Mental Health and Illness - How Many People Are Mentally Ill?, Depression, Schizophrenia, Anxiety Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
symptoms type ability report
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. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999 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 difficult 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 su…
According to the NIMH, depressive disorders afflict about 18.8 million American adults—about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population—every year. Women are affected (12 percent) almost twice as often as men (6.6 percent). Depression can strike at any age but usually begins during the second decade of life. Depression is a "whole
body" illness, involving physical, mental, and …
Schizophrenia generally presents itself in adolescence. The effects begin slowly and, initially, often are mistaken for the normal behavioral changes of adolescence. People with schizophrenia experience hallucinations—seeing, hearing, tasting, or feeling things that are not present—paranoia, and delusions, for example,
believing that they are being controlled by forces considered tot…
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…
American society is preoccupied with body image. Americans are bombarded constantly 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 pl…
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 TABLE…
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