However, they are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviour and relationships with others. Examples are schizophrenia, depression, intellectual disabilities and disorders due to drug abuse. They are generally characterized mental Disorders a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behaviour and relationships with others. Mental disorders include: depression, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia and other psychoses, dementia, intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders including autism.
There are effective strategies for preventing mental disorders such as depression. There are effective treatments for mental disorders and ways to alleviate the suffering caused by them. Access to health care and social services capable of providing treatment and social support is key. The burden of mental disorders continues to grow with significant impacts on health and major social, human rights and economic consequences in all countries of the world. Globally, an estimated 300 million people are affected by depression. More women are affected than men. Depression is characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, tiredness, and poor concentration.
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People with depression may also have multiple physical complaints with no apparent physical cause. Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing people’s ability to function at work or school and to cope with daily life. At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide. Mild to moderate depression can be effectively treated with talking therapies, such as cognitive behaviour therapy or psychotherapy. Antidepressants can be an effective form of treatment for moderate to severe depression but are not the first line of treatment for cases of mild depression. They should not be used for treating depression in children and are not the first line of treatment in adolescents, among whom they should be used with caution.
Management of depression should include psychosocial aspects, including identifying stress factors, such as financial problems, difficulties at work or physical or mental abuse, and sources of support, such as family members and friends. The maintenance or reactivation of social networks and social activities is important. It typically consists of both manic and depressive episodes separated by periods of normal mood. Manic episodes involve elevated or irritable mood, over-activity, pressure of speech, inflated self-esteem and a decreased need for sleep. People who have manic attacks but do not experience depressive episodes are also classified as having bipolar disorder. Effective treatments are available for the treatment of the acute phase of bipolar disorder and the prevention of relapse.
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These are medicines that stabilize mood. Psychosocial support is an important component of treatment. Psychoses, including schizophrenia, are characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self and behaviour. Stigma and discrimination can result in a lack of access to health and social services. Furthermore, people with psychosis are at high risk of exposure to human rights violations, such as long-term confinement in institutions. Schizophrenia typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. Treatment with medicines and psychosocial support is effective.
With appropriate treatment and social support, affected people can lead a productive life, be integrated in society. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. Dementia is caused by a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke. Though there is no treatment currently available to cure dementia or to alter its progressive course, many treatments are in various stages of clinical trials. Much can be done, however, to support and improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers and families.
Developmental disorders usually have a childhood onset but tend to persist into adulthood, causing impairment or delay in functions related to the central nervous system maturation. Intellectual disability is characterized by impairment of skills across multiple developmental area such as cognitive functioning and adaptive behaviour. Lower intelligence diminishes the ability to adapt to the daily demands of life. Symptoms of pervasive developmental disorders, such as autism, include impaired social behaviour, communication and language, and a narrow range of interests and activities that are both unique to the individual and are carried out repetitively. Developmental disorders often originate in infancy or early childhood. People with these disorders occasionally display some degree of intellectual disability.
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Family involvement in care of people with developmental disorders is very important. Knowing what causes affected people both distress and wellbeing is an important element of care, as is finding out what environments are most conductive to better learning. Structure to daily routines help prevent unnecessary stress, with regular times for eating, playing, learning, being with others, and sleeping. The community at large has a role to play in respecting the rights and needs of people with disabilities. Who is at risk from mental disorders? Determinants of mental health and mental disorders include not only individual attributes such as the ability to manage one’s thoughts, emotions, behaviours and interactions with others, but also social, cultural, economic, political and environmental factors such as national policies, social protection, standards of living, working conditions, and community support.
Stress, genetics, nutrition, perinatal infections and exposure to environmental hazards are also contributing factors to mental disorders. As a consequence, the gap between the need for treatment and its provision is wide all over the world. A further compounding problem is the poor quality of care for many of those who do receive treatment. In addition to support from health-care services, people with mental illness require social support and care. They often need help in accessing educational programmes which fit their needs, and in finding employment and housing which enable them to live and be active in their local communities. 2008, uses evidence-based technical guidance, tools and training packages to expand service in countries, especially in resource-poor settings. It focuses on a prioritized set of conditions, directing capacity building towards non-specialized health-care providers in an integrated approach that promotes mental health at all levels of care.
We’ve had several fascinating lists about bizarre mental disorders on this site, but no lists have been posted of mental illness myths. Mental illnesses, disorders and differences tend to be very misunderstood by the general public. This is a list of mental illnesses and a widely believed myth or two about each one. I’m sure there are other mental disorders with myths so widespread that I believe in them, too. This is mostly a semantic error, which is why I put it in tenth place. In fact, these people are often pro-social, even unusually so. Antisocial Personality Disorder is diagnosed in adults who consistently ignore the rights of others by behaving violently, lying, stealing, or generally acting recklessly with no concern for the safety of themselves or others.
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The Myth: People with Dissociative Identity Disorder radically change their behavior and lose their memory of what has just been happening when they switch personalities. Some people would say that DID itself is the myth, since it’s, suspiciously, much more commonly diagnosed in North America than anywhere else, but let’s assume for today that it does exist. People with DID have anywhere from two to over a hundred different personalities that alternately take over their bodies. The Myth: All people with dyslexia are unable to read because they see letters in the wrong order. This is actually two myths in one, but still only two of many myths about dyslexia.
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The first is that dyslexic people can’t read. Actually, most do learn to read, but if they don’t get appropriate help, they often learn slowly and stay well below their grade level in speed and comprehension. But even that’s not always true: many dyslexic children figure out how to cover up their difficulty reading until third or fourth grade or even longer. The other half of this myth is that the problem dyslexics have with reading is because they see words backwards or out of order.
This can seem to be the case because, in their confusion while they try to figure out a word, they mix up letters or sounds, and some dyslexic people confuse left and right or have a lot of trouble spelling. However, this is not the cause of their problem. Dyslexia is much more to do with a unique way of thinking than a problem with processing visual information. The Myth: Schizophrenic people hear voices in their heads. But, contrary to what a lot of people believe, not all people with schizophrenia hear voices in their heads.
Auditory hallucinations are very common in schizophrenic people, but they are more likely to hear voices coming from some object outside of their body than inside their mind. Plus, not everyone with schizophrenia experiences the same symptoms. The Myth: Autism is a devastating disorder that will stop someone from ever being able to function in society. Severe autism is not a life sentence, either. Even very low-functioning autistics can lead a perfectly happy life. There are also stories of low-functioning autistic children improving with therapy and almost entirely recovering from any autism-related problems they had, and many people and organizations are searching for a cure for autism. The Myth: People with ADHD are unable to pay attention to anything.
ADHD is a disorder that has been becoming pretty famous in recent years, so I’m sure you all know what it is. For those of you who aren’t sure, people with ADHD have trouble concentrating on tasks and can be hyperactive or impulsive. But it isn’t true, as it sometimes seems, that people with ADHD just can’t pay attention. The Myth: Somebody with selective mutism is either refusing to speak, or has been abused or traumatized in the past. This is the only disorder on the list that you may have never heard of by name before, though I’m willing to bet you’ve heard of it and its myths. I don’t know of another disorder with myths more commonly believed, not just by society as a whole but actually by professionals.
Someone with selective mutism can, and often does, speak perfectly well, but doesn’t speak, and sometimes doesn’t even communicate in other ways, in specific situations. A very large number of parents, teachers and psychologists who work with selectively mute people believe that these people are choosing not to speak, maybe in an attempt to control other people. But if you don’t know someone with selective mutism, chances are you still believe in a myth very common in the media: some children and teenagers stop talking entirely, or to everyone but one or two people, because they were traumatized or repeatedly abused. While some people do become mute after trauma, this usually lasts a few weeks, not months or years.
Most people do not develop selective mutism in later childhood or because of any kind of trauma or abuse. The Myth: People who intentionally cut, burn, or otherwise injure themselves are either trying to kill themselves or looking for attention. Many people, particularly teenagers, who suffer from a variety of mental disorders cope with their inner pain by physically harming themselves, most commonly by cutting. Self-injury seems to be becoming more common and well-known these days, but myths about the self-injurer’s intentions have not gone away. No matter what it looks like, self-injury is not a failed suicide attempt. Some self-injurers harm themselves over and over for years without having a single injury that would threaten their life, which would be an amazing record of failure if they were actually trying to die.
Many people also believe that self-injurers are just seeking attention. This is true of a few people, especially since self-injury is becoming more well-known and almost popular, but most self-injurers actively try to hide their injuries by wearing long sleeves or pants, or by cutting in a place that is usually covered by clothing, like their upper thighs or stomach. The Myth: People with OCD are always obsessed with the danger of germs, and usually are very particular about neatness. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say that they’re OCD because they’re very neat or careful about cleanliness.
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OCD is an anxiety disorder with two characteristics. Not everyone who has OCD cares about germs, or does the rituals that we usually hear about. While some people with OCD are perfectionists, this is more associated with another disorder. If you liked the first entry, you’ll love this: the disorder is called Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, and it’s actually a different thing.
The Myth: Mental disorders and illnesses are all in your head, and you can just get over them if you really want to. This earned the number one spot, not only because it’s general, but because it’s probably the most damaging myth on this list, since it can stop people from getting the support they need. The fact that the same symptoms have been experienced by so many different people should prove that are real — they can’t all be independently inventing the same symptoms. Any mental disorder, by definition, seriously affects the lives of the people who suffer from it, usually for the worse, or it would not be considered a disorder.
And they are certainly not easy to get over. Most mental disorders are caused at least in part by a difference in the brain or an imbalance of chemicals. Follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our daily or weekly newsletter so you don’t miss out on our latest lists. Listverse is a Trademark of Listverse Ltd.
Center for Peer SupportMHA National Certified Peer Specialist Certification– Get Certified! How can I get help paying for my prescriptions? What do I need to know about my insurance benefits? What can I do if my insurance company is refusing to approve? Most families are not prepared to cope with learning their loved one has a mental illness.
It can be physically and emotionally trying, and can make us feel vulnerable to the opinions and judgments of others. If you think you or someone you know may have a mental or emotional problem, it is important to remember there is hope and help. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological.
Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder. Warning Signs and Symptoms To learn more about symptoms that are specific to a particular mental illness, search under Mental Health Information or refer to the Mental Health America brochure on that illness. The following are signs that your loved one may want to speak to a medical or mental health professional.
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It is especially important to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviors. Also keep in mind that the onset of several of the symptoms below, and not just any one change, indicates a problem that should be assessed. The symptoms below should not be due to recent substance use or another medical condition. If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance. Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illnesses, many families who have a loved one with mental illness, share similar experiences.
You may find yourself denying the warning signs, worrying what other people will think because of the stigma, or wondering what caused your loved one to become ill. Accept that these feelings are normal and common among families going through similar situations. The outward signs of a mental illness are often behavioral. A person may be extremely quiet or withdrawn.
Conversely, he or she may burst into tears, have great anxiety or have outbursts of anger. Even after treatment has started, some individuals with a mental illness can exhibit anti-social behaviors. When in public, these behaviors can be disruptive and difficult to accept. The next time you and your family member visit your doctor or mental health professional, discuss these behaviors and develop a strategy for coping.
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Your family member’s behavior may be as dismaying to them as it is to you. Ask questions, listen with an open mind and be there to support them. Whenever possible, seek support from friends and family members. If you feel you cannot discuss your situation with friends or other family members, find a self-help or support group. These groups provide an opportunity for you to talk to other people who are experiencing the same type of problems. They can listen and offer valuable advice.
Therapy can be beneficial for both the individual with mental illness and other family members. A mental health professional can suggest ways to cope and better understand your loved one’s illness. When looking for a therapist, be patient and talk to a few professionals so you can choose the person that is right for you and your family. It may take time until you are comfortable, but in the long run you will be glad you sought help. It is common for the person with the mental illness to become the focus of family life.
When this happens, other members of the family may feel ignored or resentful. Some may find it difficult to pursue their own interests. If you are the caregiver, you need some time for yourself. Schedule time away to preventbecoming frustrated or angry.
If you schedule time for yourself it will help you to keep things in perspective and you may have more patience and compassion for coping or helping your loved one. Being physically and emotionally healthy helps you to help others. It is important to remember that there is hope for recovery and that with treatment many people with mental illness return to a productive and fulfilling life. How to Cope is one in a series of pamphlets on helping family members with mental illness. Mental Health America offers additional pamphlets on a variety of mental health topics.