Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of mental well-being in which an individual realizes his/her capabilities, is capable of coping with the day-to-day stresses of life, is able to work productively and willingly, and is able to contribute to his community.” Mental health may be influenced by genetic, physiological, emotional, neurological, or social factors. A mental disorder is when an individual exhibits symptoms that interfere with his capacity to function normally in his everyday life. Mental disorders are categorized as such based on the symptoms exhibited. The five mental disorders are psychosis, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Psychosis is when an individual suffers from false beliefs and perceptions that are detrimental to his well being. People diagnosed with schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions. In a healthy person, logical, critical thinking is important for decision making; however, for those who are suffering from mental illness, logical thinking is often impaired leading to disastrous decisions. Schizophrenia patients also experience acute attacks of fear, which often lead to irrational behaviors and reactions to stressful situations.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of depression and mania. Symptoms include irritability, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and rapid speech. Someone who is affected by bipolar disorder usually gets very little sleep, goes through cycles of euphoria and depression, and experiences an increased risk of suicide. Someone with bipolar illness should be treated promptly so that it does not get worse and affects his or her ability to function properly. In some cases, primary care providers may miss the signs of bipolar illness and result in a fatal situation. Because of the high risk of dying from bipolar disorder, those with this condition should seek immediate medical attention.
The effects of stress and the difficulties it causes on a person’s emotional, physical, and social well-being can also cause people to experience mental health problems. High levels of stress over time can result in negative emotions and can lead to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and fatigue. Those who experience frequent panic attacks or anxiety attacks as well as difficulty sleeping are also at risk of developing psychological disorders. Those who experience phobias and social anxiety should visit their primary care physician. Those who have depression and experience social phobias should seek treatment.
People who take medicine or who consume alcohol are at risk of developing psychological disorders because these substances interfere with their thinking processes and interfere with their memory. Psychologists advise against the use of stimulants like coffee, soda, and cigarettes because they can worsen the symptoms of a mental illness. Smoking can also increase the likelihood of developing schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Individuals who engage in hazardous behaviors such as substance abuse and criminal activity are at an increased risk of developing mental illnesses.
Those who experience psychotic symptoms should visit their primary care physician so they can receive treatment. Psychotic symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and mixed feelings. People with psychotic symptoms should avoid taking any medications that contain caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol because they can worsen their symptoms. Psychotherapy can also help patients deal with traumatic events that can cause them to experience mental health problems.