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Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health

What is mental health?

What is mental health?

Mental health includes your psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It affects how you make choices, relate to others, handle stress, and so much more. Everyone has mental health, just like everyone has physical health. Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect your mental health and create challenges.

Is mental health important?

Prioritizing mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood all the way through adulthood. Poor mental health can affect your mood, behaviours, and thinking, and negatively impact your relationships and physical health. This link also works in the other direction – your relationships, physical well-being, and habits can all affect your mental health. The impact of mental health on physical health and quality of life – and vice versa – is why mental health is so important.

Is mental health genetic?

Genes, brain chemistry, and other biological traits can all impact mental health. A family history of mental health problems can also increase your risk of developing mental health problems. Other risk factors include difficult life experiences, like abuse or trauma, use of alcohol or recreational drugs, and serious injuries, among others.

What are the causes of mental illness or mental health issues?

Mental health issues are usually caused by various physical, environmental, and social factors. Physical factors can include a person’s genetic make-up, abuse of substances like street drugs or alcohol, or physical trauma. Social factors include our support networks, like friends or family members, where we live, and work conditions. Environmental factors can include severe psychological trauma caused by events like sexual abuse or war.

How does mental health affect physical health?

Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand. For example, physical exercise can improve your mood and reduce your anxiety, among many other benefits. Similarly, neglecting your mental health can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, obesity, and more. Depression can cause problems like insomnia and chronic fatigue.

Can mental health cause seizures?

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are sudden, involuntary seizure-like attacks that are similar to epileptic seizures, but have a psychological origin. They can be related to stress, difficult emotions, or psychological distress. Appropriate diagnosis is important, as patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures are sometimes misdiagnosed and treated for epilepsy. Different types of psychological therapy that can be used to treat PNES.

Are mental health problems common?

Mental health problems are common. Approximately one in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue in any given year, but unfortunately, only half get the help they need. If you feel like you’re struggling, help is available. Getting the help you need can make a big difference in your quality of life, so make sure you consult a trained professional.

How can mental health issues lead to addiction?

How can mental health issues lead to addiction?

People with mental health problems sometimes use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and reduce symptoms like anxiety, depression, or insomnia. While drugs or alcohol can make you feel good in the short-term, over time, regular or heavy use can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. You can get caught in a vicious cycle: you use drugs or alcohol to feel better, but they make you feel worse, so you use more, which continues the cycle.

How do you know if you have an addiction?

Addiction is a behavior that controls you. If you’re wondering if an activity has become an addiction, ask yourself the following questions: Does this activity often make you feel worse, not better? Do you find yourself doing it more often and for longer periods of time than you originally planned? Do you feel uncomfortable if you can’t do this activity? Has this activity disrupted your life and your relationships? These signs may be pointing to an addiction.

How do I get help?

Who should I talk to about mental health?

If you’re not in a crisis, a good first step you can take is simply consulting a general practitioner or family doctor. Talking with a doctor can help clarify your options and rule out physical causes for mental health problems. While it might feel difficult at first to talk to your doctor about your thoughts and feelings, this discussion may help you access the counselling services you need.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a therapist?

Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine like your family physician, followed by specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, emotional disorders, and behavioral problems. They can prescribe medication to help people with mental health problems. Psychologists have a degree in psychology, which is the study of the mind and behaviours. Therapists and counselors can have a range of backgrounds, such as a master’s degree from a counseling program.

What’s the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?

Though the terms counselling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably, there is a slight and distinctive difference between them. Psychotherapy is often treatment used in response to a diagnosable mental health problem such as depression, bipolar disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is often in-depth therapy that can be used in conjunction with medication. Counselling tends to be more wellness-oriented, providing increased insight, like how to effectively overcome problems and challenges.

What’s the difference between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?

CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy) and DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) are two forms of psychotherapy, also called “talk therapy.” CBT teaches you how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours influence each other. It focuses on talking about your problems to help you frame your thoughts differently. DBT is based on CBT and can help you cope with harmful behaviours or unstable emotions. This therapy emphasizes how you interact with others in different environments. Most DBT treatments use both individual sessions and group therapy.

What types of mental illness and mental health problems can be treated by a psychiatrist?

Depending on the needs of the patient, psychiatrists can use different treatment methods, including psychotherapy, medication, psychosocial interventions and more. Psychiatrists can treat various mental health disorders ,including addiction and substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, gender dysphoria, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), personality disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and more.

What types of antidepressants can psychiatrists prescribe?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like Paxil, Celexa or Lexapro, and Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), like Cymbalta or Effexor, are antidepressants that are commonly prescribed to treat depression. Psychiatrists can also prescribe tricyclic antidepressants, like Tofranil or Pamelor, Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), like Marplan or Nardil, or other antidepressants like Wellbutrin, a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI).

Can therapists prescribe medication?

Psychologists and therapists can provide important counselling services, but aren’t licensed to prescribe medications. Psychiatrists and licensed medical doctors, like general practitioners, can prescribe medications to their patients.

How do I stop suicidal thoughts?

Keep in mind that things change over time. Your problems are temporary, but suicide is permanent. Taking your own life is never the right solution. No matter how bad your situation may seem or how much pain you may be experiencing right now, there are ways of dealing with these issues. Give yourself time and don’t try to manage suicidal feelings on your own. Professional help and support from loved ones can make a big difference. Numerous organizations and support groups can also help you cope with suicidal feelings.

What are different types of mental health problems?

What’s the difference between psychosis and neurosis?

Neurosis is a disorder that’s characterized by anxiety, depression, or other feelings of unhappiness or distress that are out of proportion to the circumstances of a person’s life. Psychosis, on the other hand, is a serious but treatable medical condition that reflects changes in how the brain functions. A person with psychosis can experience some loss of contact with reality, which is characterized by changes in their way of thinking or behaving.

What’s the difference between anxiety and stress?

While the physical sensations of anxiety and stress can be similar, their causes are usually different. Stress is usually caused by external pressures we’re having difficulty coping with. When we’re stressed, we usually know what we’re stressed about, and the symptoms of stress generally resolve themselves once the stressful situation ends. Anxiety, on the other hand, is usually caused by worries or fears about potential threats or troubles, or even anxiety about the anxiety itself.

What’s the difference between sadness and depression?

Sadness is a normal reaction to some of life’s challenges. Feeling sad from time to time is a normal part of being human. If your feelings of sadness resolve themselves on their own over time and don’t impact your life in a big way, you’re probably not dealing with depression. That being said, if you continue to feel blue, it’s important to seek help, as depression doesn’t usually go away on its own. Depression is much more than low mood or sadness. Look for physical signs, such as problems with sleep, appetite, or energy.

How do I get mental health services on Maple?

How do I schedule a visit with Maple?

Log in to your Maple application, then request an online consultation with a mental health therapist or a psychiatrist. Select the topic you'd like to discuss with the therapist, then book a visit at a time that's most convenient for you. You can also choose to speak with someone as soon as possible, in which case you'll hear back from the therapist directly in 12 hours or less.

How much does it cost?

For psychotherapy, consultations are $120 for a 50 minutes session. If you have insurance, this cost is typically covered by health benefit plans. All therapists on Maple are Canadian licensed and practice therapy in Canada. For psychiatrists, rates vary by province, but start at $300 for one hour, with 30-minute follow-ups available for $150.

What should I expect for my first consultation?

During your first session, your therapist will tell you a little more about how they work and what you can expect from the therapeutic relationship. They’ll be interested in hearing you talk about your life in general as well as some of the challenges you face so that they can understand better how they might be able to help you. If you have any questions about the therapeutic process, the first session is often a great time to ask them.

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