Here’s What No One Tells You About Mental Health Disorders.

person going through mental health problems

Are mental disorders real or just something people use as an excuse? Take only 10 minutes to understand what a mental disorder is! 

What is a mental disorder?

Mental disorders, also called mental illnesses are behavioural and emotional patterns that affect our moods, feelings, and overall well-being. There are many types of mental disorders that we can suffer from. Some of these include: 

  1. Anxiety disorders
  2. Mood disorders
  3. Psychotic disorders
  4. Personality disorders
  5. Eating disorders 
  6. Sleep disorders 

Suffering from a mental disorder is more common than we might think. An ICMR survey shows that 1 out of 7 people in India suffer from some form of a mental illness. Depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, and insomnia are a few illnesses that a lot of people suffer from. 

These illnesses can have a huge negative impact on our daily lives, affecting our work, relationships, and also physical health! 

How do I know if I am suffering from a disorder?

Here are a few symptoms that could be an indication of an underlying mental disorder (Do not use these points as a diagnosis. If you identify with any of them, seek professional help):

  1. Constantly having low morale and feeling sad
  2. Feeling detached from friends and family
  3. Increased tiredness and having trouble sleeping 
  4. Substance abuse and addictive behaviour 
  5. Erratic and unusual mood swings
  6. Loss of appetite due to daily problems and stress
  7. Inability to relate to and understand other people 
  8. Having thoughts about self-harm and suicide 

These are a few symptoms that are common amongst people who are suffering from a form of mental illness. Sometimes symptoms also appear as physical problems such as body pain, headache, stomach problems, and much more. 

How do I improve my mental health?

There is no one proven method to improve one’s mental health or to ensure that we don’t suffer from a mental disorder. However, there are certain techniques and habits we can follow and inculcate in our daily life to ensure that we are better equipped to fight these disorders, increase our resilience, and better manage the negative emotions that come with it. 

  1. The first step toward improving our mental stability is to pay attention to any symptoms that may arise and then seek out a mental health professional. The mental health professional will help us diagnose our condition and develop a step-by-step plan to improve it. 
  1. Making mindfulness and wellness practices a part of our daily routine will help us make sure that we have better control over our thoughts and decisions. Having a clear mind can be a huge asset when it comes to dealing with a mental disorder.
  1. Getting 8 hours of sleep a day, eating healthy, and being physically active play a major role in making sure that our morale is high and are ready to face any challenge that comes our way!

​​Who is at risk of suffering from mental disorders?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to and increase the risk of suffering from mental illnesses. These include :

  • Genes and family history
  • Traumatic childhood experiences
  • Frequent exposure to high-stress situations and environments 
  • Biological factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Brain injuries 
  • A mother’s exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant
  • Excessive use of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Chronic medical conditions 

How are mental disorders diagnosed?

A mental illness professional such as a Clinical Psychologist may diagnose mental disorders by conducting a psychological evaluation, undertaking a few preliminary therapy sessions, and analysing the patient’s medical history.

What are the treatments for mental disorders?

Treatment for mental disorders differs from disorder to disorder, person to person, and often also from therapist to therapist. 

Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists often work together to help treat the mental disorders of their patients. While Clinical Psychologists focus on Psychotherapy and Behavioural Analysis, Psychiatrists focus on medical treatment through medication. 

In some cases, you may need more intensive treatment and may need to go to a psychiatric hospital. This could be because your mental illness is severe or because you are at risk of hurting yourself or someone else.

How mental disorders affect different genders and age groups

Children and Adolescents: Mental health is an important part of overall health for Children. Many adults with mental disorders had actually shown signs and symptoms of mental illnesses at a younger age, however, due to a lack of awareness or reluctance to get professional help, timely treatment could not be provided. Childhood trauma is one of the leading causes of mental disorders in adults, and it is therefore imperative for parents to ensure that adequate importance is being given to the mental health of their children.

Women: Mental disorders can affect women and men differently. Disorders such as depression and anxiety have been found to be more common in women. There are also certain types of disorders that are unique to women. For example, some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression. When it comes to some of the other mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, research has not found any vast differences in the rates at which men and women experience these illnesses. There is also a difference in how men and women experience the same mental illnesses. Certain symptoms may be more common in women than in men, and accordingly, the treatment may also differ. 

Men: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are more likely to die by suicide than women. While mental illnesses affect both men and women, men with mental illnesses are less likely to receive mental health treatment. The reluctance of men to recognise and accept symptoms and seek professional help often results in the negative effects of mental disorders compounding to a level at which intensive treatment may be required.

Older Adults: Older age groups are often heavily impacted by mental disorders. As one grows older, they may experience many traumatic and distressing situations such as grief due to the loss of loved ones, anxiety, and depression due to thoughts of death and the impact of such experiences on the physical and mental illness of older adults can be severe. Research has reported that depression is associated with worse health in people with conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Depression can often complicate the treatment of these conditions, and make it more difficult for appropriate care to be given when needed. In older adults, depression may be disregarded as frailty, or it may be viewed as an inevitable result of life changes, chronic illness, and disability. Recognizing the signs and seeing a mental psychoanalyst is the first step toward getting the right treatment, which can make a real difference in one’s quality of life.

Recognizing the signs that you or someone you love may have a mental issue is an important first step in the treatment cycle. The earlier the treatment begins, the more effective it can be.

Schedule an online session with an RCI Licensed Clinical Psychologist on Venthrapy today. 


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