The two words “mental health” have been used at a higher rate since the COVID-19 lockdowns started to ramp up back in March 2020. Fast forward a year and a half later, and COVID-19 is still a lingering thought in our minds, if not at the forefront.
Going through a pandemic is no joke, nor is our mental health. Individuals have experienced more loneliness than normal, more anxiety, less social hangs, and a looming thought of “what’s next?”
Hospitality Health ER, located in Galveston, Tyler, and Longview, prioritizes the health and wellbeing of our patients in everything we do. That’s why we wanted to talk about mental health, and more specifically, how it impacts our health, different therapies that are available, and resources you can use and/or share.
How does mental health impact physical health?
Commonly, our minds and our bodies are viewed as separate. However, our mental health can impact a whole host of physical symptoms in the body. If either the mind or the body are negatively impacted, the other is often also negatively impacted.
What are common physical symptoms of mental illnesses?
- Muscle tension
- Digestive issues
- Sleep issues and/or disorders
- Eye problems
Keep in mind that symptoms differ from person to person, and the physical effects will vary depending on your mental health diagnosis. For example, one individual may suffer from head pain when they are experiencing anxiety, whereas another individual could suffer primarily from stomach issues.
What are the different therapies available?
There are billions of people in the world, all dealing with different stresses, traumas, phobias, health issues, etc. That’s why offering different types of therapies is so important. Each individual gets the help they need, along with the mental reassurance that they need to keep learning, growing, and adapting with the times.
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a form of therapy that includes animals in the treatment process. AAT is goal-directed and involves a therapist who guides the interaction between the animal and client.
Art therapy is a technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness.
Dialectical behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a modified type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Its main goals are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others.
Emotionally focused therapy
Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) is a type of short-term therapy that is used to improve attachment and bonding in adult relationships. While often used for couples, it has also been adapted for use with families. This treatment can help couples and family members form a more secure emotional bond, which can result in stronger relationships and improved communication.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment for PTSD as well as other mental health conditions. The treatment brings together your traumatic memories and an external stimulus to help reduce the distress stemming from your traumatic event. With these thoughts and images in mind, you will be asked to also pay attention to an outside stimulus such as eye movements or finger tappings guided by the therapist.
Exposure therapy is a psychological treatment that was developed to help people confront their fears. When people are fearful of something, they tend to avoid the feared objects, activities or situations. In this form of therapy, psychologists create a safe environment in which to “expose” individuals to the things they fear and avoid. The exposure to the feared objects, activities or situations in a safe environment helps reduce fear and decrease avoidance.
Family therapy is a type of treatment designed to help with issues that specifically affect families’ mental health and functioning. It can help individual family members build stronger relationships, improve communication, and manage conflicts within the family system.
Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy, usually 12 to 16 sessions, that is used to treat depression and other conditions. As its name suggests, IPT focuses on your interpersonal relationships and social interactions—including how much support you have from others and the impact these relationships have on your mental health.
Light therapy is a common treatment for sleep disorders and mood disorders that affect sleep. Also called phototherapy or bright light therapy, it involves using a special lightbox at home, or sometimes simply getting sun exposure at the right time of day.
Mentalization-based is a type of psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder (BPD) that focuses on your ability to recognize thoughts, feelings, wishes, and desires to see how they are linked to behavior.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a type of psychotherapy that involves a combination of cognitive therapy, meditation, and the cultivation of a present-oriented, non-judgmental attitude called “mindfulness.”
Play therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy that uses play to assess, prevent, or treat psychosocial challenges. Although play therapy can be used with adults, it’s most commonly used with children.
Psychodynamic therapy is an approach that involves facilitating a deeper understanding of one’s emotions and other mental processes. It works to help people gain greater insight into how they feel and think.
Mental health resources and 24/7 suicide hotlines:
Here is a go-to section for websites, helplines, and information you can easily access from home.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness “NAMI”
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association “SAMHSA”
- Mental Health First Aid
Here are helplines you can access 24/7 for immediate help:
- Call 911
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- Crisis Text Line: Text SIGNS to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling
- Disaster Distress Helpline: CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish)
Lastly, here are 60 digital resources for mental health.
For more tips and advice, follow along on our Hospitality Health ER blog. We’ve recently covered Signs Your Kids May Be Experiencing Anxiety and How to Prevent Parental Burnout. For giveaways, updates, and COVID-19 tips, like us on Facebook and Instagram.