December 23, 2022

Behavioral Health Treatment – Benefits & Challenges

For a long time, the concept of health was confined to the physical aspects of one’s well-being. What could not be assigned to an easily identifiable organ was often ignored as a problem that did not warrant serious attention or was considered just a state of mind. However, in the last few decades, conversations around health have grown to include mental and behavioral elements.

While it is relatively easy to understand the distinction between physical and mental health, differentiating between behavioral and mental health can be trickier. However, this distinction is essential as it allows you to equip yourself with the necessary medical support and financial resources – such as insurance – to access treatment in the best possible way.

What is behavioral health?

Behavioral health, as the name suggests, is closely connected to the habits and behavior exhibited by people. It comprises health conditions that are a result (or a by-product) of one’s extended behavioral patterns. Behavioral health is also intricately related to mental health, as behavioral health and mental health conditions can often co-exist together and feed off each other.

Some of the most commonly seen behavioral disorders are:

  1. Substance abuse
  2. Eating disorders
  3. Sleep disorders
  4. Addictions such as gambling or sex

These behavioral patterns can also severely impact mental health conditions that are traced to biological factors. For instance, behavioral health conditions such as alcohol and drug abuse can have a far-reaching negative impact on mental health conditions. In the same way, a mental health condition may also make it difficult for people to effectively manage a behavioral health condition.

Challenges in seeking treatment

Due to the nature of behavioral health conditions, several people may shy away from seeking treatment. Since the health condition can be traced back to a behavior, some also believe that it is a problem that can be fixed without any medical intervention. Social stigma, lack of a support system, and inadequate medical resources also play a role in people avoiding seeking medical help at the right time. 

Another challenge regarding the treatment of behavioral health conditions is the diagnosis itself. An inexperienced healthcare provider may not only fail to diagnose the correct health condition but also hand you a wrong or incomplete diagnosis. The stigmas surrounding the conditions may also extend to other members of the ecosystem, such as healthcare providers and insurance service providers.

Here, it is also essential to understand that treatment of behavioral conditions is not limited to administering medicines and conventional health checkups. Services such as psychiatric, psychological, cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, and disease management are part of managing a behavioral health condition.

However, financial resources such as insurance policies may not always include such treatment techniques or even behavioral health conditions in general. However, it is important to consider these conditions when planning your finances. It is essential to add provisions for the treatment of behavioral conditions when buying health insurance for senior citizens, children, and other vulnerable groups.

Benefits of treatment

While there are several challenges in the field of behavioral health treatment, the benefits far outweigh the obstacles. Access to a collaborative and holistic healthcare system can help provide the best possible treatment for an individual. 

Behavioral health disorders involve unique personal behavioral patterns, which call for customized treatment plans. Such plans have several benefits as they are tailored to the requirements of an individual’s mind and body.

Seeking treatment at the right time and under the proper guidance can allow individuals to live a life that is not clouded by their health condition. Timely medical intervention can also prevent behavioral health disorders from spiraling into a physical or mental ailment.

 Proper treatment plays a vital role in improving the affected individual’s interpersonal relationships, productivity levels, and financial conditions — all of which contribute to a better standard of living. 

What you can do

Behavioral health, as mentioned above, is as important as physical or mental health. Therefore, it is crucial to approach it with the same seriousness and pragmatism. Here are some things to remember about behavioral health conditions and treatment.

  1. If you or your loved one is facing a behavioral health challenge, approach a licensed professional immediately. This expert can be a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, licensed professional counselor, or even a dedicated treatment center. Make sure to check the credentials of the expert you are consulting and be open to a second opinion if you feel the need.
  1. Secure yourself financially. No one wants to worry about finances when faced with a medical issue. The importance of health insurance is well-documented. But it is also essential for your health insurance plan to account for behavioral health conditions. Let the insurance take care of these requirements. If your family is also included in your insurance policy, ensure that the health insurance for senior citizens and children covers treatment options like therapy and counseling.

Bottom line

Behavioral health conditions can be treated effectively when addressed by the right experts at the right time. Reaching out to medical professionals and empowering yourself with sufficient financial resources can help make the disease management and treatment process simple and efficient. 

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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