What Is Mental Illness?
Mental illness is a condition of health that involves a change in thinking, behaviour and emotions. These are always associated with distress and external trauma caused due to social, family and work issues. However, it is treatable, and they will continue to lead an everyday life after their complete recovery without any symptoms of mental illness.
What Are The Causes Of Mental Illness?
Various factors cause mental health and are more precise to understand it clearly and combine biological, psychological, and environmental factors. The signs and symptoms of mental illness are mentioned below:
All the biological factors linked with mental illness are associated with the abnormal functioning of the nerve cell circuits connected with brain regions. There are medical procedures to help the brain circuits function correctly, and, in some cases, there are injuries in some brain regions that are also linked to some mental issues. The other biological causes of mental illness are:
- Heredity: When the mental illness runs in the families, there is a higher chance for most of the people to develop one themselves. It passes on through the genes due to various abnormalities and its interaction with themselves and the environment. Susceptible genes are further triggered by stress, abuse, and other external traumas.
- Brain defects or brain injuries: The defects caused in the brain due to injuries are also seen to develop mental illness in the later stages, even if not immediately.
- Infections that target the brain and damage it, like Streptococcus bacteria that is seen to create an autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder in children, will lead to a severe mental illness.
- One can suffer from mental illness while the foetus is being developed in the womb, and any developmental delay in its brain due to factors like improper oxygen flow will lead to conditions like autism. And any other trauma during the time of birth will also cause specific other non-specific mental problems.
- Exposure to toxins and poor nutrition are other crucial mental illness causes.
The factors that contribute to mental illness that are psychological include:
- Loss of a parent or loved oneÂ
- Neglection and improper love, care, and affection during childhood
- Sexual, physical, and emotional abuse
- Lack of ability to cope up with the environmental stress
Environmental factors trigger illness and especially in people who are susceptible to mental problems. These environmental causes of mental illness are known as stressors, and they are:
- Low self-esteem
- Change of place
- Social acceptance
- Cultural expectations
- Dysfunctional family life
- Substance abuse
- Death or divorce
What Are The Symptoms Of Mental Illness?
Mental health is not a uniform curve always, and everyone will experience ups and downs in it. However, the mental illness symptoms will be easily identified when they interfere with the social, occupational, and educational functioning and keep repeating or lasting for a definite time. There are different types of mental illness, and each of them has its own set of symptoms. And if an individual experiences any two or three of these, the person requires evaluation, but if the person is unable to carry forward their life with several mental illness symptoms, then it is high time that they should contact a psychiatrist. The common mental illness symptoms are mentioned below. They are:
- Uneasiness like anxiety and nervousness
- Excessive fear or panicking
- Changes in the mood like deep sadness, having a hopeless feeling, laughing at inappropriate times, suicidal thoughts, inability to differentiate situations, unable to express happiness, etc.
- Change in appetite that leads to rapid weight gain or loss
- Sleeping pattern and time either increases or decreases
- No ability to concentrateÂ
- Conflicts with thoughts, speech and memory
- Sitting and doing nothing for a longer timeÂ
- Dropping from previously enjoyed activities
What Are The Types Of Mental Illness?
There are hundreds of illnesses when it comes to mental health, and various types of mental illness are:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Depressive Disorder
- Disruptive Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Dissociative Disorder
- Elimination Disorder
- Gender Dysphoria
- Neurocognitive Disorder
- Neurodevelopmental Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Personality Disorder
- Paraphilic Disorder
- Addictive Disorder
- Stressor or Trauma-Related DisorderÂ
How To Diagnose Mental Illness?
Diagnosing a mental health problem is a multi-step process involving more than one healthcare provider and physician. The different steps are:
- Physical examination
This is the first step of any mental illness diagnosis to rule out any physical condition. However, sometimes there will be some physical causes that will cause depression and anxiety, or sometimes problems like thyroid can be misdiagnosed as a mental health disorder. Therefore, a physical examination might include various lab tests with a thorough check-up concluding with a case summary and history.
- Psychological evaluation
This session involves a psychiatrist who will fire a series of questions about the symptoms and family history. Hence look for a â€œpsychiatrist near meâ€ to best save on time and energy. This interview may include the participation of other family members too. The patient will be tested with psychological evaluation tools to determine the severity of the condition. One should be aware that they can be diagnosed with more than one mental illness, and their interaction might even worsen the situation.
Treatment For Mental Illness
Mental illness is treatable, and the treatment for mental illness depends on the individual diagnosis or the severity of the problem. The results can also vary from one person to another. The types of treatment methods are:
- Talk therapy
- Alternative therapies
- Combination of treatment plans
How To Prevent Mental Illness?
Preventing a mental illness is not entirely possible, but reducing the chances of their occurrences or increasing the mental health are done by specific tips, and they are:
- Taking care of the body with proper nutritious food, staying hydrated, performing physical activities, getting enough sleep, and avoiding bad habits like smoking and consuming alcohol can save mental health.
- Relax the mind and surround oneself with both good and positive people.
- Set realistic goals and learn to deal with stress.
- Value and give yourself more time.Â
Mental health is a vital concern for healthcare professionals as it is a condition where people won't be aware that they are falling ill mentally. Though some know the symptoms like any other disease, it is the most challenging state of mind to understand its severity and complexity. Therefore, there are many campaigns with online therapy consultations being conducted to understand the common signs.