What’s The Problem
Mental diseases are among the worst, if not the worst, of life’s regular afflictions. Depression and anxiety are connected with greater losses in life satisfaction than debt, divorce, unemployment, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease. People with mental diseases face violations of human rights all throughout the world, which can be as serious as being chained or imprisoned.
One out of every nine persons has a diagnosable mental health problem. These illnesses account for 5% of the worldwide disease burden in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and 15% of all years lived with disability. These estimates are likely to be significantly understated for a variety of reasons, including the fact that suicides and self-harm are not included in the burden of mental health illnesses.
Stigma and misunderstanding are significant issues. The general public, legislators, and health experts are all familiar with these terms. Individuals are hesitant to seek therapy or may not even be aware that treatment is available; politicians, confronted with a lack of demand, prioritise other issues; as a result, stigma and misinformation prevail.
Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Examples of signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling sad or down
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
- Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
- Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
- Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
- Problems with alcohol or drug use
- Major changes in eating habits
- Sex drive changes
- Excessive anger, hostility or violence
- Suicidal thinking
Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder appear as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains.
What Can Be Done?
Psychotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of mental illness provided by a trained mental health professional. Psychotherapy explores thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and seeks to improve an individual’s well-being. Psychotherapy paired with medication is the most effective way to promote recovery. Examples include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, etc.
Medication does not outright cure mental illness. However, it may help with the management of symptoms. Medication paired with psychotherapy is the most effective way to promote recovery.
Case management coordinates services for an individual with the help of a case manager. A case manager can help assess, plan, and implement a number of strategies to facilitate recovery.
In a minority of cases, hospitalization may be necessary so that an individual can be closely monitored, accurately diagnosed or have medications adjusted when his or her mental illness temporarily worsens.
A support group is a group meeting where members guide each other towards the shared goal of recovery. Support groups are often comprised of nonprofessionals, but peers that have suffered from similar experiences.
Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Complementary & Alternative Medicine, or CAM, refers to treatment and practices that are not typically associated with standard care. CAM may be used in place of or addition to standard health practices.
Self Help Plan
A self-help plan is a unique health plan where an individual addresses his or her condition by implementing strategies that promote wellness. Self-help plans may involve addressing wellness, recovery, triggers or warning signs.
Peer Support refers to receiving help from individuals who have suffered from similar experiences.
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