MENTAL DISEASES: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW TO RECOGNIZE THEM?

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MENTAL DISEASES: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW TO RECOGNIZE THEM?

A mental illness or disorder is an emotional, cognitive and behavioral alteration, in which basic psychological processes such as emotions, motivation, cognition, behavior, perception, among others, are affected. Also, they make people who suffer from them difficult to adapt to the cultural and social environment in which they live.

According to the WHO, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which the individual enjoys complete physical, mental and social well-being, turning the person aware of his own abilities and facing situations in his daily life.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the world suffers from a mental disorder throughout their lives, estimating that approximately 20% of children and teenagers on the planet have serious mental disorders, making neuropsychiatric disorders among the main causes of disability among young people.

According to the WHO and the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the diagnostic groups who lead to the appearance of a Severe Mental Illness are:

  • Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders: These are characterized by thought disturbances and hallucinations, deteriorating the reality of the person and interfering the social function relations to a great extent. These distortions come from the perception of thought and emotions.
  • Bipolar disorder and major affective disorders: They are characterized by severe alteration of the mood phases, in addition to the depressive manic episodes of the person who suffers it.
  • Personality disorders: These are personality alterations that affect the way of living and relating to the environment. This pathology is due to clinical asymptomatic traits that cause the person to suffer and cause important conflicts in the interpersonal and social relationship.

It is not always easy to recognize the behavior and symptoms of a mental illness, since there is no simple test to know if there is a mental illness, or if some behaviors are typical of a person or are symptoms of a disease. However, each condition has warning signs that may include:

  • Too much feelings of sadness.
  • Excessive worries or fears.
  • Confusion.
  • Extreme changes in mood, even episodes of uncontrollable well-being or euphoria.
  • Extended or strong feelings of anger.
  • Lack of interest in friends and social activities.
  • Difficulties in relating to others.
  • Changes in sleep habits or feeling tired.
  • Changes in Eating Habits.
  • Difficulty in perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations).
  • Substance abuse like alcohol or drugs.
  • Multiple physical ailments without apparent cause.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Impossibility to carry out daily activities.

Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you or someone you know needs it. Get informed and learn about mental health and contact your trusted doctor.

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