There is a vast difference between having inadequate mental health and having a mental illness. Mental illness is diagnosed when there is a significant break with reality, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and psychosis. Mental health issues are more along the lines of alcoholism, depression (although depression can qualify as mental illness depending on the case) and eating disorders. According to the World Health Organization there is no accurate definition as it relates to mental health and mental illness. Mental health is more of a milestone recording of how well people function in daily life. Thus, a persona can be mentally ill, but with proper treatment they can still be mentally healthy.
MENTAL HEALTH SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The greatest symptoms which trigger mental health concerns have to do with the person’s ability to function. When they suddenly start missing a lot of work or school or losing jobs, not eating or eating too much, barely sleeping or not sleeping at all, and seem to be irritable or angry with everyone and everything, these are usually early symptoms of mental health issues. As symptoms progress the individual may experience self harm such as cutting or burning themselves and taking unnecessary risks with their safety. Any significant drastic change can be a symptom of a mental health issue.
MENTAL HEALTH CAUSES
Chemical imbalances in the brain can be responsible for many mental health issues. These imbalances can range from the reduction of neurotransmitters to the reduction of dopamine. Some claim the reduction of certain chemicals in the brain create certain forms of mental health issues while others state the mental health issue causes the chemical imbalance. Life experiences are more likely to cause mental health issues, such as the death of a loved one, a severe accident, chronic long term suppression in a living situation, or an unhealthy relationship. Neglected issues of abuse from a childhood can resurface as an adult, which can cause mental health issues. Sometimes there seems to be no relative cause. There typically is, but thousands of people every year are treated for mental health issues with no clear causative factor.
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Mental health issues often run in families. There is still a speculative argument between professionals whether parents have passed in a gene which makes them susceptible to mental health issues or if they have simply taught their children to be unhealthy by displaying poor coping skills.
People experiencing mental health issues often find themselves help by calling a psychologist or by turning themselves into the emergency room. Others are in denial and must be forcibly taken, usually by an order of the court, to a treatment facility. Doctors can usually determine which form of mental health issue the patient is suffering from through patient and family interviews, behavioral observation, and their own influence and background. Some physiatrists in the United States were recently tested were given 20 normally functioning individuals who were simply brought to the psychiatrists for evaluation after being given a clean bill of health by physicians, psychologists, and other mental health professionals. All 20 left the psychiatrists with a diagnosis and a prescription. Psychiatry is making a slow and gradual shift toward redeveloping their screening and diagnosis process.
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MENTAL HEALTH COMPLICATIONS
Untreated mental health conditions can lead to serious complications, including poor overall health, self injury, and even self inflicted death. Unfortunately some untreated mental health conditions such as post partum depression can lead to the death of children.
MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
Treatment for mental health conditions vary. Some patients do very well when prescribed antidepressants while other need a more holistic approach. Intensive talk therapies and anger management therapies have served many people very well. Severe cases of mental health issues may require hospitalization and more intensive therapies. Although it is still controversial, electroconvulsive therapies are still in use.
The greatest chance for successfully overcoming mental health issues is encouraging a patient who wants to recover. If the patient has no desire to recover, recovery will not happen.
Coping with mental health issues is a daily process. It is about the patient’s ability to learn to self monitor, and know when they are having a less mentally healthy day and when they are in better mental health, and allowing them to adjust as required. Mental health issues require the patient’s complete participation in order for a successful recovery.
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