The research about mental illness
My topic of research for this research paper is mental illness and what causes them because of three main reasons. The first reason being that statistics show that in the United States, about forty six percent of adults will suffer from a mental illness in their lives. The second reason that I believe that this is an important topic to talk about is because both my mom and dad along with many other members of my family deal with anxiety and other mental illnesses. The third reason that I believe that this is an important topic is because I, myself, deal with extreme anxiety that has just recently begun to affect me.
Now, many people may be asking themselves what is a mental illness? Well, a mental illness is a mental health condition that affects your mood, thinking, and behavior. There are many different types of mental illnesses such as anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with many others. It is known that there are nearly 300 mental disorders listed in the DSM-5 which is a handbook used by health professionals that is used to diagnose the different types of mental disorders. Next question you might have is, what exactly are the different types of mental disorders?
The most common type of mental disorder is anxiety. Anxiety is a very normal feeling that actually helps us detect when we are in danger but if that anxious feeling doesn't go away, then you might be suffering from anxiety disorder. Anxiety can make it so that you cannot sleep, concentrate, or carry on with normal daily activities. Some symptoms that some may experience with anxiety may be insomnia, heart palpitations, trembling, nausea, and excessive worry. Anxiety can be inherited from parents who suffer from anxiety as well but it can also be caused from a stressful environment. The next mental disorder to be discussed will be depression.
Depression is more often a feeling of numbness to the world around you as compared to a feeling of sadness. If you feel like you are low on energy and have no motivation, do not enjoy doing what you used to do, or feel upset and numb for weeks at a time, then you might be suffering from depression. It is estimated that 16.2 million adults in the US will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Depression may be caused by life events such as losing someone important to you or losing a job, family history, or substance abuse. The next mental disorder is bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder in which people will experience extreme mood swings. A person who suffers from this type of mental disorder will experience extreme lows or depression where they will feel lethargic and low on energy. On the flip side, a person who suffers from this type of mental disorder may also experience extreme highs and feel overactive and very high energy. Bipolar disorder is not as common and affects only about one percent of our population which means that about 2.3 million people will be diagnosed. This mental disorder usually begins in early adulthood but can also be experienced by the age of 40-50 years old. The next mental disorder to be discussed is schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a more serious mental disorder that causes someone to have an altered experience of reality. This type of mental disorder can make it so that a person's thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs are altered. Schizophrenia can cause some people to become violent but only a small number of people are affected by this disorder in that way. It is more likely that a person suffering from schizophrenia will become suicidal rather than violent towards others. The main symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations and delusions such as voices that aren't really there or believing things that can be proven to not be true. The amount of people to be diagnosed with schizophrenia yearly will be around 1.5 million. The causes of schizophrenia are still not completely known. The last type of mental disorder that I will talk about is post-traumatic stress disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is caused by traumatic experiences that involve death, sexual assault, torture, or a natural disaster. This type of mental disorder occurs when memories of the situation that caused the anxiety, won't go away. Symptoms that a person might experience when dealing with PTSD may be negative thoughts and mood, heightened anxiety due to paranoia, and re-experiencing the traumatic experience. This mental disorder affects about 3.5 percent of US adults which means that approximately one in eleven adults will be diagnosed. Now that we know what each main mental disorder is, it's time to talk about why it's important to know about them.
I believe that it is important to become educated about mental health and the different types of disorders because they can appear at any point in your life without warning. I have just recently begun suffering from panic attacks and I believe that it is because I tend to overthink every situation that I am in, in fear of failing or losing control of the situation. My mom and dad both also suffer from anxiety which is another reason that I believe that I suffer from this mental disorder. My anxiety and panic attacks one day hit me late at night and I began experiencing chest pain, extreme dizziness, heart palpitations, trembling, nausea, and intense fear. Ever since that day I have experienced at least one panic attack a day and I have begun learning how to cope with them by controlling my breathing. Now, you may be wondering how many other people live with mental disorders and don't get treated or seek medical attention?
In 2019, High Watch Recovery Center published an article saying that "A study by the World Health Organization, or WHO, found that between 30 and 80 percent of people with mental health issues don't seek treatment" (High Watch Recovery Center, 2019). This means that possibly half or even more than half of the people that deal with mental disorders go without treatment. One reason that people go without treatment is because of the stigma. This means that people don't want to be judged and categorized based on their mental health disorder. The High Watch Recovery Center's article used Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as an example of this by mentioning him speaking out on his battle against depression to a whole crowd of people. Another reason that people go without treatment is because they don't think that they need it. They may be in denial towards the fact that they're mentally ill and admitting that they need help goes against their pride so they do not believe that they need treatment. One last reason that so many people go without treatment is that their mental health disorder makes it too complicated for them to do so. For example, a person with anxiety may see medical help as too big of a change which may scare them into thinking that a task like that is out of their reach. What types of treatments are available to people with mental disorders?
There are many different forms of help for people with mental disorders and some forms of help include psychotherapy, medication, psychiatric hospitalization, dual diagnosis treatment, 12-step programs and support groups, complementary and alternative treatments, and impatient or residential mental health treatment, as well as outpatient mental health treatment. Not every person is the same and each person may require different forms of help which is why there are so many different types of treatment. The type of treatment you decide to seek also depends on the severity of your mental disorder. Now, let's discuss each type of treatment and talk about what each type of treatment includes.
The first type of treatment is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a type of treatment in which you sit down with either a person or group and discuss your disorder with a therapist that may be able to help you find ways to cope and process your disorder. There are many different types of psychotherapy that would include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), interpersonal therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR). Each type of psychotherapy is strictly based on what you are going through and experiencing with your disorder.
The second type of treatment is medication. Medications are used to ease the symptoms of mental illnesses and are often combined with psychotherapy. There are four different types of medications that you could be given. The first type of medication is an antidepressant that treats the symptoms of depression but could also be prescribed for anxiety or insomnia as well. The second type of medication is anti-anxiety medications that are used to help treat people who suffer from panic attacks, social anxiety, or general anxiety. The third type of medication is mood stabilizers that are normally prescribed to people with bipolar disorder to prevent major mood swings, mania, and depression. The last type of medication is antipsychotics and those are prescribed to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
The third type of treatment is Psychiatric Hospitalization. This type of treatment is not always mandatory and it gives the person the option to be voluntary or involuntary hospitalized. The only reasons that a person would be involuntarily hospitalized is if they are a danger to others or themselves or disabled. A person may be considered for psychiatric hospitalization if they have severe mental health symptoms, hallucinations or delusions, have not slept or eaten for a few days, or are not capable of taking care of themselves. This type of treatment includes close monitoring, emergency care, stabilization, and medication.
The fourth type of treatment is dual diagnosis treatment which helps people with both mental health conditions and substance abuse issues. This type of treatment focuses first on their underlying mental condition or traumas and then focuses on their addiction issues after. For example, someone with depression may have turned to alcohol to cope with their mental disorder so this type of treatment focuses on both parts of the issue which will then help with preventing a relapse due to their addiction which in the end will prolong their sobriety.
The fifth type of treatment is 12-step programs and support groups. This type of treatment is good for people that are already using other types of treatment such as medications and psychotherapy. These support groups are beneficial for people who are dealing with alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, shopping, and video game addictions, eating disorders, and anxiety or depression. People who choose to undergo this type of treatment will usually work with a sponsor to help them finish out the program. The sponsor is there to help the patient during recovery including cravings toward their addiction.
The sixth type of treatment is called complementary and alternative treatments that are used while a patient is undergoing psychotherapies and medication. The first type of complementary treatment is yoga which is a type of exercise that focuses on the mind and body through different movements and breathing exercises. The second type of complementary treatment is nutrition because your diet may affect your mental health dramatically. The third type of treatment is meditation. Meditation can help with patients that deal with anxiety, depression, and other types of mental health symptoms. Meditation focuses on the mind and is guided through breathing exercises similar to yoga. The fourth type of treatment is exercise. Exercise reduces stress and should be done everyday for at least a half hour. The fifth and last type of treatment is called equine-assisted therapy that focuses more on people with autism, anxiety and ADHD. This form of treatment uses the interactions between patients and horses to help with symptoms of mental health disorders. This type of treatment involves activities such as grooming, feeding, haltering, and leading a horse. The goal of this type of treatment is to teach the patient responsibility, problem-solving skills, accountability, and self-control. This type of treatment improves a patient's ability to be assertive, empathetic and caring, responsible, and it teaches the patient to have tolerance toward oneself.
The last type of mental health treatment is outpatient mental health treatment which means that the patient is not required to live at the facility. Instead of living at the facility, they are required to visit the facility on a specific day of the week. This type of treatment consists of support groups, partial hospitalization, medications, individual, group, and family therapies, and intensive outpatient care. This type of treatment is best for people with mild symptoms, a supportive surrounding, and the ability to properly function outside of the facility. On the other hand, there is another type of treatment called inpatient or residential mental health treatment that allows the patients to live in the facility for care at all times. This type of treatment is best for people who have severe symptoms and need constant medical care. The treatments are relatively the same to outpatient mental health treatment. The only difference is that some centers may offer luxury and executive options such as private rooms, swimming pools, fitness centers, massage and spa treatment, and gourmet meals.
In conclusion, I believe that people need to be informed of mental illness because almost fifty percent of the population will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illnesses come without a warning and I am a prime example of that. Although some may be warned to look out in fue future because both parents suffer from one, they may hit when you least expect it. Mental illnesses range in severity of their symptoms and each type of mental illness is caused for different reasons. Although it may go against one's beliefs, treatment options are available for each type of mental illness and there are medical professionals that are willing to help so don't let pride get in the way and get informed and receive the proper help.