A super quick post that’s one day late for World Mental Health Day. I wanted to remind you that self care is paramount. Here are the 3 daily minimum actions you need to take (adapted from my friend Kayla’s weekly FriYays):
- stay hydrated
- move your body a few times a week (as in don’t sit on your tush all the time – it’s not good for your heart and back especially as you get older)
- eat fruit and/or veggies at least once daily
You are important no matter what negative voices you hear in your head and/or from those around you.
If you are a mother or father, you must ensure you are taking good care of yourself physically and mentally in order to take care of your child(ren). If you aren’t in a good place physically and/or mentally, then you cannot take care of your child(ren) to the fullest extent possible. The ol’ airplane oxygen mask analogy for self care.
Just as you would see a doctor for a medical issue (like a cardiologist for a heart/circulatory issue, pulmonogist for a lung issue, gastroenterologist for a stomach issue…you get the picture), you should see one of the below types of mental healthcare professionals for any mental issue that your brain is battling with. Now, don’t see or hear the word “mental” and run in the opposite direction. Don’t let any of those negative thoughts others may have about that word (derived thanks to inaccurate depictions in movies/TV) scare you from getting help. After all, your brain is the most powerful and complex organ in the human body without which the rest of your body cannot function properly. And the brain is taken for granted far too often. Unlike the other organs, your brain enables you to feel emotions, think, analyze, calculate, reason, etc….you get the picture. And I wouldn’t be the first person to say that everyone could stand to talk to a mental healthcare practitioner at some point in their lives over a particularly challenging situation, like death of parent or other loved one, difficulties at work or in school, etc. It’s rare for a person to be able to naturally cope with all issues without help. Seeing a mental healthcare professional is NOT a sign of weakness. You should NOT feel ashamed for doing so.
Bottom line, you would not be taking adequate care of yourself if you don’t also take care of your brain and all that it has the power to do.
|Type of Mental-Health Professional||Degree(s)/Licensing||Can Prescribe Meds?
|What They Do|
|Psychologist||PhD or PsyD in counseling and clinical psychology||No (with the exception of a few states)||A psychologist possesses training/expertise in human behavior and mental health. They evaluate and treat people with mental-health problems and can also provide counseling.|
|Psychiatrist||MD=Doctor of Medicine||Yes||A psychiatrist is essentially a medical doctor who—having studied and trained in the assessment, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental illnesses—can diagnose and treat people with mental-health problems. In addition to the ability to prescribe medications, some can also provide counseling. Some psychiatrists only offer therapy. Some do not offer therapy but focus on psychotropic medications. Some offer a combination of both therapy and medication.|
|Social Worker||CSW=clinical social worker
MSW=clinical social worker with a master’s degree along with training and experience in psychotherapy
LSW=licensed social worker
LCSW =licensed clinical social worker who has passed a state licensing examination in social work
ACSW=social worker who has passed a national certification examination in social work
|No||A social worker focuses on helping people improve their emotional health and well-being. They help people work out personal and/or family issues, function in their environment by focusing on the positive in situations, identify resources, establish support systems, and improve relationships with others. They understand and call upon people’s strengths to overcome challenges and issues to the best of their abilities.|
|Psychiatric Nurse||Advanced practice registered nurse who also holds a master of science degree in nursing or doctor of nursing practice (DNP/DrNP) and who specializes in psychiatric mental-health nursing.||Yes (in most states)||A psychiatric nurse assesses, diagnoses, and treats individuals with psychiatric problems/disorders. In some states, they are licensed to practice psychotherapy independently.|