What is mental health stabilization? (And how can it help you feel better again?)

As you go through life, mental health crises become more likely to affect you. These go beyond feeling sad or angry and take over your personality, stopping you from feeling how you used to. 

Fortunately, mental health stabilization is something that can help. The idea is to get someone to a mental health center where they can be safe and get the support they need to regain control. 

It sounds like a simple intervention (and very often it is). But it can be profoundly positive, given your circumstances and environment. Once you’re in a better place, it becomes easier to come to terms with factors affecting you, allowing you to thrive once again. 

What is mental health stabilization? 

As discussed, you can think of mental health stabilization as a strategy for regaining control and avoiding some of the high costs associated with worsening mental states. The idea is to immediately address the challenges you face, allowing you to come out of the other side feeling more robust. 

Problems could include all sorts of things from hallucinations to depression. It’s like the ER equivalent for mental health. 

The main purpose of mental health stabilization is to stabilize you. To mental health professionals, this means eliminating the threat you pose to yourself or others. 

The next phase is symptom management. Counseling can help, as can some medications depending on the issues you face. Any treatment you receive will be on the advice of the medical practitioners taking care of you. 

Stabilization can sometimes involve going to a doctor or other practitioner. Again, this can help, though these professionals might not have the resources available to deal with the issues you face. 

The last step is to give you a sense that you’re functioning again and can return to regular life. If you don’t feel like you can manage daily activities, then stabilization might need to continue. 

How long it takes for mental health stabilization to occur depends on you and your symptoms. It could be anything from a few hours to several weeks. It really depends. 

How mental health stabilization could make you feel better

Mental health stabilization is a strategy that attacks mental health conditions from multiple angles. It helps you on several fronts, allowing you to regain control. 

Stabilization is usually available in most developed cities, allowing you to access it when you need it. If you feel like things are getting out of control, try to talk to someone and get assistance. 

Here’s how mental health stabilization can help.

Give You Back A Sense Of Control

When mental health conditions strike, one of the first sensations is loss of control. You want to be in charge of your faculties but for some reason, you just can’t do it. 

This problem is most severe in psychotic episodes and schizophrenia, but it can also occur during panic attacks and severe depressive episodes. You know what you should do, it’s just that you can’t do it. 

With stabilization, the goal is to give you this control back. Practitioners return a sense of agency to you, allowing you to thrive in various environments, including home and work. 

Giving you back a sense of control usually involves removing any undesirable substances from your system and providing you with various mental health techniques to combat ongoing rumination. Often simply creating distance between your observing self and your mind’s constant chatter is an excellent way to proceed. 

Once you feel more in control of your emotions, you can get back to your regular life. You don’t have to worry about having a breakdown or what others might think if you do. 

Prepare For Treatment

Stabilization can also be an excellent preparation for treatment. Learning more about your predicament gives you and medical professionals the data they need to recommend the next steps. 

For many, stabilization is the first step on the road to recovery, and when they learn more about the available support. It provides an overview of the service types available and what’s on offer from various clinics. 

It also connects you with people who might be able to get you on the path to recovery. Fighting mental health battles alone is always challenging, but stabilization shows you what’s out there. 

Stabilization might lead to the following treatments: 

  • Medication, including mood stabilizers and drugs to reduce withdrawal side effects
  • Talk therapies, such as CBT, desensitization therapy, and psychotherapy 
  • Counseling – having someone around who can understand you and talk to you when things get tough
  • Outpatient services, allowing you to frequently attend a clinic if needed

During this period, you have an opportunity to talk to staff about what’s available and what they think might be the best options for you. You won’t always know what you should do exactly, but professionals can point you in the right direction and show you what worked for others in the past. 

Reduce Symptoms

Another perk of mental health stabilization is its ability to reduce your symptoms. It takes the edge off episodes, allowing you to feel somewhat normal again (even if you don’t feel perfect). 

For example, if you have depression, stabilization is an excellent way to get out of a low mood and make it through to the next day. Stress might be high, but treatment can reduce it significantly. 

It can also deal with problems associated with suicidal ideation. Going through it may make you less susceptible to intrusive thoughts, protecting you from yourself. 

Likewise, if you have anxiety, stabilization focuses on surrounding you in a situation that reduces fear. You feel less at risk from the environment, helping you calm down significantly. 

If you have another condition, stabilization focuses on reducing the medical effects of whatever is challenging you. These aim to return you to a conventional conscious state, allowing you to return to your normal life. 

Ensure Safety

Lastly, mental health stabilization ensures safety. It makes it less likely that you’ll act on any thoughts you might be having. While it might sound extreme, stabilization is often a life-saver, even among people who catch symptoms late. 

Safety requirements vary significantly from person to person. Yours might be quite substantially different from someone else’s, which is why expertise is essential. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re trying to get help but following the wrong advice. 

How to cope when stabilizing

Going through the stabilization process is never pleasant (otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it). But there are ways you can cope with it better. 

Taking someone with you that you can trust is often beneficial. Having moral support gives you the courage to face problems and deal with them as practitioners recommend. 

You can also try using mindfulness. Creating some distance between your observing mind and emotions is often helpful and puts them into context. It teaches you to approach episodes as something that happens, not intrinsically linked to you. 

If you can, you might also want to journal. Writing down what’s going through your mind can provide some relief when things get tough or nobody seems to understand where you’re coming from. 

Mental health stabilization is designed to help you feel better

In summary, mental health stabilization is an emergency set of treatments to help you feel better if you have low mood, anxiety, or any other potentially dangerous mental health symptoms. Taking advantage of it improves safety. 

If you’re not sure about stabilization and its benefits, look online for personal stories and testimonies from individuals like you. These can provide an insight into what to expect and how to approach it.