How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

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Mental illnesses should not be thought of any differently from physical illnesses. In fact, I believe the two are inseparable. Because the whole body is connected and interwoven, the two cannot be separated. The brain is an organ just like everything else in the body and can be hurt like everything else. When the brain is ill, it is not isolated in just the brain, but instead affects the whole body and the overall wellness. Substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide are very common and dangerous in those with mental illnesses. The stigma surrounding mental illness keeps people from getting the help they need to get better and causes them to hide their pain. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

For three years I was one of those people hiding my illness. I was quietly suffering from depression and an eating disorder. My whole day revolved around my eating disorder and hiding it from everyone. This caused a lot of sadness, anger, and loneliness. I not only hid it from others, but I also tried to hide it from myself. I tried to convince myself that nothing was wrong because I did not fully understand what was happening. I did not know what was making me hurt myself and why I could not stop. As my weight was decreasing, my sadness and anger were quickly increasing. I became so mad and upset at everyone and everything. The stress and pressure of holding everything in caused me so much misery. If something small happened, it became too much to handle and I had to release it somehow. The only way I could think of to handle this was to hit myself and other things until I forgot about all my pain. By this time, it was impossible to hide my illness, and my family finally found out my deep secret. They did not want to see me suffer like that and wanted to help. They tried their hardest to help, but they just did not know how to help me. They tried to get me to go see somebody and get help, but I refused. I was scared of admitting that I had a mental illness and that I needed help. I was worried that people would judge me, treat me differently, or even bully me if they found out about my mental illness. So, I refused to get any help. I insisted that I was okay and could fix it myself. After a while of getting worse, my parents made me an appointment and told me I was going to get help. I remember crying and begging my mother to not make me go, but she did, and I am so grateful to her now. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

For almost a year now I have been going to see a mental health counselor once a week. It took me a while to open up to her and tell her how I felt. But when I realized she was there for me and did not judge me, I was finally able to let her help me. Looking back now, I cannot believe how sick and miserable I was. I cannot imagine how my life would be if I had not received her help. I cannot express how grateful I am to her. She has changed my life for the better, I am so much happier and healthier now and look forward to living. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Receiving help is the most important thing anyone can do for themselves. But unfortunately, the stigma keeps people from getting help. Mental illness should not be something to be ashamed about or thought of differently. When mental illness is treated equally to other illnesses, more people will have the courage to get help and better their lives.

Mental health refers to a condition of wellbeing whereby each individual realises their potential and can deal with life changes and uncertainties, making a contribution to the society through working effectively, (Scheid and Brown, 2010). Based on this argument mental health is the ability for an individual to cope with various life stressors. According to Fortinash and Holoday-Worrent (2008) mental illness relates to a variety of mental health disorders which influence an individual’s behaviour, mood and thinking. Therefore mental illness can be referred to an ailment of the mind leading to inability to process their thoughts. Mental illness is classified using two distinctive tools of the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2011) [International Classification of Diseases (ICD) -10] and American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2010) [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) V]. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Mental illnesses affect millions of people and come in many forms, from anxiety and mania to depression and neurosis. Age, lifestyle, and genetics can all factor into a person’s likelihood of developing a mental disorder, the likes of which also often discriminate along gender lines. According to research by the World Health Organization, gender factors into the probability of developing anxiety and depression. Though a popular subject for study and research papers, the understanding of this issue is still in its infancy. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Women, for instance, are twice as likely as men to suffer major symptoms of depression. Men, on the other hand, are twice as likely to suffer from alcoholism and three times likelier to develop antisocial personality disorder. On the other hand, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, have shown no diagnostic disparity between the genders (“Gender and women’s mental health”).

In a series of epidemiological studies conducted by Prof. Daniel Freeman of the Medical Sciences Division at Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, it was found that women are 75% likelier than men to report symptoms of depression and 60% likelier to report feelings of anxiety. He concluded that mental health issues occur more frequently among women by 20-40% because the negative issues in society that affect women are more common than the factors contributing to male depression (Ball). How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Bipolar Disorder symptoms and episodes
Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a form of mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood from mania to depression. During states of mania, a subject might display characteristics of:

Extreme glee
Reduced sleeping pattern
In states of depression, a subject might:

Avoid eye contact
Express doom-laden thoughts
Withdraw from others completely
BPD is characterized by the following phases, each of which constitutes a different level of severity. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Manic episodes

Typically lasting for a week or longer, manic states range from intense excitement to irritability. The following characteristics are often on display during such episodes: flowing thoughts, rapid speech, impulsive actions, spendthrift behavior, and a surge in unrealistic goal setting.

In the midst of a manic episode, a subject may have feelings of insomnia and hypersexuality while exhibiting recklessness and poor judgment. During extreme moments, an individual might experience a loss of contact with reality; paranoid ideation and grandiose delusions occur in certain sufferers. In roughly 50% of cases, episodes are accompanied by states of delusion or hallucination (Kerner). How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Hypomanic episodes

Less severe than manic states, a hypomanic individual will experience an uptick in vigor, but without the psychotic behaviors of more extreme BPD. While in a hypomanic state, an individual might exhibit a surge in productivity and creativity. Due to the increased energy and overall positive attributes, the condition is not seen as dangerous. In a sense, hypomania protects subjects from depression. While a subject might display minor irritability, the condition generally doesn’t escalate to full-blown mania and is not a cause for hospitalization. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Depressive episodes

When a bipolar individual is in a depressive state, he or she will typically undergo feelings of apathy, anxiety, despondency, guilt, loneliness, rage, shyness, and sorrow. Depressive states are also marked by loss of appetite, insomnia, lethargy, disinterest in hobbies, a loss of libido, and an inability to concentrate. In extreme cases, a subject might show psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Mixed episodes

The most dangerous phase of BPD is the mixed state, where an individual experiences mania and depression simultaneously. In the midst of a mixed state, a sufferer might have disconnected, paranoid, or grandiose thoughts along with feelings of despair, hopelessness, or self-loathing. Subjects in this state are at high risk of self-harm due to the wild mood swings and impulsive tendencies that accompany the mixed state.

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Anxiety in mentally ill patients
Anxiety is a discomforting state of internalized stress, characterized by nervousness, frantic movements, nauseousness, and an overriding sense of dread. Unlike fear, which is based on a sense of real or possible danger, anxiety is typified by an irrational and unfocused sense of menace. Anxiety is harmful to patient’s emotional well-being and physical health.

When an individual suffers from anxiety, he or she will often avoid situations that trigger memories of bad experiences from the past. Anxiety comes in various forms, including the following: How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Existential anxiety – which can be triggered by feelings of existentialism or nihilism.
Social/stranger anxiety – marked by feelings of apprehension towards social interaction.
Somatic anxiety – characterized by feelings of butterflies in the stomach.
Test anxiety – a feeling of unpreparedness and fear of failure during or immediately prior to a testing situation.
Anxiety can occur in brief phases or persist over long periods of time. The condition is sometimes down to genetic factors, but habits such as drugs, alcohol, and even caffeine can also play a part in a person’s development of anxiety. Symptoms often overlap with other conditions, such as BPD, depression, and eating disorders. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Depression more than a symptom
Depression is a condition marked by downward mood swings and a loss of energy. Feelings associated with depression include sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, and regret. A depressed individual might lose his or her sense of purpose and withdraw from friends, family, or meaningful activities. Conditions associated with depression include:

Sleep deprivation
Reduced energy
Suicidal thoughts
Depression in adulthood is often rooted in traumatic childhood experiences, such as abuse, neglect, and sexual molestation. People who received less love than their siblings while growing up might also experience depression later on in life. Life-changing events such as s negative diagnosis, death in the family, loss of a job, financial strife, childhood trauma, and divorce can also cause depression. How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

Various non-psychiatric illnesses can also trigger depression including:

Multiple sclerosis
Sleep apnea
Addison’s disease
Chronic pain
Lyme disease
Circadian rhythm

The treatment of the mentally ill started back in the far past. In 400 BC, Hippocrates, who was a Greek physician, treated mental illness as diseases of disturbed physiology, and not displeasure of the Gods or demonic possession (“Timeline: Treatments for,” ). Greek medical writers found treatments such as quiet, occupation, and the use of a drug called purgative hellebore (“Timeline: Treatments for,”). During these times, family members took care of the mentally ill (“Timeline: Treatments for,”). In the middle Ages, the Europeans let the mentally ill have their freedom, as long as they were not dangerous (“Timeline: Treatments for,”). The mentally ill were also seen as witches who were possessed by demons (“Timeline: Treatments for,”). In 1407, the first mental illness establishment was made in Valencia, Spain (“Timeline: Treatments for,”).
In the 1600s, Europeans began to isolate the mentally ill, where they were kept with the handicapped and delinquents (“Timeline: How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay Treatments for,” ). The mentally ill who were seen as insane were treated cruelly, they were often chained to walls and kept away in dungeons (“Timeline: Treatments for,”). In the late 1700s, After the French Revolution, French physician Phillippe Pinel took over the Bicêtre insane asylum and changed the rules (“Timeline: Treatments for,”). He forbid the use of shackles, took patients out of the dungeons, gave them sunny rooms, and let them roam the ground for exercise (“Timeline: Treatments for,” ). Although Pinel changed the rules of Bicêtre, mistreatment still persisted in other places in Europe (“Timeline: Treatments for,”). How To Eliminate Mental Illness Medically Essay

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