AWARENESS OF MENTAL HEALTH
What do we know, and what do we accept as true?
Awareness and the need to seek treatments for physical ailments like diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, asthma, etc. is very high among the population. Unfortunately, the same is not true for the consciousness of health issues and diseases (like anxiety, depression and other mood or stress-related disorders, psychosis, and alcohol abuse). These illnesses are not just unreported health issues but they are also often accompanied by stigmas and myths.
1 out of 4 people in the world will suffer from neurological or mental illnesses at the time of their lives. More than 450 million people suffer from these disorders and mental illnesses are an important cause of health problems and disability across the globe. In India 10 to 14 percent of the population are suffering from mental health issues and more than 50 million suffer from anxiety and depression issues.
Stigmas and the myths
Health surveys have shown that between 50 and 60% of the population do not have a sufficient understanding of mental health and are prone to having negative, fixed opinions about people who are diagnosed with mental health issues. Many people are hesitant to mix with them in the community and work alongside them. The majority of people do not believe that mental health problems are actual illnesses like physical ones and view them as mere behavior or attitudinal issues that affect “difficult” people.
Most often, mental health issues and disorders are often grouped into a single, distinct entity within the mind of an individual, but numerous types of mental illness are which are treated differently and in particular. Awareness and knowledge of mental illness can aid in preventing them and early diagnosis and treatment which will greatly increase the efficiency of individuals, their performance as well as the happiness of families.
It is important to recognize that many suffer from periods of depression or suffer from mental health including depression, anxiety, and anxiety. However, they do not be suffering from an actual mental health issue however, they might need medical attention or seek treatment. Mental health conditions are those that satisfy the conditions of symptoms and changes in the way people behave and their emotions which have been observed over an extended period and have a significant impact on the personal, social, and professional functioning.
Types OF MENTAL health disorders
There are a variety of kinds of disorders related to mental health that generally fall into the following categories The following categories are the most common
PSYCHOSIS SCHIZOPHRENIA and OTHER PSYCHOTIC DISEASES
These are conditions in which awareness and perception of reality are impaired. It is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disordered behavior and speech.
Mental Health Disorders of STRESS, MOOD, AND ABHORRENCE
In these conditions, awareness and awareness of what is real are preserved. This includes:
Disorders of mood mostly consist of bipolar disorder and depression.
Trauma-related and stress-related disorders are post-traumatic-stress disorder ( PTSD) and acute stress disorder as well as adjustment disorders.
Anxiety-related disorders comprise generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as well as specific and social phobias along with anxiety. Other mental health disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD) eating disorders ( anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, etc.), and other symptom-related disorders that are somatic, though classified separately as well, are also classified as anxiety-related disorders since their cause is related to anxiety.
They are in the categories of psychosis or mental disorders such as anxiety, stress, and mood (earlier known as a neurosis).
These are classified into three groups. Understanding the temperament, personality type, and traits helps to identify mental health issues and tailor the treatment plan.
This is a special class that deals with the disorders of sleep, dreams, and the subconscious mind.
Substance abuse (uncontrollable consumption of alcohol-related substances: tobacco, alcohol, and various narcotics or recreational substances) is a recognized kind of mental illness that are more prevalent in males and women, with a shocking 25% prevalence in the population. Substance abuse can also be associated with mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis disorders. It is essential to identify and manage the effects of substance abuse when diagnosing and treating any mental health condition.
SIGNS AND MANIFESTATIONS
Mental illness can manifest in many ways such as violence, aggression, and recklessness. They can also manifest in inappropriate behavior, changes in eating habits and sleep patterns Depression, anxiety, moodiness, a decrease in focus and work efficiency Social withdrawal, and issues with relationships.
Like a person who has several physical conditions together, like diabetes or high BP as well as high cholesterol levels, it is also possible to be the case with mental illnesses. This means that occasionally anxiety and depression may coexist or the patient might exhibit depression and manic states simultaneously when suffering from bipolar disorder. A few people may develop addiction issues due to depression, suffer from a mood disorder that includes psychological signs ( schizoaffective disorder), or develop obsessive-compulsive because of an anxiety disorder. The COVID pandemic also negatively affected mental health as a result of the suffering caused by the illness itself ( post-COVID stress disorder like PTSD) and also its loss of social-cultural or economic outcomes of daily life.
WHAT CAN CAUSE MENTAL HEALTH Disorders?
Many factors are involved in the development of mental health conditions. Typically the combination and interplay of these causes can lead to mental health problems:
Genetic causes: Genetic predisposition as well as family history
Function, development, and interaction between certain areas within the brain: The amygdala, the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (parts of the limbic brain, which regulate and processes emotions, and influences the behavior) and the hippocampus (which controls memories and learning), and the frontal and prefrontal cortex (controls thoughts thinking, cognition, planning motivation and behaviors).
neurotransmitters (neurochemicals also known as neurohormones): These are chemicals that have both excitatory and relaxing effects, and also control mood in addition to enjoyment and motivation. They include noradrenaline and serotonin (decreased when depression is present), GABA (decreased in anxiety) and glutamate (increased in anxiety), and dopamine (increased in schizophrenia). Treatments for different mental health conditions work in a manner that alters the number of neurochemicals.
Hormones: Cortisol levels have been linked to anxiety and stress conditions. Other hormones that influence moods include estrogen and thyroid hormones in women.
Predisposition to temperament and personality: Certain personality types, like introversion and neuroticism, are associated with a higher likelihood of having mental health problems. The temperament of a person who was developed in the early years can affect perceptions of interpretations, perspectives, and how they react to situations such as people, events, and people.
Social and environmental factors: Unpleasant and negative experiences and exposure to stressors and traumatizing events have a significant impact. A lot of mental health problems can be traced back to these root causes, specifically during childhood. The cultural and social practices that prevail within a specific region could be a factor. The level of protection and support from family members and the importance of people in your life, as well as one’s learning, education, and positive reinforcement could determine the ability to adapt and cope during adversity and stress.
Lifestyle aspects: Stress reduction in daily life along with the existence of assistance systems play an important role, especially for women. Another important aspect is the quality and quantity of sleep as well as the effect of the circadian rhythm. The connection between the brain and gut is believed to play a part in the person’s diet particularly if it is high in processed foods such as caffeine, sugar and trans/saturated fats could affect their mental health in contrast to having positive effects from healthy foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits pulses, curd, and other. Regular physical activities and exercising, breathing and mindfulness methods, relaxing and engaging activities, family bonding, and social interactions can all be beneficial factors to improve mental health.
Substance misuse: There exists an unending cycle of mental health issues and the use of substances (alcohol or narcotics as well as the recreational drug, sedatives, or stimulant drugs) because each is both the cause and result of the others. The use of substances is recognized as a distinct type of mental health condition.
Health and physical: This is an influencer, since frequently, chronic physical health issues can cause mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and many chronic illnesses are associated with and exacerbated by mental health issues. An examination by a doctor and a diagnosis of any underlying or concomitant physical issues are therefore equally crucial.
HOLISTIC Health Solutions
It is crucial to seek an appointment with a doctor when you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness. The physician who is treating you or a psychologist will conduct a thorough medical history, perform a general medical exam, and recommend the use of neuro-imaging tests and blood tests when required.
In the management of mental health disorders, Understanding, support, and cooperation among family members and household members are crucial for achieving the long-term success of treatment. Treatment methods are a mixture of the following:
- Therapy for lifestyle
- Therapy and Psychotherapy
- support groups, helplines, and organizations
- Supplements and medicines. Supplements
- Medical Interventions and Hospital Care
The focus is on five important aspects.
The gut and its function the gut are a direct connection to mental health as well as the function of neurotransmitters (gut-brain connection). The diet must be healthy as well as eaten with a leisurely rhythm and with regularity.
The following aspects should be taken into consideration:
- Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, as well as yogurt (curd) eggs, pulses, fish or chicken, and whole grain
- Reduce foods that are high in sugar and trans-fats, processed flours, deep-fried packaged food items, and red meats
- It is recommended to limit alcohol consumption to no more than once or twice per week. one or two glasses
- Caffeine-rich stimulants should be limited to 1 to 2 cups per day.
- Drinking water should be about eight to ten glasses. 1.5 L a day.
- Other fluids, such as coconut water, buttermilk, or green tea (chamomile tea before bedtime) are also beneficial.
Physical activity and exercise
Regular exercise or living physically active lives can trigger the release of endorphins (chemicals that ease anxiety and pain) can improve mood and sleep, and reduce anxiety.
A routine form of physical exercise is recommended such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming, yoga, aerobics, or dance forms. The exercise should last for at least 30 to 45 minutes per day, five days per week. Engaging in a sport may also be extremely beneficial. But, any physical activity or exercise should be in harmony with one’s body, age, and fitness level and should not be overly strenuous or demanding on the body. If you’re considering taking on an exercise routine or sport, it’s recommended to begin under the supervision of a coach or coach.
Furthermore, stretching and breathing exercises or techniques that are performed daily for 5-10 minutes could also be beneficial. They can reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your lung capacity and endurance. breathing techniques can also aid at the beginning of a panic attack.
Sleep must be sufficient in terms of quantity (6-8 hours each night) and of good quality (without frequent awakenings and disruption) and that it follows an established pattern (regularizing the time of awakening and sleeping). Sound sleep can be a big help in improving physical and mental well-being, as well as reducing anxiety, stress, and mood swings.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
managing stress is the cornerstone of both physical and mental well-being. It is crucial to make sure you have some time each day, without gadgets such as smartphones or laptops, and spend it with friends, family, or loved ones and engage in activities that are enjoyable and relaxing. Examples include playing a sport or a pastime like painting, music dancing, gardening, and reading. Regularly taking a break and being in nature can be physically and emotionally revitalizing.
Mindfulness is the ability of a person to be completely present and in the present moment. It’s about focusing on where one is and what one is doing at this moment, and not focusing on what’s happening or what is going to occur. Making time for mindfulness for a specific time each day is beneficial. Meditation can be done in a variety of ways, such as focusing on breathing or imagery, as well as positive emotions, or through body scanning and relaxation techniques.
Being mindful of well-being, hygiene and comfort can help people feel confident about themselves and improve confidence in themselves and moods. A regular bath, brushing your hair and rinsing the mouth following meals and dressing in comfortable clothes, styling your hair tidy and applying moisturizers on the skin, applying appealing scents and oils such as lavender (aromatherapy) and others. will boost your mood.
The physical ailments are often associated with an underlying mental illness that, if not treated, provides the patient insufficient relief from his physical ailments. It’s common to see chronic digestive issues and pains. However, the untreated presence of a persistent physical condition can trigger mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
CONSULTATION AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
Different methods of psychotherapy have changed over time. A lot of them can be effective on their own as well as enhance the effectiveness of medicines. These therapies and techniques need time and patience as well as commitment and cooperation between the individual and family. It can be an uphill, challenging, and long road, which is why there are some failures and even drop-outs. The treatment is usually provided by psychologists who are experienced and trained and occasionally psychiatrists.
Talk therapies and counseling that take the form of regular sessions for a set amount of time are among the most popular and fundamental psychotherapies. These are typically short-term therapy that lasts from a few weeks to months, aimed at understanding and addressing particular issues or current issues that affect the individual, as well as providing ideas and guidance on how to manage the issues. It is a process of listening, conversation, and discussions, followed by advice.
Psychotherapy is usually the longer-term treatment that focuses on understanding the patient’s ongoing emotional and physical problems in terms of their thought processes and reactions, and how they are affected by previous circumstances. It’s comprised of behavioral and cognitive therapies (CBT). While cognitive therapy concentrates on the change of thought processes as well as belief systems (cognitive restructuring) and behavioral therapy focuses on changing behaviors and reactions to external surroundings. The maintenance of workbooks in which you write down and record reactions, triggers, and symptoms as well as learning through playing games are among these treatments. CPT is a form of cognitive processing therapy. (CPT) is a kind of CBT that helps to reduce symptoms of PTSD through learning to alter negative beliefs and develop an entirely new understanding of the trauma. BAT stands for Behavioral activation Therapy. (BAT) refers to the use of goal-directed environmental engagement that promotes positive reinforcement.
Therapy for families aids in understanding, coping skills, and assistance, and may aid in a better reaction to treatment as well in reducing the risk of relapses. They are particularly beneficial for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders. IPT (IPT) helps one to identify and alter the negative interactions. Therapy group sessions can also be facilitated by psychologists to help people suffering from similar mental health issues.
Treatments for exposure employ the method to expose the person to the stimuli in a controlled manner. This can help with fears. Long-term exposure techniques are employed to treat PTSD often in conjunction with participant modeling in which the therapist simulates the interactions with the fearful stimulus to boost confidence and reduce the fear that the sufferer has. Imagined exposure methods, as well as exposure through VR, can also be helpful methods. interoceptive experience is a method of exposure to internal feelings which are felt during anxiety or panic. The process of exposure and reaction prevention (ERP)combines exposure to the obsessive stimuli without allowing the patient to react with obsessive reactions or actions that are a source of help for OCD. A planned treatment for controlling panic (PCT) is done by alternating stages of counseling awareness, education, and counseling using mindfulness and breathing that is followed by logical examination on the part of the client their automatic thoughts, then the following exposure. Very rarely, the flooding techniques through fully exposing the stimulus may be used but must be handled with extreme caution.
In occupations such as police, military, combat in the field of combat, police, military., psychological debriefing group sessions (also known as critical incident stress debriefing CISD) are conducted following exposure to traumatizing events. In the course of training for these fields, exposure to possible trauma events is offered ( stress inoculation) to reduce the risk of having an extreme mental trauma or the formation of PTSD later on.
Emotional regulation therapy (ERT) integrates components of cognition and behavior, acceptance of rational discussions, mindfulness, and other experiences to help manage emotions. It assists in identifying, describing the emotions and distinguishing them, improving the ability to accept and adapt reducing emotional avoidance and using emotions to make better choices, motivating in managing and regulating relationships. It can be beneficial in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) combines CBT-ERT with mindfulness and positive interpersonal skills as well as distress tolerance. It is beneficial for depression as well as complex PTSD and personality disorders. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages embracing the thoughts, emotions, and feelings without having to feel guilty or resentful about them. It is then about positively confronting problems instead of avoiding them. It’s often combined with mindfulness and aids those suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD, and substance addiction. The Emotional Freedom Technique is a different type of medical therapy that uses acupressure and counseling to alleviate physical pain and emotional stress to regulate energy systems.
There are also ‘mind coach’ centers and organizations of psychologists/psychiatrists who have developed their treatment techniques and psychotherapy.
SUPPORT GROUPS and HELPLINES ORGANIZATIONS
There are many support groups for those suffering from depression, PTSD, and substance abuse. They can be particularly useful in sharing stories, motivating and collective commitment, and also gaining understanding and insight. Helplines are available to help with this and can be particularly helpful in suicide prevention.
Many social and non-profit groups and NGOs also have rehabilitation centers and residential treatment facilities that are not hospitalized for various mental health conditions and substance abuse.
It is essential to research and join with these opportunities to help in your area.
MEDICINES and SUPPLEMENTS
There are many kinds of drugs that have proven efficacy and have been utilized to treat mental health issues.
They are the most frequently prescribed medicines for mental health issues. They regulate the levels of neurotransmitters noradrenaline or serotonin that are involved in depression as well as other mental health conditions such as anxiety-related disorders and PTSD. There are a variety of antidepressants available:
Selective serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs – paroxetine, fluoxetine, sertraline, escitalopram).
Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake inhibitors(SNRIs (e.g. duloxetine, venlafaxine, and desvenlafaxine).
Atypical antidepressants (trazadone, mirtazapine, vortioxetine, vilazodone, bupropion).
SSRIs and SNRIs function by preventing the reuptake of serotonin as well as noradrenaline thus intensifying their effects. They may have side effects like dry mouth, weight gain, sleep disturbance, headache, nausea, indigestion or diarrhea/constipation, tremors/nervousness, abnormal thoughts, and decreased sexual drive or performance. It can take at least four weeks to notice the results of these drugs in the improvement of mood and emotional stability. It is also possible to experience an occurrence of relapse or withdrawal symptoms after the discontinuation. Thus, proper medical surveillance is essential.
Atypical antidepressants may inhibit serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake plus have other actions like modulating serotonin receptors. Bupropion is among the few antidepressants which aren’t frequently associated with sexually-related adverse effects, insomnia, and weight loss yet is a potential risk for seizures. It reduces dopamine and noradrenaline reuptake. It can be used in conjunction with SSRIs.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs such as amitriptyline nortriptyline, Clomipramine, and doxepin) are antidepressants that are used in a selective manner and in instances that are ineffective for SSRIs or SNRIs. They are characterized by similar but often more severe adverse effects when compared to SSRI/SNRI and also the possibility of heart rhythm irregularities seizures, glaucoma/blurred or irritable vision as well as hypertension (high BP), and urinary retention.
Monoamine oxide inhibitors (MAOIs selegiline and the phenelzine) are antidepressants that have been around for a long time that are not often prescribed because of the side effects that are similar to TCAs, but also due to their significant interactions with numerous foods and medications.
They treat bipolar disorder as well as decrease emotional instability, agitation, and impulsiveness in depression stress, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. This class comprises lithium and a few anti-epilepsy medications ( Divalproex, lamotrigine carbamazepine, Divalproex)
Some side effects include dizziness, nausea, tremors, slurring, increased thirst and urination, palpitations, weight/appetite changes, sleep disturbance, indigestion/diarrhea, and headache. The use of these drugs is only under medical supervision.
Drugs to treat anxiety
the benzodiazepines ( alprazolam, diazepam clonazepam, lorazepam) are among the most frequently used antianxiety medications which also aid in falling asleep with their mind-calming and muscle relaxant effects. They can increase the effects of the neurotransmitters GABA. They are utilized to treat various anxiety conditions and fears. They also work quickly and are effective in times of panic. Drowsiness during the day, confusion dizziness, headache, and confusion are a few of the adverse symptoms. Since they can cause dependence and require increased doses over the duration, they’re frequently used to treat short-term issues, until other medications are effective, and then taken off slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Gabapentenoid medications such as pregabalin affect the nervous system by reducing excitability, preventing calcium channels, and decreasing the release of neurotransmitters. Therefore, they can be used to treat anxiety.
Buspirone can be described as an antianxiety medication that is effective for 3-4 weeks. However, it isn’t creating a habit and is also effective in managing the psychological symptoms associated with anxiety.
D-cycloserine is a medicine that is sometimes prescribed for anxiety, particularly phobias in conjunction with treatments for exposure.
Supportive drugs such as those that reduce the sensation of tremor and palpitation (beta-blockers or propranolol) are often specifically prescribed for anxiety related to performance and social anxiety.
They act in a way to block dopamine D2 receptors. They are utilized to treat psychosis, schizophrenia, and psychotic symptoms that are associated with the context of anxiety, stress, and mood mental health conditions. The antipsychotics of the first generation (typical or neuroleptics, namely chlorpromazine, thioridazine fluphenazine, and haloperidol)are mainly used in schizophrenia.
Second-generation or antipsychotics that are atypical ( clozapine, Olanzapine, risperidone, and aripiprazole) are used in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression anxiety, or PTSD when psychotic symptoms such as obsessiveness, emotional blunting delusions, disorganized speech, and behavior are observed. Atypical antipsychotic side effects include weight gain, drowsiness, and occasionally the development of diabetes which can be a cause for worry. All antipsychotics may increase negative symptoms such as fatigue and depression. Clozapine may cause a rare adverse consequence of a sudden drop in the white blood cells (agranulocytosis).
There is evidence that suggests certain supplements can be beneficial in the form of an add-on or adjunct therapy to improve mental wellbeing. They are vitamins D and vitamin C B group vitamins such as B12 and folic acid as well as minerals such zinc, iron as well as magnesium. But more research and evidence-based conclusions are required.
Omega 3 amino acid and fatty acid supplements can also be recommended for mental and general health. Melatonin is useful as a supplement for improving sleep and regulating circadian rhythm.
The gut-brain axis (GBA) is composed of bidirectional communication between the central and the gut nerve system, connecting the cognitive and emotional areas of the brain, as well as the function of the gut and signals from the bacteria (gut microbiota). Probiotic supplements can aid in improving gut microbiota and stabilize the gut-brain axis, and the interplay between neurotransmitters.
Some interventions are employed to treat mental health issues, particularly in cases of severe or non-responsiveness. Certain of them might require hospitalization or extended periods of observation. However, some of them can be implemented as daycare-based procedures.
Biofeedback is a technique for the mind and body that uses audio or visual feedback to teach an individual to identify and control physical manifestations and signs of anxiety and stress such as increased heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and muscle tension, with digital guidance as well as monitoring.
Hypnotherapy is used to determine and address the root cause of phobias as well as release suppressed memories from PTSD and dissociative disorders.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment that makes use of electromagnetic fields that stimulate the nerves in particular brain regions. It is utilized in cases of chronic and refractory depression.
Therapy with light (by the exposure to artificial lighting) helps treat symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD depression which occurs during the fall and winter seasons).
Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain when the patient is under anesthesia. It is prescribed for patients suffering from a severe depressive disorder or bipolar disorders who have not responded to other treatments.
Institutionalization or hospitalization for prolonged periods in a mental health institution might be necessary for situations that are not able to be treated with the majority of treatment.
Find out, comprehend and accept, then assist those who are in dire desperate need ……
The majority of people suffering from mental illnesses are of average intelligence, and they are equally competent, skilled, and skilled as anyone else. There should not be any worry, doubt, or hesitation about interfacing, mixing, or working with people who are seeking treatment for any mental disease.
With awareness of mental health forms and symptoms of mental disorders, it is possible to assist oneself or a loved one seek out help for diagnoses and treatments. This is a huge help to regain health and functioning and normality in daily life similar to what happens following treatment for a physical illness.