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Mental Illnesses and Treatments

Talking with your therapist about treatment

So you have a diagnosis, now what?

There should be a collaborative discussion with professional(s), client, and support network wherein your clinician explains exactly what the diagnosis is and what factors led to that diagnosis, and then works with everyone to decide what treatment(s) to pursue. It's important to realize that every treatment has evidence, but some evidence is more compelling than other evidence. Look for interventions that have been empirically proven in randomized trials.

While we do not have the space or means to list every possible treatment, or even every possible evidence-based treatment, we do help you find other resources that break down the effectiveness of various treatments for various mental illnesses. These are a vital resource for you as you select which treatment will be most effective for you or your loved ones.

Learn more about specific mental illnesses . . .

For each of the mental illnesses listed, we provide a brief description of the condition and its symptoms, and further link to other resources that explain them more in depth.

As you look over these resources, you should have a better idea of what exactly your condition entails. If you feel like your diagnosis is not representative of your symptoms, we encourage you to explore other alternatives to talk with your doctor about. A correct diagnosis early on will save thousands of dollars in the end.

. . . and their treatments

It is also vital that you ensure you are recieving the ideal treatments for your condition. While there are many, many treatment options for every mental illness, some have been scientifically tested and found to be significantly more effective than others. We link you to reliable, up-to-date resources that identify what the top evidence-based treatments are for each condition, and explain what exactly they entail so you can know what to expect. 

While of course no one treatment will work for every person, it is still useful to know and to start with the treatments that have the most evidence—and that have been found to help the most people—before you move on to more experimental modalities.

Take a quiz to see if you are getting evidence-based care, and learn questions to ask your therapist >>

Overview of the most reliable, useful resources for you:

Resources for Adults​​​
Resources for Children and Adolescents

A division of APA, this society's website offers reliable, up-to-date, and well researched information on most mental illnesses, and (citing contemporary research findings) it ranks the effectiveness of the inverventions most often used to treat these conditions. However, it only covers adult mental illnesses.

NIMH is the lead federal agency for reasearch on mental health, mental illnesses, and psychological treatments. Their website provides basic information on signs and symptoms of various mental illnesses, as well as on various therapies and their efficacy.

NAMI is also a national organization, but it's purpose is more educational than research-based. Still, their resources are vetted and reliable, and they can furthermore provide local help: they have chapters in every major city accross the USA.

This website is run by researchers and professionals dedicated to helping families find and access evidence-based care for their children. They break down the treatments for the most common child and adolescent mental illnesses, and offer tools to parents helping children through these conditions.

Child Mind Insititue is a national organization dedicated to finding, practicing, and dessiminating the best mental health treatments avaliable. Their website and blog explain mental illnesses, identify the top evidence-based treatments for them, and teach different approaches and skills to parents.


Though these websites primarily cover adult mental illnesses, they also have manifold resources for children and adolescent conditions and treatments. Most NAMI chapters also have support group for parents of children with mental illness.

Assessing treatment

Regularly assess treatments with your clinician to ensure they are working and are being administered according to protocol 

​​Assess your treatment every couple months and be open and critical about how well it is working. Better to make changes than continue trying something that isn't going to make a difference. Some questions you or your therapist might ask include:

Is the treatment working?
Are there observable changes?
Are skills being taught and used?
Is the network of support (family members or friends) also learning skills to support change?