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WHAT ARE THE COMMON MENTAL ILLNESSES?

Mental illness is characterized by mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior. It is affected by mood resulting in various conditions as discussed below.

  • Depression: Severe depression is a state where one experiences feelings of hopelessness. A sense of great emptiness often pushes distraught people on a path of loneliness where they lose touch with reality.
  • Anxiety/Panic Disorder: includes mental illness such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), depression episodes, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: includes feelings of sadness and depression that vary according to seasonal changes.
  • Eating Disorders: commonly emerges during adolescence and young adulthood. Its multifactorial including psychological, genetic, social factors. Affects females more commonly. Eating disorder includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, which is characterized by harmful eating behaviours such as restricting calories or binge eating, over exercising, self-induced vomiting, purgative abuse. Guilt is often associated with eating disorders.
  • Bi-Polar Disorder: It is a severe mood disorder that ranges from manic stages of ecstasy to major depressive states. The patient suffers from major depressive mode, hypomanic episodes, manic episodes and mixed modes.It is characterized by significant mood swings such as manic (highs) and depression phase (lows).
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): includes obsessions and compulsions, making the person do or engage in unwanted behaviors or thoughts. Typical example is that of a person washing his hands repeatedly because he feels that some foreign body is present and not getting off.
  • Social Anxiety Phobia: Also known as social phobis, it is the fear of becoming extremely anxious and humiliated in social gatherings. As a result, people such people find themselves embarrassed in front of other people.
  • Schizophrenia: is a serious mental disorder. A person experiences a combination of delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations. Lifetime treatment is generally required
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: is referred to person having witnessed or experienced a terrifying event. Most people with PSTD have the repeated episodes of the same trauma that they had undergone in the form of nightmares. These disturbing recollections are called flash backs.
  • Childhood Mental Disorders: also include attention deficit disorders. People with Asperger’s syndrome struggle with social situations.

WHAT CAUSES MENTAL ILLNESSES?

It is thought that mental illness arises due to the interactions between certain genetic and environmental factors. Besides, in addition to drug and alcohol abuse, hormonal changes, early life environments and traumatic events can also lead to mental illnesses

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH COMMON MENTAL ILLNESSES?

  • Depression: Symptoms can take many forms, and no two people’s experiences are exactly alike. Persistent feeling of loneliness or sadness, lack of energy, difficulties with sleeping, difficulties in concentration or attention, feeling of guilt and worthlessness characterize depression. Most people who are feeling depressed won’t experience every symptom mentioned, and the symptoms varies in intensity from person to person. Also, person suffering from depression might not seem to be sad to others.
  • Anxiety/Panic Disorder: Stress, panic, always living in a perennial state of fright, leading to constant tension. Physical weakness, constant worry, shortness of breath, palpitations, poor memory, fear/ confusion and inability to relax.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: Experiencing mood swings according to the changing seasons and making one feel depressed.
  • Eating Disorders: Temptation / tendency to overeat often called binge eating.
  • Bi-Polar Disorder: It is characterized by significant mood swings such as manic (highs) and depression phase (lows).
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): When one is obsessed with doing some unwanted act repeatedly and has little or no control.
  • Social Anxiety Phobia: Getting stressed in social settings.
  • Schizophrenia: Marked by hallucinations and delusions.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Recurrence of a traumatic event leading to disturbed feelings.
  • Childhood Mental Disorders: Not being able to concentrate, difficulty in understanding etc.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR THE VARIOUS MENTAL ILLNESSES?

  • Depression: It can be successfully treated with anti-depressant medications and short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy.
  • Anxiety/Panic Disorder: Anti-anxiety medications and psychotherapy
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: Anti-depressant medications and short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy.
  • Eating Disorders: Includes cognitive-behavioural or group psychotherapy.
  • Bi-Polar Disorder: All bipolar disorders respond well to treatment. It includes medications and psychotherapy.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Includes cognitive behavioral such as exposure and response prevention.
  • Schizophrenia: Despite of medical advances, its cause, course and treatment has been challenging to clinicians. Mostly life time treatment is recommended
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Successfully treated, by combination of psychotherapy and medications.

Mental Health Counselling involves understanding, feeling and comprehending the gravity of the situation – how deeply the person is affected. Clinical counselling, medication, psychotherapy can address some of the mental health issues. More importantly, social intervention in cases such as depression needs to dealt with utmost care. If you feel that there are issues that are pulling you down and cannot discuss with others then book appointment for an online doctor consultation where you can share in complete privacy.

Social intervention requires addressing social isolation, special education services for the child /adolescent.

Behavioural and cognitive therapy requires positive reinforcement for desired behaviours and punishment for objectional behaviours.

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