to someone. Many people left behind say that they had no idea their loved one was at risk. Ketamine may help you get over the hump and stabilize you so that you can get on with your life.
Clean Food is a Solution
Finally science is starting to look at nutrition as a risk factor and solution to mental health issues. We are starting to realize that sugar, processed food, and chemicals wreak havoc on the gut. They can throw the body off balance so that we don’t sleep well, have focus and concentration issues, gain weight, and have mood swings. If you haven’t cleaned up your diet yet, what are you waiting for?
Sex is a Problem
Sex is natural. You’d think we all know how to do it. We all enjoy, and we all want it. Nope! Unless we’re talking about sexual abuse, sex would rarely be a topic of discussion in the past. Now it’s often a problem in and of itself or a symptom of a deeper issue. Some of the things I commonly see now are: sex addiction, porn addiction, lack of interest in sex, problems achieving orgasm, orgasming too quickly, fear of sex, vaginal tightness (due to sexual assault) and painful intercourse, or being in a long term sexless relationship. Some of these things are physical. Some are trauma related. All can be improved or eliminated.
People are Sicker
People who go into inpatient are sicker than they were at entry and tend to stay sicker longer than in the past. I can’t really say why this is, just that it’s something that I observe and hear about from colleagues who work in hospital settings. Perhaps it’s because it’s harder to get admitted. Maybe it’s due to increased community services that allows people to be maintained outside of an inpatient setting for longer periods of time. There could also be lifetyle, political, financial, religious, or social factors as well.
Mindfulness is a Buzzword
Pop culture can influence systems like mental health. Perhaps the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Eckart Tolle and people like them are asking for things like mindfulness. Whatever the cause, it seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. And it’s a great bandwagon to be on. The results speak for themselves on this one. Mindfulness helps to give people peace so why not practice it?
Telehealth is Here
It used to be that the client had to come into the office in order for insurance to pay for the visit. Perhaps insurance companies are realizing that sometimes people are too sick to make it in. Maybe studies have been done to show that “face to face” can be just as effective if it’s done by a webcam. Whatever the reason, many insurance companies will now pay for you to have your outpatient mental health visit online. If you are not sure if yours is among them, contact your insurance provider.