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Mental Disorders

Mental disorders (or mental illnesses) are conditions that affect your thinking, feeling, mood, and behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic). They can affect your ability to relate to others and function each day. Mental disorders comprise a broad range of problems, with different symptoms. However, they are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviour and relationships with others. Examples are schizophrenia, depression, intellectual disabilities and disorders due to drug abuse. Most of these disorders can be successfully treated.

SOME TYPES OF MENTAL DISORDERS

1.) CLINICAL DEPRESSION

A mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life .

2.) ANXIETY DISORDER

A mental health disorder characterised by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.

3.) BIPOLAR DISORDER

A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

4.) DEMENTIA

A group of thinking and social symptoms that interferes with daily functioning.

5.) ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

A chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

6.) SCHIZOPHRENIA

A disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel and behave clearly.

7.) OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)

Excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviours (compulsions).

8.) AUTISM

A serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.

9.) POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)

A disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.

WHAT CAUSES MENTAL DISORDERS?

There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as

  • Your genes and family history
  • Your life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, especially if they happen in childhood
  • Biological factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain
  • A traumatic brain injury
  • A mother’s exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant
  • Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Having a serious medical condition like cancer
  • Having few friends, and feeling lonely or isolated

TREATMENT FOR MENTAL DISORDERS

Treatment depends on which mental disorder you have and how serious it is. You and your provider will work on a treatment plan just for you. It usually involves some type of therapy. You may also take medicines. Some people also need social support and education on managing their condition.In some cases, you may need more intensive treatment. You may need to go to a psychiatric hospital. This could be because your mental illness is severe. Or it could be because you are at risk of hurting yourself or someone else. In the hospital, you will get counseling, group discussions, and activities with mental health professionals and other patients.

DIAGNOSIS OF MENTAL DISORDERS

The steps to getting a diagnosis include:-

  • A medical history
  • A physical exam and possibly lab tests, if your provider thinks that other medical conditions could be causing your symptoms
  • A psychological evaluation. You will answer questions about your thinking, feelings, and behaviors.
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