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Mental Health Disorder: What Do You Know About It?

posted Sep 4, 2012, 9:00 AM by S. Wickelgren   [ updated Nov 1, 2012, 2:57 PM by Mark Wickelgren ]
According to the Discovery Channel, the more prevalent illness in developed countries like The United States is not cardiovascular disease or cancer but mental illness. Surprising…. With so many things to cope with in everyday life, some people end up having an impaired mental health status. They have a problem dealing with their thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that may be brought about by social, psychological, biological, and traumatic factors.

In the United States alone, 22.1% of Americans 18 years old and above or about 1 in 5 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Mental health disorders can affect anyone, male or female, young or old. Awareness of different mental disorders, therefore, is very important so you understand and help other people who may be suffering from this.

Here are some of the most common mental disorders:
  • Mood Disorders. Mood disorder is a general term for a group of disorders characterized by periods of depression which vary from one another in terms of prognosis, symptoms and treatments. The four basic types of mood depression are major depression, cyclothymia, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and mania. Major depression is the most common kind of mood disorder. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, anger or frustration that affects a person’s everyday life for weeks or longer. Treatment of major depression includes antidepressant medications and psychotherapy. Joining a support group is also one way of helping people with major depression.
  • Personality Disorders. Each of us is unique. Human beings have different traits or personalities which may be influenced by the environment, experiences, behaviors, and mindsets. People with personality disorders have impaired function in their ability to adapt or react to what is happening to them. They have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of behaving and thinking about a given situation. The most common personality disorders are antisocial personality disorders, avoidant personality disorders and borderline personality disorders. Those who have antisocial personality disorders have persistent disregard and violation of the rights of others, rules, regulations, and laws. Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by a lifelong pattern of extreme social inhibition, shyness, feelings of inadequacy, feelings of rejection, and sensitivity to negative criticism. A person suffering from borderline personality disorder experiences a repetitive pattern of instability in self-image, impulsiveness, disorganization, significant mood instability, and suicidal attempts. There are certain treatments and different approaches to deal with personality disorders, but psychotherapy is still the main way to manage patients with this kind of mental disorder.
  • Eating Disorders. Eating disorders are characterized by abnormal eating habits that can threaten your health and life, which includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. A person with anorexia weighs less than 85% of his or her ideal body weight. Anorexics have a distorted body image, extreme thinness, intense fear of gaining weight and believe that they are fat even when they are dangerously thin. They usually restrict their eating to the point of starvation. Bulimics may secretly binge or eat large amount of foods and try to purge or get rid the foods that they have eaten in an unhealthy manner. Binge eating disorder is also characterized by eating a large amount of food, but it isn’t followed by any purging. They lose control over their eating that they sometimes still want to eat even though they are not hungry anymore. People with binge eating disorder are usually obese and at risk for cardiovascular disorder. Psychotherapy or talk therapy, adequate nutrition and certain medications are effective treatment for eating disorders.
Mental health disorders are very prevalent but can be treated. If proper management is considered, people afflicted with mental health disorders can be saved from this nightmare and live a healthier and more harmonious life. Support from family and friends is very important to address the needs of people with this kind of disorder. Experts such as mental health professionals, psychologists, and psychiatrists play a very important role to bring back the person’s mental health.

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