Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental disorders. These include various affective, behavioral, cognitive, and perceptual abnormalities.
Initial psychiatric assessment of a person typically begins with a case history and mental status examination. Psychological tests and physical examinations may be conducted, including on occasion the use of neuro imaging or other techniques.
1.Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems.
2.Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide.
3.Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.
4.Mental disorders increase the risk of getting ill from other diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and vice-versa.
5.Misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental ill health are widespread. Despite the existence of effective treatments for mental disorders, there is a belief that they are untreatable or that people with mental disorders are difficult, not intelligent, or incapable of making decisions. This stigma can lead to abuse, rejection and isolation and exclude people from health care or support.
MYTHS OF MENTAL ILLNESSES
Mental Health Problems Affect Everyone
Myth: Mental health problems don’t affect me.
Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common. In 2014, about:
One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for the loss of more than 41,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.
Myth: Children don’t experience mental health problems.
Fact: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns.
Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.
Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.
Fact: Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.
Myth: People with mental health needs, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
Fact: People with mental health problems are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with mental health problems report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.
Myth: Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough.
Fact: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury, or brain chemistry
Life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
Family history of mental health problems
People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely
Myth: There is no hope for people with mental health problems. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will never recover.
Fact: Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.
Myth: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. Why bother when you can just take a pill?
Fact: Treatment for mental health problems varies depending on the individual and could include medication, therapy, or both. Many individuals work with a during the healing and recovery process.
Myth: I can’t do anything for a person with a mental health problem.
Fact: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:
• Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
• Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn’t true
• Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
• Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as “crazy”
Myth: Prevention doesn’t work. It is impossible to prevent mental illnesses.
Fact: Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors such as exposure to trauma that can affect the chances that children, youth, and young adults will develop mental health problems.