I was just listening to a mental health expert speaking on a podcast. It got me thinking about all the factors that go into a person’s wellbeing, and how some of them are perhaps more likely to be overlooked in mainstream mental healthcare systems.
A dear friend of mine – let’s call her Felicity – was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a couple of years ago. She sees it as a good thing that her condition was identified, because she has been able to access effective medical treatment in the form of pharmaceuticals. However, following the diagnosis, she developed a fair hefty dose of anxiety and depression – understandable, given the chronic nature that bipolar is generally considered to have.
So, although psychiatric treatment in the form of medication has been essential to Felicity’s regaining her mental health, psychological treatment in the form of counselling has been equally important in helping her to come to terms with the ramifications of her diagnosis. Fortunately, here in this day and age on the Mornington Peninsula, psychiatric services and psychologists are available together in one clinic and able to refer to one another.
It seems to me that virtually everyone can benefit from expertise in this field at some point in their lives, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, health crisis, or even just a significant change in life circumstances via having a baby, relocating or retiring. In fact, the process of finding a psychologist on the Mornington Peninsula has been an important event for a lot of people in my life.
The more I think about it, the more I feel like every aspect of our lives has some kind of impact on our mental health – from the people we associate with and support we’re able to access, to the food and other substances we take into our bodies. Felicity was actually referred to a dietitian by her psychologist. I think it’s really important for mental healthcare providers to take a broad view of the diverse range of factors that can influence wellbeing.