Most people believe that mental disorders are atypical and will not happen to them. Unfortunately, mental disorders are frequent and widespread.
What are mental disorders (illnesses)?
A mental illness is a disease that causes minor to severe disturbances in thoughts and/or behaviour, leading to incapacity to cope with regular, day-by-day duties.
There are more than 200 forms of mental disorders. Some of the most well-known disorders include depression, dementia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders.
Symptoms may consist of changes in mood, personality, personal behaviours and habits, and social isolation.
Mental disorders may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events.
Mental disorders are caused by different factors:
- Your genes and family history.
- Your life events, such as stress or a history of abuse.
- Biological factors.
- Use of illegal drugs or having a serious medical condition like cancer.
An appropriate care and treatment will help many individuals to learn to cope and recover from a mental illness or disorder.
When referring to mental disorder, it is particularly essential to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviours.
Despite the different symptoms and types of mental disorders, many families who have a loved one with mental illness, have analogous experiences. The ill person may be denying that he/she is going through a mental disorder, worrying what other people will think, or wondering about the causes that lead to the mental disorder.
The noticeable signs of a mental illness are often behavioural. A person may be extremely quiet or isolated. On the contrary, he or she may burst into tears, be irritated, or have unexplained explosions of anger.
Whenever possible, seek support from friends and family members. If you feel you cannot talk about your situation with friends or family members, go see a specialized doctor. Therapy can be of great help for both the individual with mental illness and the family members. Depending on the severity of your mental disorder, your doctor may suggest some medical treatment.