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Overview

The health care and public health sphere has distinguished three domains to mental health:

  • Psychological well-being: involving purpose in life, personal growth, self-acceptance, environmental control, self-direction and positive relationships.
  • Emotional well-being: involving happiness, cheerfulness, peacefulness and perceived life satisfaction.
  • Social well-being: sense of community, self-worth, beliefs in society and usefulness to society.


An individual’s mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes on his or her own abilities, can work productively and fruitfully, and can cope with the normal stresses of life. Mental conditions refers to a wide range of mental health conditions that impacts a person's thinking, feelings, mood, function or abilities on a daily basis. Mental health conditions include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. Though two people may be diagnosed with the same mental condition, each individual will experiences different individualistic episodes.
1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. From 2012-2013 there were roughly 1.6 million people in contact with specialist mental health services. According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental conditions is the leading cause of absence from work with 70 million workdays lost.


Causes

Though not precisely understood, research indicates mental conditions are seemed to be caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.

  • Environment: Exposures to environmental stressors, inflammatory conditions, toxins, alcohol or drugs before birth.
  • Genetics: Certain genes may put you at a predisposition of developing a mental conditions while your environment may trigger it. They are believed to be a hereditary trait that may be passed down through lineages. 
  • Chemical Imbalances:Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring highway communication system that carry signals for communication to other parts of your brain and body. When this neural system involving many neuro chemicals are impaired, the function of nerve receptors and nerve systems are compensated.

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Social withdrawal – Sudden disconnection from oneself or one’s surroundings including loss of interest in others or desire to participate in any activity.
  • Diminished function — Unusual decline in daily function. Whether this is at school, work or social activities.
  • Difficulty thinking — Issues involving concentration, memory or logical thought and speech.
  • Increased sensitivity — Unexplainable heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
  • Illogical thinking — Exaggerated beliefs about personal powers for understanding meanings.
  • Sudden irritability — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling of vulnerability.
  • Deterioration of personal care— Dramatic sleep and appetite changes.
  • Mood swings — Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings and emotions.

 

Treatment

Treatments are specific to each diagnosed condition. Psychiatric medications are not intended to cure, rather they can often significantly improve symptoms. 

  • Mood-stabilizing medications: Mood stabilizers are most commonly indicated for bipolar disorders, involving alternating episodes of mania and depression.
  • Antipsychotic medications: Antipsychotic drugs are indicated to treat psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications may also be prescribed to treat bipolar disorders or taken with antidepressants to treat depression.
  • Antidepressants: Antidepressants are prescribed to treat depression, anxiety and other similar conditions. They are indicated to help improve sadness, hopelessness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and lack of interest in activities. Because antidepressants are not addictive, there are no physiological dependency.
  • Anti-anxiety medications: Anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. They are also indicated for agitation and insomnia. Fast-acting anti-anxiety drugs help with short-term relief, but have potential to cause dependency. Long-term anti-anxiety drugs that are typically antidepressants that also work for anxiety.
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