Understanding Behavioral Health Disorders: From Root to Treatment

The science behind behavioral health rehabilitation has finally matured. Cutting-edge clinics are capable of finding the root causes of mental and behavioral health disorders and delivering personal and effective treatment.

This is particularly true when dealing with addiction.

“We want to change the way addiction is treated in this country,” says Sherief Abu-Moustafa, founder and CEO of The Florida House Experience (FHE Health), a rehabilitation center that treats behavioral health disorders.

Behavioral Health Disorders

Today’s treatment methods include brain science and live-in facilities designed to stimulate the patient’s well-being while removing the stigma surrounding mental and behavioral disorders.

First, it is important to distinguish between the terms ‘mental health’ and ‘behavioral health’. Then we can look at how to approach these issues; and how to choose the right rehab center.

Mental Health and Behavioral Health

Simply put, mental health covers our inner state – our emotions and our frame of mind. Mental health issues include depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorders, and schizophrenia.

Behavioral health, which certainly can be driven by our mental state, concerns our actions – our daily habits, addictions, and our interactions with life and the people around us.

Behavioral health issues include addiction, anger management issues, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Two people could have the same mental health issue, like depression; but their behavior could be completely different. One person might be able to hide their depression behind seemingly normal behavior; the other might become overtly self-destructive, like through substance abuse.

Fortunately, through techniques such as neurological rehabilitation – where brain scans can pinpoint causes for hyperactivity and hypoactivity – treatment specialists can a) understand root causes, and b) provide better long-term treatment on a patient-to-patient basis.

Approaching (and Confronting) Potential Behavioral Health Disorders

Whether confronting others or admitting to ourselves that we are developing behavioral disorders, those moments are never comfortable. It is with kindness and empathy that we must deal with ourselves and our loved ones; otherwise, we fall back on those destructive tendencies like an even larger crutch.

Of course, mental and behavioral health problems are often at their most acute during times of stress; and sometimes those times are actually when we should feel the happiest – like during the holidays, on vacation, or after even more personal moments – like after the birth of a child.

However, the pressure to ‘be happy’ can trigger negative emotions like shame and guilt that, in turn, can drive behavioral disorders.

Some signs are more overt but often get ignored. For example, a loved one drinks too much at Thanksgiving dinner. This could just be an isolated moment. But what if the binges continue through Christmas and New Year’s with little sign of letting up? Is this behavior just good ole holiday cheer, or are the holidays actually driving a more self-destructive tendency?

Successfully approaching (even the possibility) a behavioral disorder is the first step to rehabilitation.

Professionals for Specific Mental and Behavioral Disorders

Seeking help with mental and behavioral problems means knowing which kind of professional fits your particular issue. Here are some examples:

Marriage and Family Therapists look at the dynamics of family relationships and how it affects mental health. Financial stress or emotional abuse might be the root cause of family disfunction.

General Mental Health Professionals can help with a broader range of issues associated with chronic stress, depression, grief, guilt, and anger. They would consider any range of events that might be causing the patient mental anguish.

Gerontological Social Workers focus on the mental health of elderly people – from how they manage their independence to how they deal with depression and anxiety over aging.

School Psychologists help children deal with behavioral problems such as bullying and other class disruptions; they can also help students deal with stress and low self-esteem.

Addiction Psychiatrists focus on the root causes of addiction and can help patients guide themselves through treatment by understanding their own behavioral tendencies and triggers.

Choosing the Right Rehabilitation Facility

There are over 14,000 addiction and mental health facilities in the United States alone. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the options available. Adding to the stress are reports of untoward practices by bad actors in the ‘rehab industry.’

Still, with patience, extensive research, and a reliance on ‘gut instincts’, you can find a facility that is motivated to help and have the capacity to do so.

Is the facility using the latest science to determine the root cause of a behavioral disorder, or are they still reliant on outdated treatment prescriptions?

How does the facility make you feel when walking the grounds? Does it feel like an oasis (a place you’d be happy to call home for a while), or does it feel sterile, clinical, or with little attention given to your sense of well-being?

Finally, how did you feel after your initial consultation? Were they able to speak honestly and with a positive attitude toward health and the recovery road ahead, or did they sound more like salesmen tossing off guarantees?

Your 100% commitment to rehabilitation treatment should be honored and met with 100% effective care efforts by your chosen facility. Anything less than that will ultimately provide less than you deserve.

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