Treating the Whole Person Not Just the Illness

Treating the Whole Person Not Just the Illness

People are receptive to all different treatment methods, but regardless of the practice, it is vital to treat the whole person – not just the illness. We often focus so much on our mental health conditions that we forget that we must care for ourselves spiritually, physically, and emotionally. A life of recovery from addiction or other mental health conditions requires you to achieve overall wellness. This can be done by offering a holistic approach to treatment. Holistic programs focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit, and teach healthy ways to cope with symptoms, triggers, and cravings effectively. 

Those of us struggling with mental health conditions sometimes forget that we are more than our disorder. We are still individuals just trying to live life to the fullest. A whole-person approach can help us do that, but we must first take that initial step toward treatment and healing. 

Losing Yourself in Your Mental Health Condition

It’s typical to lose yourself in your mental health condition. Mental illness impacts our ability to function daily, isolate ourselves, and withdraw from things we once loved. The longer this goes on, the more we begin losing ourselves. It becomes harder to separate the person we were from who we are today. We may also start struggling to separate ourselves from our disorder. It consumes our life so much we begin to think it embodies who we are. 

Unfortunately, treatment does not always make separating yourself from your mental health condition easier. Maintaining your mental health post-treatment requires so much effort it can be just as consuming. Nevertheless, finding yourself is part of the journey, and you may even learn a few things about yourself. 

Why Treating the Whole Person Is So Important

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) describes whole-person health as “looking at the whole person – not just separate organs or body systems – and considering multiple factors that promote either health or disease.” Professionals focus on “restoring health, promoting resilience, and preventing diseases across a lifespan,” as opposed to only treating a specific disease. That includes considering a client’s emotional, mental, and physical health, additional conditions, environmental and social factors, and additional life circumstances. 

Treating the whole person – physical or mental conditions – is vital for many reasons. 

  1. It reduces unhealthy behaviors and mental health condition symptoms 
  2. You will be able to learn new healthy coping techniques 
  3. Addresses barriers unique to your condition or life circumstances 
  4. Helps reduce symptoms of additional or co-occurring disorders  
  5. Improves clinical outcomes and client engagement 

There are many ways for professionals to implement whole-person treatment. One way, in particular, is through holistic practices. 

What Is Holistic Treatment?

Holistic treatment considers your spiritual, emotional, physical, and social needs – not just your mental health needs. Each experience with mental health or addiction is unique. Therefore, factors like these – spiritual, emotional, physical, and social – will impact your healing journey. Many unsuccessful mental health treatment programs focus on the disorder, but treatment should focus on the person. Granted, how we treat anxiety or depression will differ from how we treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So, we do not need to consider the condition. However, focusing solely on the disorder does not treat a client as a person in factoring in overall wellness. 

At its core, holistic treatment is a whole-person approach to mental health care. Holistic therapy promotes wellness for improved behavioral and physical health. Achieving wellness is invaluable to anyone trying to heal from a mental health condition. For example, focusing on the six dimensions of wellness is another excellent way to treat individuals. 

Wellness and Treating the Whole Person

You can begin achieving wellness during treatment and continue throughout your life by prioritizing the six dimensions of wellness. They include: 

  1. Emotional wellness can be achieved through emotional support from friends and family, recognizing and identifying an emotional state, and techniques for managing emotional crises. 
  2. Social wellness is achievable by spending time with loved ones, having strong mentors, and being involved with your community. 
  3. Physical wellness includes more than nutrition and fitness. It includes a safe living environment, freedom from harm, and diets and exercises beneficial to your body. 
  4. Intellectual wellness is not always discussed but is just as crucial. It can be achieved through dedication, sharing knowledge, and access to knowledge and information that piques your interest. 
  5. Spiritual wellness may be misconstrued as solely religious, but it incorporates much more. For some, spiritual wellness is about having access to worship and following religious beliefs or focusing on non-denominational spirituality. 
  6. Occupational wellness includes access to work that is safe, well-paid, and appropriate for you. In addition to the ability to pay your bills, a job must not put your mental and physical health at risk and be something you can enjoy growing with long-term. 

Holistic therapy and focusing on the six dimensions of wellness are just a couple of ways your whole person can be treated. To learn more or seek a whole-person approach to treatment, call Alter San Diego Crisis Intervention today. 

Treatment professionals have a number of tools at their disposal when helping clients to heal and manage their mental health conditions. This can include medications, behavioral therapies, and other evidence-based modalities. However, unsuccessful treatment interventions may only consider the disorder and not the person seeking treatment. It is vital to treat the whole person, especially if that person wants to manage their symptoms long-term. Whole-person treatment can be implemented through holistic practices that treat the mind, body, and soul and by focusing on the six dimensions of wellness – emotional, social, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and occupational. Call Alter San Deigo Crisis Intervention at (866) 986-1481 for whole-person mental health treatment today.