Mental Disorders – An Overview

A healthy person should not only have a healthy body but a healthy mind as well. A healthy mind which is capable of thinking clearly, solving different problems faced in life and enjoy good relations with family and friends. A mental illness is a disease which affects the thought process and emotions of a person so severely that it alters the beliefs and personality in a person.  A mental illness can affect anyone and it is estimated that one in five of all adults will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime.

There are several factors which can lead a person to mental illness. Some people cannot deal properly with the stressful events of the life such as death of a loved one, unemployment, loneliness. These people are at high risk of developing mental disorders. No definite cause has yet been identified for many mental illnesses. However, there is evidence that mental disorders are caused by change in brain chemicals such as neurotransmitters. Heredity is an important factor in mental disorders but chances of children getting mental illness because of parents are very less due to different environmental conditions.

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental disorders. A person having depression tends to feel sad, loses interests in daily activities and feels tense and nervous. If these symptoms continue to affect a person for more than two weeks, it can lead to serious mental health problems. Symptoms associated with severe mental illness are agitation, restlessness and irritable mood. A person with severe mental illness can also suffer from hallucinations.

According to psychiatrists, it is very difficult to completely prevent mental disorders. The best way is to manage stress efficiently and finding healthier way to cope up with stress. One should avoid activities that increase their level of tension.

It is a well known fact that people who had an unhappy childhood due to violence, abuse and emotional neglect are more prone to suffer from mental disorders such as depression later in the life. Brain infections, head injuries are also a reason for mental illness in many cases. Certain physical illness and medications can also cause depression and delirium.

In ancient times, people with mental illness were chained and locked up in mental asylums and were mostly treated in a degrading manner. Today also many people think that mental illness is untreatable. The truth however is very different as successful treatment is possible in most of the cases. The treatment of mental illness is done mainly through counseling and medication.

There are different approaches to cure mental illness. Most common approach is to treat the physical symptoms such as lack of sleep and tiredness but this approach is not very useful in the long run. Severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder however require medications for the treatment. Counseling is the other approach for the treatment of mental illness. Counseling is based on a psychological theory that explains the reason for the mental illness and seeks the solutions for it.

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