Mental Health Disorders: A Weakness or an Illness?
by Mary Clare
Mental health disorder is a common human experience and most of us know someone, who had experienced or still experiencing these kinds of problems.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a state of a person’s emotional and psychological well-being. It is often associated with the way you think, act, and your ability to handle your emotion. It is also associated with how you handle stress and it plays a great role in making choices in life. Therefore, it is essential in our lives.
Common Mental Health Disorders
In 2015, the number of people that were affected by depression globally was approximately 322 million. This was according to the data provided by the World Health Organization.
Depression is one of the most prevalent disorders worldwide and with that being said it is also one of the leading causes of deaths throughout the world. It involves almost 800,000 cases of people committing suicides every year.
Depression affects your mood and with that, it can undeniably influence the way you live your life. The most noticeable signs of being depressed are having the feeling of emptiness and hopelessness, not enjoying the things you usually love to do, and having the thoughts of suicide or attempting to commit suicide.
Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder is a lifelong mental illness. A person who is diagnosed by this disorder shows extreme changes in their moods.
Sometimes they have elevated energy levels which makes them more active and “high” and it’s called manic episodes. The less extreme manic episodes are termed as hypomania. Occasionally, they feel empty and have lesser energy and it is known as depressive episodes. These episodes may happen a few times a year or none at all.
Most researchers agree that there is no known cause for this disorder. But some factors can be considered such as genetics, how the brain functions and its structure, and family history.
Having an adequate amount of sleep every night might seem impossible to those who are suffering from sleep disorders such as:
- Insomnia (difficulty of falling asleep),
- Sleep apnea (breathing interruptions when sleeping),
- Narcolepsy (uncontrolled sleeping during daytime), and
- Restless leg syndrome or RLS (extreme desire to move the legs).
Sleep disorders are affecting 70 million American citizens. Which makes greater than 40 million Americans suffer from long-term chronic sleep disorders and 20 million are experiencing sleeping problems at infrequent intervals.
Sleeping disorders can cause daytime sleepiness, low level of performance whether at school or at work, irritability, injury, and accidents.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder influences the way you perceive yourself, your purpose in life, the way you behave, and your relationships with other people.
People who have this disorder can change their views about life and about other people almost instantly. They usually have an unstable bond with their relatives and friends. At some point, they can see you as a close family or friend, at times they can be distant.
They can be impulsive. Self-harm and suicidal thoughts can also be experienced. They can express extreme mood swings that can last for a couple of days.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that results in having an abnormally low body weight. People who are suffering from this disorder are afraid to gain body weight. It resorts to intentionally missing meals, taking laxatives and other drugs that can make them vomit what they have eaten, and even exercising too much.
Anorexia has no known cause but other factors that can acknowledge are genetics, cultural or environmental, and psychological.
Schizophrenia is a severe and serious mental health disorder. Those who have this seems like they have detached their selves from reality.
Having delusions, hallucinations, unusual body movements, and unstable way of thinking are the familiar “positive symptoms” of schizophrenia. The “positive symptoms” is associated with psychotic behaviors.
The incapability to not function normally is characterized by “negative symptoms.” This includes not enjoying things in daily life, being expressionless, and not talking too much.
The difficulty in doing tasks that require concentration and being incapable of using the learned information when making decisions belonged to the “cognitive symptoms.”
If untreated schizophrenia can result in having depression, self-harm, and anxiety.
Mental Health Awareness
Several people feel frightened to admit they’re suffering from a certain mental health disorder. They often thought that talking about their mental health status is disturbing, especially this includes talking about the behavior of a certain person or an individual.
It’s a total shame that some victims decided to hide it with a smile, thinking nobody will understand. Sadly, it would end up with attempting or committing suicide. They thought it’s the only way to end that torturous feeling of being miserable. And hopeless.
Most people disregard this kind of issue. But having an awareness can create and produce a greater impact on a certain group of people who are suffering from these disorders.
With a better understanding of mental health and its disorders, you can help those people who are in need of your attention. You can give them the type of care and understanding they need to cope and fight it.
Call of Action
Mental health disorders are real and it does exist. It is something that you should be open to talking about and not to be ashamed of, so people around you, may know what you truly feel.
It is tormenting to keep it as a secret. Knowing that inside you’re a total mess and always shouting in silence for help.
It is always better to seek support from people around you because you are the only one who knows about your situation.
It is normal to try to seek the advice of a physician. They know more about this than you, alone. Some mental health disorders require specific medicines to at least control the situation that a patient is experiencing. It is more important to heed their advice.
Having a mental health disorder is a serious thing. It is not something you can hide because it is not a weakness, it is an illness.