Monday, October 30, 2017

Causes and Common Symptoms of Mental Illness

Mental Health
Source: http://www.healthspikes.com/why-do-some-people-develop-mental-illnesses-and-others-dont/

I've been talking about anxiety and depression on my previous posts. I think it's high time for us to know more about these illnesses, their causes, symptoms and cures.

"Mental illness are wide range of mental health condition - disorders that affects your mood, thinking and behavior." -  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/basics/definition/con-20033813

People are often experiencing mental health concerns from time to time. Almost everyday we use the word "anxious" and "depressed". There are times that we feel anxious and depressed about our exams, our work, the deadline that we have to meet, even just going out to a party, sadness or grief because of failed exams, lost relationships etc. But they are deeper than that. A mental health concern become mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect our ability to function. The feelings become so overwhelming that we have difficulty with our day-to-day activities such as work, school, leisure time or even maintaining relationships.

There are different kinds of mental disorder. Some of the major types are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, trauma and eating disorders. Extreme cases are the people who suffers from mental illness have difficulty even on simple tasks such as getting out of bed, taking a bath, take care of themselves, or even get out of the house.

The following are the most common symptoms of having mental illness:

  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
  • Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Major changes in eating habits
  • Sex drive changes
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  • Suicidal thinking

(source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/basics/symptoms/con-20033813)




What causes mental illness? Although the exact cause of most mental illnesses is not known, it is becoming clear through research that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors -- not personal weakness or a character defect -- and recovery from a mental illness is not simply a matter of will and self-discipline.

Heredity (genetics): Many mental illnesses run in families, suggesting they may be passed on from parents to children through genes. Genes contain instructions for the function of each cell in the body and are responsible for how we look, act, think, etc. However, just because your mother or father may have or had a mental illness doesn't mean you will have one. Hereditary just means that you are more likely to get the condition than if you didn't have an affected family member. Experts believe that many mental conditions are linked to problems in multiple genes -- not just one, as with many diseases -- which is why a person inherits a susceptibility to a mental disorder but doesn't always develop the condition. The disorder itself occurs from the interaction of these genes and other factors -- such as psychological trauma and environmental stressors -- which can influence, or trigger, the illness in a person who has inherited a susceptibility to it.
Biology: Some mental illnesses have been linked to an abnormal balance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other. If these chemicals are out of balance or are not working properly, messages may not make it through the brain correctly, leading to symptoms of mental illness. In addition, defects in or injury to certain areas of the brain also have been linked to some mental conditions.
Psychological trauma: Some mental illnesses may be triggered by psychological trauma suffered as a child, such as severe emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; a significant early loss, such as the loss of a parent; and neglect.
Environmental stressors: Certain stressors -- such as a death or divorce, a dysfunctional family life, changing jobs or schools, and substance abuse -- can trigger a disorder in a person who may be at risk for developing a mental illness.
(source: https://www.medicinenet.com/mental_illness/article.htm)

I cannot say that people with mental illness will be cured. Yes, mental illness can be treated. This means that many people who have a mental illness, and are treated, recover well or even completely. However, because there are many different factors contributing to the development of each illness, it can sometimes be difficult to predict how, when, or to what degree someone is going to get better.
I guess that it will be an ongoing treatment until one gets better. Again, there are times that we feel good, and there are times that we don't. Medicines helped me cope up with my day to day activities. There are several treatments that people with mental disorders can try such as medication, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavior therapy, and community support programs.

For people who have mental disorders, there is help out there. There are methods to approaching and gaining control over your negative thoughts. If I can be of help, please, please let me know. Let your loved one know. Keep fighting. We will win.

"The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about."