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Popular Mental Health Symptoms and Treatments

The WHO’s definition of health factors in mental health is an essential component of complete health and wellbeing.

According to the World Health Organization, “mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and can make a contribution to his or her community.” The presence of a mental health illness impedes this very definition.

In recent times, discussions on mental health issues have received a lot of attention. Government agencies and the mainstream media have been instrumental in driving these conversations in form of collaborations, mental health promotions, advocacy support, and educative programs, all in a bid to push out the word.  

The purpose of this blog is to contribute to the pool of knowledge currently circulating both offline and online regarding mental health by highlighting some common mental health illnesses, symptoms, treatments, and other need-to-knows.

Depression

The first mental health condition on our list is depression. 

Depression is a deadly mental illness. Deadly because it can damage things in the life of the depressed. It can drain interest, reduce productivity, and completely make living tiresome. There have been stories of suicide attempts and even success because of depression. Depression is regarded as a mood disorder. It is associated with feelings of gloominess, anger, and loss. 

Despite the definition surrounding this condition, it’s important to understand that there is a clear distinction between momentary sadness and depression, they are not the same. However, once sad emotions are prolonged over longer periods of time, depression may be suspected.

Depression is often caused by factors such as:

  • Family history 
  • Poor health conditions 
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Symptoms of Depression

Signs and symptoms of depression are sometimes gender and age-specific, but some common ones are:

  • Anger
  • Irritable feelings
  • Prolonged sadness
  • Loss of interest
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to focus
  • Tiredness 
  • Withdrawal from social activities 
  • Frequent fatigue, pains, and headache.

Common Treatments for Depression

Depression has many treatments and some include: 

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Psychotherapy sessions
  • Physical exercise
  • Personal care

Eating Disorders

Up next, we have Eating disorders.

Have you heard stories of people who stop eating because of irrational feelings of going out of shape? On the other hand, some binge-eat everything. It’s not their fault, they are most likely suffering from one of the two most common eating disorders. Needless to say, eating disorders are mostly diagnosed among young females.

The former is called Anorexia Nervosa and the latter, Bulimia Nervosa.

Anorexia is based on being withdrawal from eating and is often accompanied by a fear of getting fat. On the other hand, bulimia has to do with a compulsion to eating excessively. This condition is often uncontrollable. 

Anorexia Nervosa can be caused by some of the following: 

  • Misleading narratives of an ideal body shape and fitness
  • Peer pressure
  • Negative body image
  • Major life changes like adolescence, pregnancy, and the onset of adulthood

Causes of Bulimia Nervosa

Often, bulimia nervosa is the result of some of the following: 

  • Low self-esteem
  • Hereditary conditions 
  • Childhood trauma 

Symptoms of Anorexia and Bulimia

  • Excessive weight loss and weight gain
  • Withdrawal from eating
  • Secret eating
  • Excessive dieting

Treatment

Like many other conditions, both of these conditions can be facilitated with some of the following treatments: 

  • Psychotherapy sessions with a qualified counselor or psychologist
  • Support from family and friends

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

As the name implies, PTSD is an after-effect of a tragic event in the life of a person. These after-effects often resulted in a buried feeling of guilt, fear, or other unhealthy disturbance. People who experience PTSD have typically witnessed disturbing events like the loss of a loved one, rape, domestic violence, war, or related events.  PTSD cuts across ages and gender. 

Symptoms of PTSD:

Common symptoms associated with PTSD include: 

    • Panic attacks
    • Nightmares
    • Irritability and lack of concentration
    • Depression, anxiety, substance abuse.

 

Treatments of PTSD:

Luckily, PTSD can be taken to help mitigate the impacts of PTSD. Some of these statements include: 

  • Psychotherapy sessions with a counselor
  • Medications
  • Mentorship and support

Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD)

OCD is a combined effect of an obsession and a compulsion. People with OCD are typically excessively concerned about a certain thing, object, or activity, and they do all they can to attend to this obsession, or else, their concentration is diverted.

OCD can be caused by factors such as learned behaviors, family history, and sometimes belief systems.

Symptoms of Obsessive-compulsive disorder

A way to determine if you or someone you’re close to has OCD is to see if they exhibit popular symptom, which may include: 

  • Excessive cleanliness
  • Repetition of certain routines like reading, walking, or picking up something
  • Rigid rules and patterns in the positioning of objects
  • Excessive carefulness

Treatments of Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Treatments of OCD may come in the form of:

  • Psychological treatments
  • Medications
  • Support group discussions

Recap

These few mental illnesses are among the most common ones out there. We hope this has been educative and enlightening. Remember that mental health is a fundamental part of your well-being. So, you must pay close attention to your wellbeing. 

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