Your mental health should be taken just as seriously as your physical health. Just because it may not be visible doesn’t mean it isn’t there or doesn’t have a major impact on your life.
If you need assistance treating your mental health, please remember there is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it takes strength to take the necessary steps to learn the tactics and techniques needed to cope with and manage any mental health disorders you may have.
At Continuum Outpatient Center, located in San Antonio, Texas, we focus on getting you to where you need to be by building care around healing, respect, empowerment, and choice.
Outpatient care is so important because it gives you the opportunity to maintain your personal and professional life, all while receiving the care you need. Life doesn’t stop, and we understand that. Our outpatient treatment center is prepared to make sure you have a plan that makes sense for you.
Our main goal is to help patients overcome past trauma, prevent relapse, heal relationships, and learn skills to improve their lives. In addition to providing educational resources, we help patients change their negative habits by putting the skills we teach them into place on a daily basis.
We take great pride in providing a unique approach to care for each patient. Our evidence-based treatments take a holistic (whole-person), strength-based approach to helping patients overcome a mental health disorder, substance use disorder, or both. A strength-based approach moves the focus away from what a person is lacking and focuses on their strengths. Our program uses cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, trauma therapy, and relapse prevention.
Our facility is a judgment-free zone, which means patients can expect to feel comfortable and confident in the care they’ll be receiving.
A Look at Mental Health Disorders
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Mental health disorders are conditions that affect your thinking, feeling, mood, and behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic). They can affect your ability to relate to others and function each day.”
Examples of mental health disorders include:
Mental health disorders are quite common in the United States as more than 50% of people will be diagnosed with one at some point in their life. There are a variety of factors that may contribute to a mental health disorder, including:
In order to determine whether or not a mental health disorder is present, a medical professional may look at your medical history, perform a physical exam, and/or do a psychological evaluation.
Professional treatment for mental health disorders can help you learn how to manage symptoms and improve conditions.
Here’s How We Can Help
Here at Continuum, we offer various forms of therapy to tackle the problems caused by your mental health disorder(s). These therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.
The NIH explains, “Cognitive behavioral therapy is a problem-oriented strategy. It focuses on current problems and finding solutions for them. Unlike psychoanalysis, for example, it does not deal primarily with the past.”
“Cognitive behavioral therapy is much more concerned with dealing with current problems. The most important thing is helping people to help themselves: They should be able to cope with their lives again without therapy as soon as possible. This does not mean that cognitive behavioral therapy completely ignores the influence of past events. But it mainly deals with identifying and changing current distressing thought and behavioral patterns.”
Cognitive behavioral therapy is quite common. Not only is it used to treat mental health disorders, but it can also be used for treating substance use disorders. Commitment is key when it comes to getting the most out of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is why we make sure patients have the best possible relationship with their therapist.
You may also benefit from what’s known as dialectical behavior therapy.
The University of Washington says, “Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and it is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. As such, DBT is a transdiagnostic, modular treatment.”
Much like cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT can be a powerful tool when it comes to regulating emotions and negative behaviors and thought patterns. DBT can help you focus on the here and now, build back healthy relationships, and manage stress.
There are four skill areas in a dialectical behavior therapy program, including mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Break Free From Mental Health Disorders
Today is the day you choose to make a difference. Continuum Outpatient Center is here every step of the way.
The Importance of Identifying Co-Occurring Disorders
Many people who have a mental health disorder also have a substance use disorder. These are what are known as co-occurring disorders.
According to the NIH, “Researchers have found that about half of individuals who experience a substance use disorder during their lives will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder and vice versa. Co-occurring disorders can include anxiety disorders, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and schizophrenia, among others.”
Researchers have come up with three possibilities as to why mental health disorders and substance use disorders often coexist.
The NIH adds, “Common risk factors can contribute to both SUDs and other mental disorders. Both SUDs and other mental disorders can run in families, suggesting that certain genes may be a risk factor. Environmental factors, such as stress or trauma, can cause genetic changes that are passed down through generations and may contribute to the development of a mental disorder or a substance use disorder.”
“Mental disorders can contribute to substance use and SUDs. Studies found that people with a mental disorder, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. However, although some drugs may temporarily help with some symptoms of mental disorders, they may make the symptoms worse over time. Additionally, brain changes in people with mental disorders may enhance the rewarding effects of substances, making it more likely they will continue to use the substance.”
“Substance use and SUDs can contribute to the development of other mental disorders. Substance use may trigger changes in brain structure and function that make a person more likely to develop a mental disorder.”
Managing co-occurring disorders is crucial when it comes to recovery. By learning how to manage both disorders, you can increase your chances of remaining sober, improve your ability to recognize mental health struggles, and more.
Improving Your Mental Health Can Improve the Quality of Your Life
Most of us will struggle with our mental health at some point in our lives. By learning how to manage it, you can return to a life of normalcy. We understand just how difficult mental health disorders can be.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “Mental health disorders are common in the United States. Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental health disorder (51.5 million in 2019). Mental health disorders include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe.”
Unfortunately, many people living with a mental health disorder do not receive the treatment they need. If you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Even if you’ve sought treatment before and it didn’t work or improve your condition, that is no reason to give up. You may just need treatment that is more tailored to your unique needs. Do not give up. You deserve to live a life without your mental health disorder holding you back.
Strength in Numbers
“Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant, and to face the challenge of change.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
There is strength in numbers. The more people you have supporting you and caring for you, the better your chances of overcoming obstacles.
Especially when it comes to mental health disorders, you shouldn’t have to face them alone.
While your situation is unique, so many people have learned how to manage their mental health disorder. This should give you a sense of hope — recovery is possible.
As we continue to eliminate the stigma (negative and often unfair beliefs) associated with mental health disorders, rest assured your situation will be met with sincerity and understanding at Continuum.
The first step is usually the hardest, but in life, those steps are the most important.
Mental health disorders no longer have to control your life. Make the commitment to change your life for the better … today.
Get the Help You Need Today
Here at Continuum Outpatient Center, we offer flexible schedules. This includes intensive outpatient care during the daytime or the evening, as well as via telehealth.
Daytime options are available from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Evening care is available from 6-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Telehealth options are also available.
Each week, we will focus on one of the following topics: