What Is Mental Illness? | Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders | Futures of Palm Beach
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What Is Mental Illness?

The term “mental health” encompasses one’s social, emotional, and psychological well-being. Increasing the ability to function on a day-to-day basis and feel good about oneself and the future is the goal of mental health treatment. When patients experience mental health symptoms like mood swings, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, anger, anxiety, and other issues, it can indicate the existence of a mental illness, which by definition is treatable with psychotherapy and medication. If your loved one is struggling with mental health problems and finding it difficult to function in life, we can help. Contact us today here at Futures at the phone number listed above and speak to someone who can help you learn more about how we can help your loved one heal.

Types of Mental Illness

There are a number of different types of mental health disorders that can negatively impact your loved one’s ability to function. These include:

  • Anxiety disorders. Anxiety can be a symptom of another disorder or it can be a disorder unto itself. Common diagnoses that are included under this umbrella are generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Depression. Moderate or severe depression can limit the patient’s ability to enjoy themselves, even in celebratory circumstances, and make it impossible for them to get out of bed. Suicidal thoughts and tendencies as well as self-harm are concerns.
  • Bipolar disorder. Characterized by extreme mood swings, patients often feel extremely manic, happy, and active then bitterly depressed and agitated. These mood swings can be in cycles that last anywhere from two weeks to a year.
  • Mood disorders. Sometimes induced by long-term substance abuse, other times an issue that begins to manifest during the early adult years, mood disorders include dysthymic disorder and a range of depressive disorders.
  • Personality disorders. Borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder – there are a number of degrees and variations by which a patient may have trouble assimilating into society and developing strong interpersonal relationships.
  • Psychotic disorders. Schizotypal disorders, including schizophrenia, as well as other disorders that are characterized by paranoia, hallucinations, delusions of grandeur, and other symptoms of psychosis often make it impossible for the patient to integrate into society without medication and ongoing treatment.

What Causes Mental Illness?

There is no one cause for mental illness in all patients. Rather, it is often a combination of issues that cause certain disorders or symptoms to develop. According to Medline Plus, these can include:

  • Genetics and family history
  • Life experiences
  • Biological issues
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Prenatal exposure to certain toxins or viruses
  • Drug use and abuse
  • Chronic medical conditions

No matter the cause, a combination of medication and therapy can help the patient to address symptoms and manage them effectively.

What Is Normal?

In the simplest terms, mental illness is defined by behavior patterns and thought patterns that are not deemed medically “normal” or occurring in the majority of people. When is it time to seek treatment? This is different for everyone, but mental health treatment is considered the necessary next step when any emotional, psychological, or mental issue becomes problematic or intrusive and decreases the patient’s ability to function or enjoy a balanced and positive life. Contact us at Futures today to discuss the mental health treatment options that can help your loved one improve their quality of life.