Although psychiatric medications don't cure mental illness, they can often significantly improve symptoms. Psychiatric medications can also help make other treatments, such as psychotherapy, more effective. The best medication for you will depend on your particular situation.
Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, involves talking with a mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your moods, feelings, thoughts and behavior. With the insight and knowledge you gain, you can develop coping and stress management skills. There are many types of psychotherapy, each with a specific approach to improving your mental wellbeing. Often you can successfully complete psychotherapy in a few months, but you may need long-term treatment in some cases. It can take place one-on-one, in a group or with family members.
Our clinics offer group therapies for adults, teens and children. You can ask your provider for more information about these groups as offerings vary.
Hospital and residential treatment programs
Sometimes mental illness becomes so severe that you need care in a psychiatric hospital. We recommend hospitalization when you can't care for yourself properly or when you're in immediate danger of harming yourself or someone else. Options include 24-hour inpatient care, partial or day hospitalization or residential treatment, which offers a temporary supportive place to live. UW Health offers inpatient care in our unit at UW Hospital, and we also refer patients to more intensive treatment options in your area.
Substance abuse treatment
Substance abuse can occur along with other mental illnesses and often interferes with treatment. If you can't stop using drugs or alcohol on your own, you need treatment. Substance abuse treatments include:
Psychotherapy, to learn more about your condition and gain insight
Medications, which may help ease withdrawal symptoms or reduce cravings
Inpatient treatment, such as withdrawal (detox) treatment
Outpatient treatment programs, which require regular attendance for a set period of time
Support groups or 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.)