It is known that one in four people in our lives will have some form of a mental health illness or problem. This is based within the United Kingdom. In the United States it’s suggested that one in five people have a mental health problem at some point in their lives. In the UK 250,00 people are admitted to a psychiatric unit in a year, in the US 13.4% of adults were admitted to psychiatric units in 2008, and the figure continues to rise. These figures are astonishing, but mental health still seems to be a very taboo subject.
There are many different types of mental illness disorders/ problems, to name just a few below:
Depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders, bi-polar, schizophrenia, personality disorders, bereavement, pain disorders, panic disorders, personality disorders, selective mutism and many many more.
What causes mental health problems?
There can be several causes of mental health problems, and often this is not always just one cause. Its suggested that mental health disorders can develop from a person’s back ground, for example if the person has experienced neglect, abuse or violence this can lead to mental health disorders developing. Stressful life events are also thought to be a contribution, bereavement is a common cause of mental health disorders, or an accident, research has shown that redundancy is a common cause of depression. It’s also thought that genes may play a part in mental health problems, suggesting that if a parent has a mental health disorder the person may be more likely to also have one, although this has not been proven. People with long term illnesses are also thought to be prone to suffer from mental health disorders, also people with brain injuries can also show signs of mental health disorders. Society can also be a contributor to mental health problems, those who live in poverty, or amongst domestic violence, in poor housing or amongst gangs are all said to be at risk of developing mental health problems.
How are they diagnosed?
To diagnose a mental health problem a psychiatrist or a doctor gathers a history of symptoms from the person over a period of time. Usually they need to discover that the symptoms have lasted longer than two weeks to rule out an acute and one off episode.
The most common treatment for mental health disorders is medications. Medications do not cure the problem but help to relieve the symptoms of the illness. The medications can help people get back to normality such as looking after children, or going to work. However, medications can be addictive and often have some side effects, Therefore, medications need to be taken with caution and regular check up with your doctor. The doctor will assess the level of your mental health problem and commence you on suitable medications for you individually. Another popular form of treatment is talking treatments. counselling is very popular, this can include one to one sessions or group sessions, this involves talking through your problems. Psychotherapy is also useful, helping you to understand why you feel the way you do, as understanding is a key to living with the illness. Cognitive behavior therapy is also effective, as this challenges negative thoughts and behaviors and attempts to help change a person’s thought process and coping mechanisms. Relationship or family therapy is also available, this helps loved ones to work with you and help you live with and overcome your problems. Group therapies are very popular, giving you the chance to meet people with similar problems which can help you realise you are not alone, working together as a group to deal with the problems you face.
Complementary and alternative therapies
Complementary therapies include acupuncture, massaging and hypnotherapy, which are all popular amongst some people to help cope and live with mental health problems. These are not proven to treat the problems but people do suggest that they help with some symptoms of different mental health problems.
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