We talked about what mental health is and how many people are affected by mental illness. You probably had some questions while reading my previous post. You are also probably wondering who can be affected by a mental health problem.
If you haven’t read my previous post feel free to take a read “What is Mental Health?”
We’ve all asked ourselves one point in our life “what’s wrong with me?” Maybe due to lack of sleep, lack of food intake, or simply life’s anxieties. Maybe it lasted a day, a week or a month but sometimes it lingers on for months or even years and that’s when we really start to question. So who can be affected by a mental health problem? Well, that answer is clear.
ANYONE. From genetics, traumatic events that happened in our life, stress or even abuse. For some people symptoms show up immediately, for others the disorder takes time to develop and symptoms show up later in life. There’s a variety of mental illnesses that you or someone you know can be affected by, so lets talk about a few.
The most common diagnoses are Anxiety and Depression and the more sever is Anorexia. Depression is the #1 diagnosed mental illness in the U.S, it consist of a constant feeling of sadness and no interest in life activities and sometimes reoccurring suicidal thoughts. Some have it more sever then others. Anxiety has numerous of disorders. You can be diagnosed from Social Anxiety to Panic Disorder. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder) also have symptoms of anxiety. Anorexia is one of the most feared diagnoses due to the lack of food you consume, which could lead to death. If you are diagnosed with Anorexia you are obsessed with the idea of losing weight because you tend to believe you are overweight even if you’re not. People with Anorexia tend to be underweight and are influenced by a certain body weight and image. Other Eating Disorders can do the opposite, like Binge-Eating Disorder. This a newly found disorder and it was first mentioned between the mid 1950s-1980s. This is a disorder where the person eats a large amount of food in such short period of time and they can not control themselves and are likely unaware of how much they eat. People that are diagnosed with Binge-eating disorder are usually overweight. Other common illnesses are Schizophrenia, Bipolar, and Autism ( I always thought Autism was only a developmental disorder but come to find out it’s also considered a mental disorder.) Each child or adult that is diagnosed with autism have their own set of symptoms and can fall severely on the spectrum or can be high functioning where they are able to live independently unlike those who are sever. This is what I learned from my experience working with Special Needs children. Bipolar is also a feared disorder to encounter because of the constant belief that they are happy one minute (literally) then angry, then sad and the next, which isn’t always the case. They have a period of manic episodes or depressive episodes and sometimes they can have a mix of both. These could last days or weeks or can possibly affect them daily. There’s also a wide range of Bipolar disorders.
I only mentioned a small amount of mental illnesses and will discuss more about different ones as the month of May continues. If you want to learn more about different mental disorders or if one of them that was mentioned above piqued your interest I left links down below that go more in-depth about the disorder. Now that we know anyone can be affected by a mental health problem, how can we prevent it? If you or a loved one is diagnosed with one how do we cope with it? and lastly what is the stigma that surrounds mental health?
Eating Disorder: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-eating-disorders
Mental Health Disorders: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/
Bipolar: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml , Depression: https://www.psycom.net/depression.central.html