They are extremely common in the Australian population. A recent survey showed that 1 in every 5 Australians suffered from a mental disorder in a given year, and almost half the population has suffered a mental disorder at some time in their life.
A person who shows any of these signs should seek help from a qualified health professional. Diagnosing Mental Illness 3 Mental Health Professionals To be diagnosed with a mental illness, a person must be evaluated by a qualified professional who has expertise in mental health.
Mental health professionals include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and mental health counselors. Family doctors, internists, and pediatricians are usually qualified to diagnose common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. In many cases, depending on the individual and his or her symptoms, a mental health professional who is not a psychiatrist will refer the patient to a psychiatrist.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor M. Psychiatrists evaluate the person's mental condition in coordination with his or her physical condition and can prescribe medication.
Only psychiatrists and other M. Mental Illnesses are Diagnosed by Symptoms Unlike some disease diagnoses, doctors can't do a blood test or culture some microorganisms to determine whether a person has a mental illness. Maybe scientists will develop discrete physiological tests for mental illnesses in the future; until then, however, mental health professionals will have to diagnose mental illnesses based on the symptoms that a person has.
Basing a diagnosis on symptoms and not on a quantitative medical test, such as a blood chemistry test, a throat swab, X-rays, or urinalysis, is not unusual. Physicians diagnose many diseases, including migraines, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease based on their symptoms alone.
For other diseases, such as asthma or mononucleosis, doctors rely on analyzing symptoms to get a good idea of what the problem is and then use a physiological test to provide additional information or to confirm their diagnosis.
When a mental health professional works with a person who might have a mental illness, he or she will, along with the individual, determine what symptoms the individual has, how long the symptoms have persisted, and how his or her life is being affected. Mental health professionals often gather information through an interview during which they ask the patient about his or her symptoms, the length of time that the symptoms have occurred, and the severity of the symptoms.
In many cases, the professional will also get information about the patient from family members to obtain a more comprehensive picture.
A physician likely will conduct a physical exam and consult the patient's history to rule out other health problems. Mental health professionals evaluate symptoms to make a diagnosis of mental illness.
Mental health professionals refer to the DSM-IV to confirm that the symptoms a patient exhibits match those of a specific mental illness.
Although the DSM-IV provides valuable information that helps mental health professionals diagnose mental illness, these professionals realize that it is important to observe patients over a period of time to understand the individual's mental illness and its effects on his or her life.
Mental Illness and the Brain 4 The term mental illness clearly indicates that there is a problem with the mind. But is it just the mind in an abstract sense, or is there a physical basis to mental illness? As scientists continue to investigate mental illnesses and their causes, they learn more and more about how the biological processes that make the brain work are changed when a person has a mental illness.
The Basics of Brain Function Before thinking about the problems that occur in the brain when someone has a mental illness, it is helpful to think about how the brain functions normally. The brain is an incredibly complex organ.
It makes up only 2 percent of our body weight, but it consumes 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe and 20 percent of the energy we take in. It controls virtually everything we as humans experience, including movement, sensing our environment, regulating our involuntary body processes such as breathing, and controlling our emotions.
Hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions occur every second in the brain; those reactions underlie the thoughts, actions, and behaviors with which we respond to environmental stimuli. In short, the brain dictates the internal processes and behaviors that allow us to survive.
Figure 2 The neuron, or nerve cell, is the functional unit of the nervous system. The neuron has processes called dendrites that receive signals and an axon that transmits signals to another neuron.
How does the brain take in all this information, process it, and cause a response?“People often assume that there is a direct relationship between mental illness and crime: the symptoms of mental illness lead to criminal justice involvement, and connecting people to mental health treatment will prevent future justice system involvement.
Turning basic aspects of human life into so-called disorders for Big Pharma’s profit is bad enough. But our focus on so-called lifestyle drugs is also done at the expense of more serious illnesses. Ignorance drives the global stigma of mental illness. people with serious mental disorders are sometimes locked in a room with hyenas, under the belief that these vicious animals have the.
Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than million people affected. by WHO’s mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). The Programme aims to help countries increase services for people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders, through care provided by health workers who are not specialists in mental .
In the United States, people with severe mental illness die 25 years earlier than the general population on average. [ Time ] In Denmark, the life expectancy gap has been shown to be as high as years with certain disorders.
Mental Illness and Public Health In many parts of the world, mental illness has long been considered a taboo topic, one unworthy of public discussion or acknowledgement. In recent decades, however, health care specialists around the globe have begun to shine the spotlight on mental illness and its wide-ranging impact on overall health.