Q: What are some common symptoms you see among your patients?
A: We see a lot of people suffering from depression and anxiety, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Those are the two most common mental health disorders. We also help a lot of patients with bipolar disorder and psychosis, sleep and appetite disturbances, substance use disorders such as alcohol and opioids, and even suicidal thoughts.
Q: What sort of symptoms suggest you or a loved one could be battling depression or anxiety?
A: Some of the common symptoms of depression include a clear change in mood, a negative shift in activity level and disinterest in things you’d typically enjoy, and having suicidal thoughts. A few other symptoms to be on the lookout for include feelings of guilt and worthlessness, sleeping and eating too much or too little, a change in energy levels, and difficulty concentrating and/or remembering.
When it comes to anxiety, some of the more significant symptoms include worrying excessively, sudden onset of anxiety — commonly known as panic attacks — excessive fears in social situations, obsessions and compulsions.
Q: Often, people who suffer from mental health disorders generally don’t know help is available. What resources are available at Trinity Health St. Mary’s Mercy Livonia?
A: For the entire Livonia community, we offer mental health resources ranging from therapy to medication management in our Outpatient Psychiatry and Counseling Center. We see patients with all types of mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.
For people who are in crisis, we have a 31-bed inpatient psychiatric unit, which is a huge source of support for patients. The most frequently seen patients in the inpatient psychiatric unit are individuals suffering from acute flareups of bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. We do see other illnesses as well.
We also have a 10-bed chemical dependency unit, which has served the community well. Patients seen here suffer from addiction to alcohol or drugs and require detoxication and rehabilitation services in an inpatient setting. Medications and therapy are key components for their treatment. They meet with a doctor and the multidisciplinary treatment team daily to discuss their concerns and goals. These patients are supervised and well cared for.
For people with substance use disorders who do not require acute detoxification and prefer rehab in the outpatient setting, we also have an intensive outpatient program where patients are provided therapy for alcohol and drug use disorders.
Q: When should someone seek help if they believe they are suffering from mental illness?
A: A lot of the symptoms we have talked about here are quite common in people who don’t have a mental health illness. The difference is when it’s impairing someone’s ability to function. If it is impairing someone’s ability to go to school or work, is affecting their relationships, or otherwise affecting their day-to-day lives, they should seek medical attention.
Q: What should someone do if they feel like themselves or a loved one is experiencing mental illness?
A: I strongly urge you call 911 if you or a loved one are struggling with mental illness or if they are a potential danger to themselves or others. We also have social workers on call 24/7 at the hospital; you can reach them by calling 734-655-5811.
According to the CDC, nearly half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives. So, again, please reach out for help if you need it.