Hospitalization and Other Options for Behavioral Health Issues
No matter where you live in the U.S., behavioral health issues are common. These issues alter your behavior in ways that damage your ability to function. In this way, they can form the final link in the chain of active substance addiction. Behavioral issues also play the same essential role in other kinds of mental health disorders. Treatment for such issues can take place in a range of settings. One potential treatment setting for especially severe problems is a behavioral hospital.
Behavioral hospitals are also known as psychiatric hospitals. These facilities provide intensive treatment for the most serious kinds of addiction and mental illness symptoms. When required, hospitalization typically forms just the first part of your journey to recovery. Once your condition has stabilized, you continue on to treatment in a residential or outpatient program.
What Is Behavioral Health
Your behavior has a major impact on your experience of everyday life. Some behaviors support your sense of well-being and ability to function. However, other behaviors interfere with these essential aspects of wellness. Your behavioral health reflects your current state of wellness in regard to these factors. Experts may also use the term to refer to active attempts to change your current behavior in beneficial ways.
Behavioral Health Vs. Mental Health
Your behavioral health is not exactly the same as your mental health. However, your behavior is a key component of your mental well-being. Two other components are equally as crucial:
- The ways you think from day to day
- Your emotional responses or reactions to your experiences
Each of these factors is interactive. Your thoughts and emotional responses help drive your behavior. In turn, your behavior tends to support specific kinds of thinking and emotional reactions.
Sound mental health has a wide range of benefits. The list of these benefits includes:
- A greater ability to handle to ups and downs of everyday life
- Stable functioning and a better ability to support yourself
- Higher odds of achieving your short- and long-term goals
- Increased capacity to act as a contributing member of society
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Examples of Behavioral Health Disorders
If your typical mental state seriously interferes with your ability to function, you may have a mental health disorder. These disorders are also known as mental illnesses. Because they have a behavioral aspect, some experts refer to them as behavioral health disorders.
You can be diagnosed with one or more mental/behavioral conditions. In the U.S., the official definitions for these conditions come from the American Psychiatric Association, or APA. The APA groups various illnesses together by category. All illnesses within a category are similar in important ways. However, they also differ enough to be viewed as separate conditions. Examples of behavioral health disorders recognized by the APA include:
- Depressive disorders
- Major depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Bipolar Disorders
- Bipolar I disorder
- Bipolar II disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Specific phobia
- Social anxiety disorder
- Trauma- and stressor-related disorders
- Acute stress disorder
- Feeding and eating disorders
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Binge eating disorder
- Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Schizoaffective disorder
These are just a few of the possible diagnoses within the listed categories. In addition, the APA recognizes many other categories of mental illness.
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Addiction and Behavioral Health
Most people probably do not think of addiction as a mental illness or behavioral health disorder. However, the APA officially defines serious substance problems as mental health conditions. These conditions are classified as substance use disorders, or SUDs.
The definition of SUDs is not limited to drug or alcohol addiction. You can also be diagnosed with serious, non-addicted abuse of these substances. Just like any other mental illness, an SUD has:
- A behavioral component
- A thought-related component
- An emotion-related component
Dual Diagnosis and Behavioral Health
It is possible to experience the effects of more than one mental illness at the same time. Doctors refer to these combined mental health issues as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. These terms are often specifically used to describe the overlap of an SUD and another mental illness.
Certain forms of substance-related dual diagnosis are more common than others. Additional conditions you are most likely to experience along with an SUD include:
- Major depression or another depressive disorder
- An anxiety disorder
- A bipolar disorder
- A schizophrenia spectrum disorder
- A personality disorder
SUDs occur in combination with these illnesses for a number of possible reasons. For example, they may have mutual risk factors. It is also possible for an SUD to make you more susceptible to another mental health issue. In addition, a separate mental illness can make you more susceptible to an SUD.
Do You Need Behavioral Health Treatment
Do you need mental or behavioral health treatment? Only a trained expert can say for sure. Your doctor may be able to provide a diagnosis. You may also need to speak to a mental health specialist.
In either case, to be diagnosed, you must meet the criteria for a specific condition. These criteria include potential symptoms. They may also include such things as:
- The amount of time you have been affected
- Additional symptoms only found in certain affected people
If you have a given condition, your diagnosis will also indicate its seriousness. Depending on your situation, you may be mildly, moderately or severely affected.
What Are Behavioral Health Treatments
Behavioral health treatments are methods used to improve your mental/behavioral status. The majority of these treatments fall into one of two categories: medication and behavioral therapy.
Medications are often used for purposes such as:
- Easing specific symptoms
- Lessening the odds that you will relapse during or after treatment
- Stabilizing your overall condition
The four main classes of mental/behavioral health medications are antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anxiety-anxiety medications and antipsychotics. You may also receive medications that belong to another class or category.
The goal of behavioral therapy is helping you change behaviors that trigger or worsen your symptoms. There are therapy options available for essentially any kind of drug or alcohol problem. Depending on the substance affecting you, your recovery plan may include therapies such as:
- CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy
- MET, or motivational enhancement therapy
- Community reinforcement approach plus vouchers
- Contingency management
- DBT, or dialectical behavior therapy
- Family behavior therapy
Each therapy has its own potential role in your treatment. Specific benefits available to you may include:
- Helping you increase your motivation to recover
- Increasing the odds that you will follow your treatment plan
- Explaining the ways in which addiction affects you
- Showing you how to identify habitual behaviors that increase your risks for problems
- Teaching you how to develop behaviors that decrease your risks
- Boosting your ability to stay sober in everyday life
Your treatment plan may include one or more forms of therapy.
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Levels of Behavioral Health Care
Not everyone needs the same amount of help to recover from addiction or mental health issues. You may need extensive, round-the-clock support. On the other hand, you may only need treatment a few times a week. You may also fall somewhere between these two extremes.
For these reasons, there are multiple levels of behavioral health care. A behavioral hospital provides comprehensive care for people affected by issues such as:
- Severe, acute symptoms
- Suicidal behavior
- Violent behavior toward others
- Other extreme, unpredictable behaviors
The next level below a behavioral hospital is residential inpatient care. You live onsite at your facility when enrolled in this kind of program. The next three levels of care offer outpatient care. In descending order of the time you spend in weekly treatment, these levels are:
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient care
- Standard outpatient care
Residential treatment is likely if you have moderate-to-severe symptoms. The same holds true if you are affected by dual diagnosis.
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Choosing the Right Behavioral Health Facility
Choosing the right behavioral health facility is crucial. In all cases, that facility must offer the treatment options you currently need. This may mean enrolling in a behavioral hospital. It may also mean enrolling in a residential or outpatient program. Your doctor or specialist will help you determine the best choice for you.
The quality of your chosen facility also matters. Not all facilities meet the highest standards for treatment. The best programs rely on evidence-based care. This is treatment backed by well-designed studies. It is proven to help many of the people affected by a given condition. A specific treatment may or may not work for you. However, quality programs have multiple evidence-based options available. This means that your plan can be adjusted to meet your needs.
In addition, your chosen facility should specialize in the kind of care you require. You may only need help for substance problems. In contrast, you may only need help for another kind of mental health condition. Finally, you may need help for dual diagnosis. If you need this kind of combined care, make sure your facility provides it.
Improving Outcomes With Behavioral Health Care at Emerald Isle
At Emerald Isle, we specialize in behavioral health care. Our services include treatment for all forms of substance addiction. They also include comprehensive mental health treatment. In addition, we provide the extensive care needed to recover from dual diagnosis.
Not sure if you need behavioral health care? Our staff of experts can make a detailed diagnosis. We follow that diagnosis with recommendations for any needed treatment. All of our treatment plans are fully customized. This means that you always receive services focused on your unique situation. To learn more about how we can help, just call us today.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Improving Children’s Behavioral Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA – Behavioral Health Integration
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: What Is Mental Health?
- American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
- American Psychiatric Association: What Is a Mental Health Disorder?
- National Institute of Mental Health: Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment – A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition); Pages 8-9, 48-59
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: Mental Health Medications
- National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS) – 2018: Data on Mental Health Treatment Facilities