Mental health issues, specifically anxiety and depression, are at an all-time high. Since COVID-19 appeared in 2020, the number of people looking for individual therapy in Scottsdale and nationwide has skyrocketed. This is especially true for women, minorities, and younger generations.
In some areas, mental health services are harder to find, making it more difficult for seekers to find the right person to help them recover. Even those who never considered a counseling session before are looking for a safe environment that is a good fit for receiving help.
But why is this? How have we changed as a society, and how can individual therapy in Scottsdale and other areas help?
The answer is a complex but important one.
Post-Covid Mental Health Statistics
Many, if not most of us, felt a negative shift in mental health during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Boston College researchers found that during the nine months after COVID appeared, rates of anxiety and depression were six times higher. 1
They also found that “the use of prescription medication, counseling services, and unmet need for mental health services also rose significantly.”
According to an executive summary report released by Mental Health America (MHA), the effects may have been worse than we thought. 2 Here are a few of their findings:
- From January to September 2020, 850,000 people took anxiety and depression screenings, with isolation and loneliness being major contributing factors.
- The number of people reporting moderate to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety rose to 80% in 2020.
- The number of people reporting frequent thoughts of suicide and self-harm rose to 37%, sharply increasing after the pandemic began.
- 11-17 year-olds are struggling the most and have the highest numbers of self-reporting, suicidal ideation, as well as moderate to severe depression and anxiety symptoms.
- Females, single parents, and those with low to moderate education seem more at risk.
- LGBTQ+ youth are especially at risk and in need of counseling sessions.
- Although mental health rates increased for all races, self-reporting was much higher for African Americans than it had been previously.
Factors that contributed to these stats include Coronavirus, current events (news and politics), financial problems, grief and loss from losing a loved one, relationship problems, and past trauma.
How We’ve Changed: Trouble Spots
This increased demand has put pressure on practitioners, with many reporting they’ve seen a sharp increase in treatment of areas such as anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders, addictive disorders, and OCD. Four out of ten report that they can’t keep up.
What does this mean for patients? In general:
- Less access to care
- Much longer wait times
- Relapse of symptoms
How We’ve Changed: The Good
Looking at the data listed above in isolation can be even more worrisome. After all, if close to a million people reported that they were struggling with mental health issues, there are likely to be many more suffering in silence.
Although this is true, it’s essential to see the good: people are reporting.
They’re also seeking help through individual therapy Scottsdale mental health services. They’re figuring out what type of therapy might work for them and are committed to booking a counseling session.
The USAToday reported, “In 2020, individuals were at home most likely, dealing with grief, loss, isolation, and things that they may have repressed came to light.” Subsequently, people sought individual therapy in Scottsdale and beyond.
This article was based on a CDC report that showed a sharp increase in the number of Americans seeking mental health services post-COVID. 3
How Individual Therapy Can Help
Although millions continue to struggle with issues that require medical and therapeutic assistance, there is help. Research 4 has proven that therapy can help with the following:
- Reducing the risk of relapse with depressive episodes
- Decreasing anxiety
- Identifying negative thought patterns
- Changing self-destructive behavior
It can also help with developing positive coping mechanisms such as:
- Relaxation techniques such as meditation
- Reading and journaling
- Exercise and play sports
- Hobbies such as painting, sewing, or cooking
- Outdoor activities like hiking and fishing
- Listening to music or playing an instrument
- Setting goals and obtaining them
These can replace unhealthy coping mechanisms like staying in bed, cutting, excessive spending, and eating too much or too little.
Certain therapies, such as EMDR, can be beneficial for trauma survivors who need help processing trauma stored in the body. The process includes about 12 sessions with a trained psychologist and changes how memories are stored in the brain. This is done by leading the patient through a series of bilateral eye movements as they recall traumatic experiences.
The results? Emotional distress can be relieved, some PTSD symptoms can be alleviated, and tension can be reduced in the body.
This was the case for Mary, a sex trafficking survivor who sought EMDR therapy to help her process painful, complex PTSD-related memories. While working with her therapist, Mary could also find relief from specific phobias that were trauma-based as well.
Other treatment options include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Interpersonal therapy
- Marriage and family therapy
Regarding individual therapy, Scottsdale locations like the Healing Foundations Center provide a safe environment that is a good fit for those seeking counseling. In addition, because Healing Foundations Center specializes in many mental health issues, including personality and trauma-related disorders, they can help people from all walks of life.
If you’re ready to partner with a specialist to improve your own mental health, Contact the Healing Foundations Center to schedule your consultation. Our team is dedicated to individual therapy in Scottsdale, Arizona, and we pride ourselves on helping people overcome mental health challenges and improve their quality of life.