Advice for young adults: Seeking treatment for the onset of a mental health concern

Assuming adult responsibilities includes maintaining a healthy body, brain, and mind. It means eating a good diet, getting quality sleep, and processing through complex emotions. While young adults handle their physical, social, and emotional health needs independently, they should take notice of any shift or imbalance in overall wellness.  After all, early adulthood is a crucial developmental period, especially for the brain. Current research points out that many serious mental health concerns, like psychiatric illness and substance abuse disorders arise throughout early adulthood; however, few young adults receive therapy at the onset of their condition. If left untreated, mental health concerns can escalate, causing problems in school, work, or in relationships with others. Young adults who are experiencing the onset of a mental health concern, like depression or anxiety, should be proactive in seeking professional treatment.

Ways toward wellness

If you are a young adult are seeking mental health care for the onset of a mental health concern, you may not know where to begin. Here are some simple starting points.

  • Establish a relationship with a medical doctor. Often times, a visit to a primary doctor is the first step young adults take in seeking mental health help. A doctor may determine if the concerns you have may be caused by a medical condition. They may suggest medication, an adjustment in a diet or exercise routine, or provide you a referral to a mental health provider. The more comfortable you feel with your primary doctor, the easier it will be to talk about any imbalance you may be experiencing.
  • Find a fitting mental health provider. There are several types of mental health care providers, each with specialized education and specific areas of expertise. It can be a challenge to decide on a mental health care provider, but finding a counselor who will fit your social and emotional needs will be worth the research. Spend time searching for a professional who has successfully treated situations similar to yours, or a provider who you can trust.
  • Assess the problem. Psychological concerns can be complex, especially at the onset. A full evaluation of your social and emotional health will help you determine the actions you should take in developing a wellness plan. Schedule a comprehensive psychological exam, like at the Assessment Center at Yellowbrick. A detailed assessment may include a look at your family history and your previous medical records, and clinicians may focus on determining your emotional strengths and needs.
  • Reach for community resources. During the onset of a mental health concern, young adults can find a great deal of support by engaging in their community. For example, if you are a college student, you may be able to find resources on campus, like a counseling center or peer supported groups. When you connect within your community, you may find other young adults who have experienced situations similar to yours, and feel supported by peers.

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