Mental health disorders affect one’s behaviors, thoughts, and moods. While researchers are studying the link between genetics and the possibility of having mental health disorders, some lifestyle factors, including diet and one’s activity, may influence the onset of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
Moreover, a mental health disorder can be chronic or occasional. It can affect one’s ability to function and relate to others daily. Although there are some steps to boost your mental health, other disorders are so serious that a professional intervention from facilities similar to Jackson House is necessary.
Understanding Mental Health Disorders
The good thing about mental health disorders is that improvement is possible, and treatments are available. Most people with such disorders can be healthy, full-functioning human beings.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always clear when mood issues or thoughts have become serious enough to be considered mental health problems. For instance, a depressed or low mood is often regarded as normal, especially when someone experiences the loss of a loved one. However, when that depressed mood gets in the way of your everyday routine and continues to cause stress, you may benefit from professional treatment.
Other mental health disorders can also mimic or be related to medical conditions. For instance, depressive symptoms can be due to one’s thyroid condition. With that in mind, your diagnosis should include a full health assessment, like a physical exam, for example.
Symptoms Of Mental Health Disorders
The symptoms of a mental health disorder may vary depending on some factors. Often, the symptoms may affect thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Some of these may include the following:
- Feeling down or sad
- Excessive worries or fears
- Extreme mood changes
- Inability to cope with daily stress or problems
- Significant tiredness
- Sleeping problems
Some people may also have trouble understanding or relating to people and situations and develop suicidal thoughts. In some cases, mental health disorders may appear as physical problems, such as headaches, back pain, and stomach pain.
Causes Of Mental Health Disorders
Generally, mental health disorders are due to various environmental and genetic factors, which may include:
- Brain Chemistry: A neurotransmitter is a naturally-occurring brain chemical carrying signals to the different parts of your body and brain. Once the neural networks with such chemicals are impaired, your nervous system and nerve receptors may not function well, resulting in depression and other mental illnesses.
- Inherited Traits: Mental health disorders are more common in individuals with relatives who have mental illnesses. Particular genes may also increase the risk of developing a mental condition, which may trigger depending on your current life situation.
- Environmental Factors: Physical and social environmental factors may contribute to mental illnesses. Physical environmental factors may affect one’s neurochemistry or biology. For instance, the body may not function optimally if one lacks access to health sources. It means once you encounter major stressors, you might be unable to cope effectively. On the other hand, social environmental factors refer to relational, racial, and socioeconomic conditions that may influence one’s ability to cope with stress.
Many things may cause mental health disorders. Experts still need more research to determine a clear link between various factors to know whether they affect one’s mental health.
8 Common Mental Health Disorders To Know
There are many mental health disorders you should know about. While you’re familiar with some of them, being aware of the other types will help you understand more about mental illnesses. Below are the common mental health disorders you must know:
1. Bipolar Disorder
It’s a mental health disorder that causes abnormal shifts in concentration, activity levels, energy, and mood, affecting one’s ability to carry out daily tasks. There are several types of bipolar disorder.
All of these types involve changes in energy, activity, and mood levels. The moods may range from manic episodes to depressive episodes.
Here are the types of bipolar disorder:
- Cyclothymic Disorder: This is defined by recurrent depressive and hypomanic symptoms, which may not be intense enough or don’t last long enough to qualify as depressive or hypomanic episodes.
- Bipolar I Disorder: Patients with this type of bipolar disorder experience manic episodes that last for at least a week. They may also experience manic symptoms, which can be serious and require immediate hospital care. Typically, depressive episodes may also occur, lasting for at least two weeks. Depression episodes with mixed features are also possible.
- Bipolar II Disorder: Unlike other types of bipolar disorder, patients may experience a pattern of hypomanic and depressive episodes with bipolar II disorder. However, such episodes are less serious than manic episodes.
Typically, bipolar disorder is diagnosed during early adulthood or late adolescence. The symptoms may also appear in kids. Even if the symptoms may vary, bipolar disorder often requires lifelong treatment. Following the prescribed treatment plan may help people improve their quality of life and manage their symptoms.
2. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is one of the common mental disorders that affect most children. The symptoms may include inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. It’s considered a debilitating and chronic disorder and may affect individuals’ life aspects, such as professional and academic achievements, daily functioning, and interpersonal relationships.
ADHD may also result in poor social function and self-esteem in kids when not appropriately treated. In adults, ADHD may cause sensitivity toward criticism and feelings of worthlessness.
3. Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is another common mental health disorder where a person regularly struggles with sudden attacks of fear or panic. Everybody experiences feelings of panic and anxiety at particular times, which is one’s natural response to dangerous or stressful situations. However, people with panic disorder frequently change their behavior due to panic attacks, which may result in phobias.
Depression is more than just going through a tough time or feeling sad. This mental illness may influence one’s thinking, mood, and behavior and require professional treatment and understanding. The effects of untreated depression can be frustrating, not only for people who suffer from it but also for their families and friends. Fortunately, many people can get better with early diagnosis, proper treatment plans, and therapy, which may include healthy lifestyle choices, medication, and psychotherapy.
5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Patients that live with OCD deal with unwanted and recurring ideas, sensations, and thoughts. To get rid of these thoughts, they feel driven to do things repetitively. These repetitive behaviors, such as checking on things or washing and cleaning, may interfere with one’s daily social interactions and activities.
Most people without OCD also have repetitive behaviors and distressing thoughts. However, for those who are clinically diagnosed with OCD, their thoughts can be intrusive and persistent. Their behaviors are also rigid. Not doing the repetitive behaviors often causes great distress.
Several people with OCD also have a tic disorder. These motor tics are brief, sudden, and repetitive movements, including shoulder shrugging, eye blinking, shoulder jerking, and facial grimacing. The common vocal tics may include repetitive sniffing, throat-clearing, and grunting sounds.
The symptoms of people with OCD may come and go, worsen or ease over time. They can help themselves by avoiding things that trigger their obsessions or may use drugs or alcohol to calm themselves. Even if most people with OCD recognize that what they’re doing doesn’t make sense, others may not realize their behaviors are unusual.
If you think you’re suffering from OCD, consult your healthcare provider regarding your symptoms. When left untreated, this mental illness may affect your normal life.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that affects how an individual behaves, thinks, and feels. Those with schizophrenia may seem like they’ve lost touch with the real world, which can be distressing for everyone, especially loved ones.
The symptoms make it hard to participate in usual daily tasks, but the good news is that treatments are available. Most people who get proper treatment can enjoy personal relationships and engage at work or school, and achieve independence.
Schizophrenia is treated with antipsychotic medications that help make psychotic symptoms less frequent and less intense. Such medications are often taken daily in liquid or pill forms. Several antipsychotic medications are also given as injections.
7. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD happens to people who have experienced various traumatic events. Sexual abuse, natural disasters, and war combat are some examples of these traumas. The symptoms may include nightmares, severe anxiety, inability to control thoughts, and flashbacks. Patients may also feel overwhelmed by memories and thoughts surrounding the traumas.
8. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
BPD is a mental health disorder that severely affects a person’s emotional regulation. The loss of emotional control may increase impulsivity, negatively affecting relationships and a person’s self-worth.
Individuals with borderline personality disorder may also experience intense mood swings and feel uncertain about seeing themselves. Their feelings may change quickly and swing from extreme dislike to extreme closeness. Such changing feelings may result in emotional pain and unstable relationships.
Patients may also view things in extremes, such as all bad or all good. Their values or interests may change easily, and they act recklessly or impulsively. However, not all people with borderline personality disorder may experience the same symptoms. The duration, severity, and frequency of symptoms may depend on the individual and their health condition.
How To Seek Treatment For Mental Health Disorders
When you’re diagnosed with any mental health disorder, it’s vital to know how to seek treatment immediately to get expert mental health advice. Treatments may vary from one patient to another.
Typically, treatment is based on an individualized plan designed collaboratively with a professional and the patient. Sometimes, a treatment is a combination of medication and therapy. Mental health practitioners may also recommend alternative and complementary therapies.
If you’re battling with a mental illness, here are the ways to seek treatment:
1. Consult Your General Practitioner (GP)
The best place to seek treatment is a reliable general practitioner. If your mental health is getting the best of you, a GP is one of your best sources of face-to-face support. It’s recommended to book a longer appointment for your consultation.
Your GP may conduct a general check-up during the consultation and consider other specific assessments. Some recommendations that your GP could make may include:
- Prescription of medications
- Referral to mental health professionals
- Information documents and sheets
Your GP may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as better sleep practices and increased exercise. Depending on your preferences, you may choose not to consider your GP’s recommendations.
2. Try A Helpline
If you’re shy about your mental health issues, you can try a helpline when seeking treatment. Calling a helpline is an exceptional way of getting immediate help without leaving your room.
Every local area has available helplines with trained professionals who can answer your call, listen to your concerns, and assist you in finding the support that meets your needs. If you’re experiencing a serious mental health crisis or your behavior has changed suddenly, don’t hesitate to call a helpline dedication for everyone with mental health problems.
3. Consider Alternative Options
Social workers, counselors, registered nurses, and occupational therapists are trained in mental health. If you don’t want to consult your GP about your mental health, you can consider mental health practitioners. To find the best mental health practitioners in your area, you can search online or ask for recommendations from friends and family.
4. Reach Out To Your Loved Ones
Sometimes, it may help to talk to somebody you trust about your feelings. Your loved ones may discuss options with you and give support and encouragement. They may also assist you in finding more information about mental health disorders and help out with the daily tasks you struggle with.
While seeking help isn’t easy, mainly when you’re unwell, it can make a difference in managing your symptoms and dealing with your illness effectively. So, seek treatment immediately before everything gets worse.
Dealing with mental health disorders is never easy. But understanding more about them will help you or others struggling with mental illnesses. Remember that you’re not alone in this battle and deserve support. If you don’t know where to start, use the guide above to learn about mental health disorders and how to seek proper treatment.