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The Effects of Mental Illness

Kayla Putman and Jordan Smith

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Mental illness is something that affects around 450 million people worldwide. In fact, there are over 200 known mental illness ranging from depression to schizophrenia. Mental illness by definition is a wide range of health conditions that affect mood, thinking, and behavior. Some of the most common mental illnesses are Major Depression, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Autism.

Major Depression, also known as unipolar and major depressive disorder, is when a person lacks outside stimuli and constant feeling of sadness (2). It is stated that 6.7% of people ages 18 and up in the United States are diagnosed at any given time with major depression. When diagnosed with this one will continually focus on the “lows” or negative emotions experienced.

Many things can cause depression that can range from just changing your appetite to the loss of a family member. Psychcom.net states, “ The extent that anatomical and physiological factors have on major depression is unknown, but it is thought to be significant. Along with socioeconomic factors (the loss of a job and a feeling of economic disenfranchisement, for example), the above are considered the major reasons why you would suffer from major depressive disorder.”

Along with the different ways of obtaining major depression, there are also different types. Some of them are Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD), Psychotic Depression, Postpartum Depression, Melancholic Depression, and Catatonic Depression. All of these forms are slightly different and develop under many different circumstances such as Postpartum, this one is very common in mothers who have just had children. Whereas SAD is when people’s moods are affected by the changing of the seasons.

While major depression is very common, there are warning signs that one can look out for in order to help catch it early. Some of the most common ones are negative thinking, restlessness, inability to focus, lashing out, irritability, withdrawing from loved ones, morbid thoughts, and weight loss or gain. Once it is figured out that one does have major depression there are some ways it can be treated. Some of the ways are somatic therapies, electroconvulsive treatment (ECT), antidepressants, and psychotherapies. Since major depression is very common, doctors can now easily treat it.

Anxiety results from a certain styles of behavior of when people act in an apprehensive manner, such as being worried, fretful, and concerned. This can easily be explained by saying that anxiety is allowing one to dwell on difficulties.

It important to point out that this purely a physiological state of mind and it’s not an illness not a disease. Within the United States alone 18.1% of people ages 18-54 are diagnosed with anxiety. Common symptoms include feeling like you are going crazy, shortness of breath, fear of impending doom, sleep issues, dizziness and chest pains. Anxiety is often accompanied by panic attacks, also called anxiety attacks. These are when the person is unable to set aside their worry to the point where they can’t handle it anymore.

When trying to treat anxiety there are two different ways to do so. Reducing the symptoms and addressing the core issues treat anxiety. Medications can be taken; however, addressing the core issue will further prevent the anxiety from coming back later. If one feel as though they may have anxiety, it can be helpful to seek out help from a counselor who can aid in finding the correct path to deal with the core symptoms.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is something that 5% of the United States is affected by, and there is no definite cure yet. ADHD makes it difficult for the person diagnosed too pay attention and control their impulses; they are constantly active. Many consider this to be a childhood disorder, since symptoms are usually shown more in the early childhood to the teenage age.

However, people tend to grow out of it and earn a better control of their impulses as they grow up. Common symptoms teachers and parents need to look for are difficulty paying attention, excessive amounts of overactive, and lack of impulse control. They should also look for constant fidgeting and nonstop talking.

ADHD is difficult to treat since there are really only two ways. The first is medication that will depress stimulants such as Atomoxetine and Guanfacine, as well as antidepressants. The only thing with medications is that one is trying to “mask” the issue rather than trying to permanently fix the issue.

A way to come up with a more permanent way is to go to therapy. Here they will teach organization skills, how to keeping a routine, rewards for doing the correct thing, and breaking down large task into smaller ones. It is very important for one with ADHD to go out and seek help from teachers and inform them so they can make accommodations to their work and teaching style.

Autism is one of the top growing mental disabilities in the United States. It is now stated that 1 out of every 68 children in the United States will be diagnosed with autism.

Autism is characterized as social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges, and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors. Usually people with autism have a hard time in group settings, but they tend to excel academically. Autism has a spectrum, one can be high or low functioning. They may struggle to pick up social cues or be placed into special education classes.

When diagnosed with autism, one can not be “undiagnosed” meaning they can’t grow out of it. Since there is no medical test to find out if they have autism, the doctors must observe the child’s behavior to find out.

There is no medicine that someone can take for autism, but they can take mood stabilizers to ensure they won’t spiral out of control. Autism is tricky since the person diagnosed can’t “lose it”. Everyone around them must change to accommodate them.

Mental illness is something that affects tons of people around the world. Due to this, it’s important for everyone to have a general knowledge of the mental illnesses and how they can affect people. Education is one of the best ways to bring awareness to large issues across the world.

 

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “The Effects of Mental Illness”

  1. Warner Buell on October 6th, 2017 3:03 pm

    Mental illness is a very serious topic and it is awesome that you all did an article on it .

    [Reply]

  2. Sawyer Watts on October 15th, 2017 2:56 pm

    This article is a great article that gives us many facts. It made me think that us as people need to take this problem more seriously and put more research for medicine.

    [Reply]

  3. Matt McAllister on October 15th, 2017 8:18 pm

    All of these are terrible things that I hope will end someday.

    [Reply]

  4. Matthew Mesecher on October 15th, 2017 10:24 pm

    In this article, some of this information is crazy to think about. Some of these things I didn’t know about until now. One crazy thing to think about is, there isn’t a cure for autism. And is the top growing mental disabilities. I really can’t think about how many lives are affected this disability.

    [Reply]

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The Effects of Mental Illness