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Do you have a family member or close friend who struggles with a mental illness?
According to the National Alliance on Mental illness, one in five adults suffer from a mental illness. Nearly one in 25 adults suffer from a serious mental illness causing it to noticeably interfere with or limit one or more major life activities. That is 43.8 million adults in the United States who suffer from a mental illness. Out of those individuals 41 percent seek out help and treatment.
Mental health and its illnesses are more important than ever right now.
The website mentalhealth.gov defines mental health as “the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of an individual. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps decide how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”
There has been a stigma on mental health for a long time. They are still conducting studies and research on how some mental illnesses develop. Even within the last 50 years the treatments for mental heath have developed & grown immensely.
It is heartbreaking to see that with so many suffering from mental illness, only 41 percent ever seek out help and receive it. There are reasons why most people do not seek out the help they need. Society still treats mental health like some foreign disease and will judge you based off that illness. It’s a reason why countless people do not seek out treatment for their illness.
Society doesn’t treat mental illness the same as any other illness. Society has been quick to judge and label you as “crazy” or “psycho” for having a mental illness. Sometimes people will look down on you and treat you differently because you have a mental illness.
What people don’t realize is that mental illness is a disease in the brain. Several factors come into play on how you develop a mental illness. Genes and brain chemistry, suffering from trauma or abuse, and any family history of mental health problems; these are all factors that contribute to its development. The illness creates a chemical imbalance inside their brain that is out of their control. It’s a reason why it can be hard to treat since it is in the brain and can be hard to properly diagnose.
Another factor that plays into why some people don’t seek out treatment is because of the different medications and treatments offered. Majority of Doctor’s are so quick to write a prescription without a full proper psychological evaluation. For example, if a patient is going to the Doctor because they are having symptoms of depression, they might write a script for one of the more common medications. The patient comes back in a month and hasn’t seen any improvements. The Doctor decides to increase the dosage or suggests trying a different medication. It can be a never-ending cycle of trial and error on finding the right medication for you.
While medication may be the most popular and common way to treat mental illness; some other forms of treatments include cognitive therapy, psychoanalysis, and behavioral therapy. Each individual will respond differently to the forms of treatments and some may work better for others.
In the news you’ll see violent crimes committed and more than half of the time the individual who committed the crime suffered from a mental illness, but never got treated for it. By offering more help for those who suffer from a mental illness and offering the support needed, could even help reduce crime rates. It can also help reduce the amount of suicides committed every year.
This will be no quick fix for the ones suffering mental illness in the country. The good news is that there are ways to improve the treatments for mental illness. There are ways to bring mental health to a more positive light to society and to show society that mental health much more than an individual being crazy.