5 tips for managing a mental health diagnosis
Receiving a mental health diagnosis can feel like a huge relief. You finally have a name to your symptoms and a plan to start feeling better. But a new diagnosis can also feel overwhelming and confusing. It’s important to remember that any emotions or thoughts you have after receiving a diagnosis are valid, and you’re not alone. Over 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health condition in their lifetime. Whatever feelings may be coming up for you, there are steps you can take to help manage your condition and improve your overall well-being.
Here are 5 tips to help you navigate and cope with a mental health diagnosis.
1. Learn about your diagnosis
Understanding your diagnosis can help you feel more in control and make informed decisions about your treatment. Your provider will educate you about your diagnosis but it is up to you to ask questions. You can also ask your provider for additional resources to read through on your own. The more you know about your condition, the more empowered you will feel about taking the necessary steps to improve your mental wellbeing.
2. Start a journal
Tracking how you’re feeling, especially in the early stages of a new diagnosis, can help you and your doctor evaluate your treatment plan and make changes if necessary. Work with your mental healthcare provider to set up a plan to track your progress.
3. Build a support system
Living with a mental health condition can feel hard some days, so It’s important to feel supported in your day-to-day life (and it’s ok to ask for help!). Building a support system doesn’t mean you have to tell your friends and family your diagnosis if you don’t want to. But joining a support group or reaching out to therapist or a few trusted people about what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful. It’s ok to be upfront about your experiences. When people understand what you’re going through they’re better able to help and support you when you need it.
4. Practice self-care
Self-care is essential for managing your mental health. Make time for activities that make you feel good, such as exercise, meditation, or creative hobbies. Self-care looks different for everyone, so experiment with different activities and find what works best for you. Your mental health provider can also help you set self-care goals to best support your overall wellbeing.
5. Stick to your treatment plan
The best treatment plan is the one you’ll stick to so speak up if you feel like your treatment plan isn't working or if you need additional support. Your mental health provider is there for you and if you don’t feel like you are being listened to it may be time to find a new provider.
Talkiatry is a national psychiatry practice that provides in-network, virtual care. Co-founded by a patient and a triple-board-certified psychiatrist, Talkiatry has over 300 doctors, 60 insurance partners, and first visits available in days. We treat patients with anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, and more. Get started with a short online assessment.
The information in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and should never be substituted for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you or someone you know may be in danger, call 911 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 right away.
Dr. Brenda Y. Camacho holds the position of Staff Psychiatrist at Talkiatry. She is board-certified in Adult Psychiatry. She has been practicing for over 25 years.
While having treated a wide range of adult patients, Dr. Camacho’s primary focus is treating adult outpatients with mood or psychotic disorders. Her practice focuses on medication management. Typically, she offers this in conjunction with supportive or insight-oriented therapy in 30-minute follow-up visits. On occasion, Dr. Camacho will believe additional therapy is also needed and asks that you bring a therapist into your care team to provide the best outcome.
Dr. Camacho completed her undergraduate studies at Tufts University. She received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA and then continued with Temple for her residency in adult psychiatry. After completing training, Dr. Camacho worked at Cooper Hospital in Camden NJ as Associate Director of Consultation/Liaison Service and Psychiatry Residency Training and Co-Director of the Neuropsychiatry Clinic. She then began working exclusively in outpatient settings, joined NewPoint Behavioral Health Care, and served as Medical Director before and after their merge with Acenda Integrated Health.