Mental Health and Illness - How Many People Are Mentally Ill?, Types Of Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder
symptoms maintain stress conditions
Mental health may be measured in terms of an individual's abilities to think and communicate clearly, learn and grow emotionally, deal productively and realistically with change and stress, and form and maintain fulfilling relationships with others. Mental health is a principal component of wellness—self-esteem, resilience,
and the ability to cope with adversity influence how people feel about themselves and whether they choose lifestyles and behaviors that promote or jeopardize their health.
Mental illness refers to all identifiable mental health disorders and mental health problems. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999
(http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/surgeongeneral/surgeongeneralrpt.aspfront.pdf) defines mental disorders as "health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning." The report distinguishes mental disorders from mental problems, describing the signs and symptoms of mental
health problems as less intense and of shorter duration than those of mental health disorders. However, it acknowledges that both mental health disorders and problems may be distressing and disabling.
The symptoms of mental disorders differentiate one type of problem from another; however, the symptoms of mental illness vary far more widely in both type and intensity than do the symptoms of most physical illnesses. In general, people usually are considered mentally healthy if they are able to maintain their mental and
emotional balance in times of crisis and stress and cope effectively with the problems of daily life. When coping ability is lost, then there is some degree of mental dysfunction. The goals of diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders are to recognize and understand the conditions, reduce their underlying causes, and work toward regaining mental and emotional equilibrium.
It is complicated to determine how many people suffer from mental illness because of changing definitions of mental illness and difficulties classifying, diagnosing, and reporting mental disorders. There are social stigmas attached to mental illness, such as being labeled "crazy," being treated as a danger to others, and being
denied jobs or health insurance coverage, that keep some …
Psychiatrists have identified a wide range of mental disorders, from phobias to depression to schizophrenia. Psychiatric diagnoses are made based on criteria described in the fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) (2000) by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Some disorders are
relatively mild and affect an individual's life in only a minor …
Autism is a condition that results from a neurological disorder that typically appears during the first three years of childhood and continues throughout life. It was first described in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner, who reported on eleven children who displayed an unusual lack of interest in other people but were extremely
interested in unusual aspects of the inanimate environment. Autistic children app…
According to the NIMH, depressive disorders afflict about 20.9 million American adults—about 9.5% of the United States population—every year (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depression.cfm). Women (12%) are affected almost twice as often as men (6.6%). Depression can strike at any age but usually begins during the second
decade of life. Depression is a "whole body" ill…
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by alternating periods of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood—called mania—and periods of depression. During a manic episode, a person may feel inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, unusually talkative or pressure to keep talking, and
easily distracted. He or she may also have flights of idea…
A person who hears voices, becomes violent, and sometimes ends up as a homeless person, muttering and shouting incomprehensibly, frequently suffers from schizophrenia. This disease generally presents in adolescence, causing hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and social isolation. The effects begin slowly and, initially, are
often considered the normal behavioral changes of adolescence. Gradually…
Everyone experiences some degree of anxiety almost every day. In today's world, a certain amount of anxiety is unavoidable and, in some cases, may even be beneficial. For example, mild anxiety before an exam or a job interview actually may improve performance. Anxiety prior to a surgical operation, giving a speech, or driving
in bad weather is normal. Nevertheless, when anxiety becomes extr…
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a relatively new name for a psychiatric disorder that usually begins or becomes apparent in preschool- and elementary school-aged children. Children with ADHD cannot sit still, have difficulty controlling their impulsive actions, and are unable to focus on projects long enough
to complete them. Although teachers originally dubbed ADHD a "le…
Children and adolescents with disruptive disorders, which include oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, display antisocial behaviors. Like separation anxiety, the diagnosis of a disruptive disorder largely depends on assessing whether behavior is age appropriate. For example, just as clinging may be considered
normal for a toddler but abnormal behavior in an older child, toddlers and…
American society is preoccupied with body image. Americans are bombarded with images of very thin, beautiful young women and lean, muscular men in magazines, on television, on billboards, and in the movies. The advertisers of many products suggest that to be thin and beautiful is to be happy. Many prominent weight-loss
programs reinforce this suggestion. A well-balanced, low-fat food plan, combine…
The NIMH released Treatment of Children with Mental Disorders (2004, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/childqa.cfm#readNow), a publication aimed at parents of children with a range of mental disorders. The NIMH acknowledged public concern that psychotropic medication is being prescribed to very young children and that the
safety and efficacy of most psychotropic medications have not yet been establ…
Suicide may be the ultimate expression or consequence of depression or other serious mental disorders. Not all people who suffer from depression contemplate suicide, nor do all those who attempt suicide suffer from depressive or other mental illnesses. However, with the exception of certain desperate medical situations,
suicide in the United States generally is considered an unacceptable act, the …
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