Mental health is significant for a healthy life. It impacts the way you may think, feel, and live. In the USA alone, more than 50 percent of the population suffers at least one kind of mental illness in their lifetime. Due to the Coronavirus, people had to disconnect from their routines and day-to-day activities because of the lockdown. It instilled fear in their hearts, causing agony and misery that resulted in mental health issues. The lockdown increased feelings of loneliness, stress, and depression among people. Cases with drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm also surfaced. Thus, Covid-19 posed many challenges to the healthcare industry. Still, in such testing times, healthcare workers became the backbone of our nation. These healthcare workers had to deal with the mental trauma and damage that resulted from the widespread virus. The contribution of nurses to promote mental health during Coronavirus was also phenomenal. They were able to build a strong relationship with their patients and encourage them to adopt healthy behaviors.
However, even though mental health issues may have intensified during the pandemic, they have always been present. If you are concerned about a loved one’s mental health, it is best to offer them your compassionate support and encourage them to see a specialist. As mentioned earlier, nurses too have specialized in mental healthcare, especially after Covid-19. A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner can assess, diagnose and treat various mental illnesses.
There are many different types of mental illnesses. Any one of them could be affecting you or someone close to you. In this article, we will be discussing the most common ones along with their possible treatments.
1. Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. It is a condition in which the patient experiences extreme emotional highs and lows. Symptoms of this illness are unpredictable and cause distress to the patient as well as relationship problems. The diagnosis of this disease in children is particularly tough. It can be strenuous to identify if the child has mood swings or signs of bipolar disorders.
Nonetheless, the condition is equally disruptive for both adults and children. There is no treatment for bipolar disease. However, with behavioral therapy and medication, you can live a productive and healthy life. Doctors usually prescribe mood stabilizers, such as Lithium, to reduce the occurrence of manic episodes.
2. Eating disorder
Eating disorders emerge from a disturbance in eating behaviors. However, they also impact the thoughts and emotions of a person. This mental illness usually occurs along with other mental diseases such as mood swings or anxiety. It is more common in women aged between 12 to 35. Anorexia Nervosa, a type of eating disorder, has the highest mortality rate among other psychiatric illnesses. Depending on the type of eating disorder, the treatment also varies. In general, nutrition education and psychotherapy are your best bet.
3. Tic disorders
Tic disorders are muscle movements that are rapid and repetitive. They result in body jolts and sounds that are nearly uncontrollable. This condition is more common in children as compared to adults. The child may show signs of tic disorder as early as five years of age. However, it is curable and will improve over time. If tics (either motor or vocal) last more than a year, you may consult a physician.
4. Post-traumatic stress disorder
As the name suggests, the disease occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a disturbing event. This illness is associated with the fight or flight phenomenon. It is natural to experience specific reactions in a dangerous incident. However, you will usually recover from it later. If you continue to experience trauma afterward, then you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms are usually short-term, and the patient may even recover in 6 months. Therapies such as cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy can help you overcome this illness.
5. Obsessive-compulsive disorder
It is a long-lasting disease that urges the person to repeat certain behaviors over and over again. The person may also have recurring thoughts. This behavior and thought patterns associated with it interfere with the life of the patient. It can become challenging for the patient to concentrate on work, school, or even relationships. One of the most common examples of OC disorder is the continuous fear of contamination and germs. The thoughts are not always harmful such as having an urge to keep everything organized and symmetrical. This constant urge to have things in a particular way is not always a warning sign of OCD. However, if you only experience a brief relief from performing these behaviors and rituals, then you may be suffering from OCD. A combination of psychological therapy and medication can help you in such a situation.
6. Major depressive disorder
It is commonly known as depression and can negatively impact the way you feel, think and act. It can also affect the will of a person to live or perform certain tasks. For instance, if you suffer from depression, you may stop taking an interest in your work or personal life, or both. Symptoms include a change in appetite, feeling worthless, suicidal thoughts, etc. It is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. Antidepressants and therapy can help in fighting off the disease.
Even though we often tend to neglect mental wellbeing, it is as vital as physical health. With a sound and healthy mind, you can live your life to the fullest. It is not abnormal to fall ill, be it physically or mentally. Just like physical diseases, mental disorders also have several categories. Most of these diseases are curable, and you can recover from them. You may not be able to eliminate some of them from your life. However, it is still essential that you seek treatment and strive to be your best. The dedicated health care workers are there to assist you and make you feel safe. With the support of your doctors, nurses and family, you can formulate a coping mechanism. It will help you in living a proactive and productive life.