Psychological illness is a term that covers a wide range of mental disorders, conditions that affect the way you think and feel. These can make life difficult and can lead to a number of social and professional problems, including poor health, isolation, and hopelessness.
There are many different types of psychological illness and they all have their own treatment. Each person needs to find the one that works best for them.
A diagnosis is made when a healthcare professional determines that your symptoms meet specific criteria for a mental illness. Your provider may do a physical exam and run lab tests to rule out other medical problems that can cause the symptoms.
Diagnosis is important because it can help you and your doctor work together to create a treatment plan. The treatment may involve medication or talking to a mental health specialist in a therapy session.
It can also be important for people to get a mental illness diagnosis to help them understand why they are feeling the way they are, and to know where to turn when they need more support. This will help you feel more comfortable discussing your condition with other people.
The most common mental illnesses are those that affect how you think, feel and behave. These include:
The symptoms of anxiety disorders vary, but most often they include:
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can be very unpleasant and can impact on your day-to-day life. They can make it hard to think clearly or to concentrate. They can be overwhelming and cause you to worry all the time.
The causes of depression can be a combination of environmental, biological and psychological factors. It can be a reaction to a loss of a job or relationship, a death in the family or other events that affect your mood and outlook.
Anxiety and depression can be treated with therapy or medicines, depending on your individual needs. Some people may need to take medication for a long period of time to get better.
Some people with mental illness are unable to take their medications, or need more intensive treatment in a hospital. These individuals are usually referred to a psychiatric hospital and will receive therapy, group discussions and activities with other patients and mental health professionals.
Psychological Illness and the Social Context
Society has a tendency to stigmatize those who are mentally ill. This can be a major barrier to treatment and recovery. It can also contribute to lowered self-esteem and a greater sense of isolation.
This stigmatization can be especially detrimental to those with low socioeconomic status, disadvantaged ethnic groups and those who are members of certain religious traditions. The stigmatization of mental illnesses can also be caused by stereotypes about the mentally ill on television and in advertising.
Despite this, the majority of people who have a mental illness are capable of recovering. Using treatments and therapies can increase their strength, and help them to live a full and happy life.