Types of Mental Health Disorders
Mental health disorders continue to affect about 26 percent of Americans nationwide, according to the Kim Foundation. The importance of public education on such matters clearly remains. Awareness groups and professional organizations such as NAMI — National Alliance Mental Illness — put forth efforts to present facts about such conditions, while helping in reducing stigma. The DSM — Diagnostic Statistical Manual — separates health disorders into multiple different categories to facilitate understanding. But to be clear, mental health is best diagnosed first by a professional.
Anxiety disorders remain especially prevalent among urban and suburban communities, with their pace of life and concentrated daily demands. These can cause disruption in one’s personal or professional life by leading to undue agitation with physical and psychological symptoms. The individual with anxiety can perspire excessively or nervously twitch their feet. Concentration will often be quite a struggle, especially in certain situations. These clients will often be prescribed anti-anxiety medication such as Ativan or Xanax. Sensitivity of family and coworkers is important, as many people will not be able to readily control symptoms. These will obviously have to be managed with effective treatment. Some will use depressant drugs in an attempt to lessen their anxiety, yet this will not be an effective or lasting solution of any sort. Conversely, those with symptoms of anxiety who use an illicit stimulant, such as cocaine, can only be perilously exacerbating symptoms.
Mood disorders can include numerous conditions, such as severe depression and bipolar disorder. There are also different forms of bipolar disorder, such as bipolar I disorder, which is more severe. Depression is serious, unfortunately it has been used in forms of humor that some would find distasteful and insensitive. In reality, we are likely to experience depression after a number of traumatic life events and this is understandable. Others will experience the onset of depression and yet the reasons for it occurring could be significantly less obvious. Perhaps a nagging worry, such as that of aging, has spiraled out of control in one form or another.
These disorders include extreme mental health complications such as schizophrenia. Illness often does manifest in a person exhibiting highly irrational behavior. Still, some myths regarding the illness need to be debunked. For example, not all of those with psychotic disorders act violently. In fact, some are clearly more of a danger to themselves than others around them. A sociopath is a person who simply is not capable of showing empathy for others. Though again, it is important to note not all sociopaths will commit crimes, for instance. The stereotype of the sociopath that snaps and goes on a rampage only seems more commonplace because of media spotlights on these occurrences.
Having a clear understanding of schizophrenia as a disease will naturally help to reduce stigma as well. Many believe schizophrenia can never be cured and those who have it could struggle with it for their entire lifetime. Yet in reality, there are a number of psychosocial forms of therapy that could lead one to experience a happy, healthy life. Not to mention many who have schizophrenia are not necessarily aware they have the illness. Some could not know any better for several months before a proper diagnosis is made. Still others will confuse mood disorders with a split personality disorder, when they are in reality two completely separate conditions.
It takes a lot of courage to be willing to admit there is a serious problem and seek assistance for it. For instance, women are more likely to seek treatment than men, perhaps because some men feel asking for help makes them less masculine. However, common sense dictates that ignoring many problems in life will not make them go away and this is no less true for mental illness. Perhaps those willing to seek treatment can be willing to speak to others who are going through similar circumstances. This could be a chance to turn something often perceived as a negative into a positive, enduring testimony.
The unfortunate reality remains that some people will eventually experience some form of mental relapse. This could be triggered by one of many traumatic events or cognitive decline due to aging, for instance. Further treatment can help a person to continue to refine coping skills at this time. The goal is increased independence and self-satisfaction in life, while also allowing for better understanding or empathy from others as well. Persistence and a willingness to adapt appropriately as possible can sometimes make all the difference in the odds of a successful treatment.