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Mental Illness 101


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Title: Mental Illness 101

Mental Illness 101
  • Nationwide 50 million Americans suffer from a
    mental illness in a given year
  • Mental Illness is more common than
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Psychiatric disorders are the number 1 reason for
    hospital admissions nationwide

Overview Continued
  • Mental illness is treatable

  • Biological Causes
  • Biochemical Disturbances
  • Genetics
  • Infections- can cause brain damage
  • Brain defects or injury
  • Prenatal damage
  • Poor nutrition, exposure to toxins

  • Psychological Causes
  • Severe psychological trauma suffered as a child,
    such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse
  • An important early loss, such as the loss of a
  • Neglect
  • Poor ability to relate to others

  • Environmental Factors
  • Death or divorce
  • A dysfunctional family life
  • Living in poverty
  • Feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, anxiety,
    anger or loneliness
  • Changing jobs or schools
  • Social or cultural expectations (For example, a
    society that associates beauty with thinness can
    be a factor in the development of eating
  • Substance abuse by the person or the person's

  • Academic
  • Homesickness
  • Peer relationships
  • Family
  • Identity
  • Work
  • Illness

  • 35 of people with diagnosable disorders seek
  • The single most common barrier to seeking
    treatment is Shame

Types of Mental Illness
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Impulse Control and Addictive Disorders
  • Eating Disorders/Body Image
  • Other ( Adjustment Disorders, Dissocative
    Disorders, Factitious Disorders, Sexual and
    Gender Disorders, Somotoform Disorders, Mental

Anxiety Disorders
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Specific Phobias
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
  • Feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic
  • Nightmares
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension

How Common Are Anxiety Disorders?
  • Anxiety disorders affect about 19 million adult
  • Most anxiety disorders begin in childhood,
    adolescence and early adulthood.
  • They occur slightly more often in women than in
    men, and occur with equal frequency in
    Caucasians, blacks and Hispanics.

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
  • Medication-Medicines used to reduce the symptoms
    of anxiety disorders include anti-depressants and
    anxiety-reducing medications.
  • Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) addresses
    the emotional response to mental illness. It is a
    process in which trained mental health
    professionals help people by talking through
    strategies for understanding and dealing with
    their disorder.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy People suffering
    from anxiety disorders often participate in this
    type of psychotherapy in which the person learns
    to recognize and change thought patterns and
    behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings.

Types of Depression
  • Situational/Adjustment
  • Bereavement
  • Seasonal
  • Clinical Depression
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Bipolar (Manic-Depressive Illness)
  • Dysthymia
  • Post-Partum Depression

  • Variable mood correlated to circumstances
  • ? Minimal change in sleep, appetite, energy
  • ? No change in self-attitude
  • ? Suicidal thought unlikely
  • ? Typically lasts less than one month

  • Seasonal depression, called seasonal affective
    disorder (SAD), is a depression that occurs each
    year at the same time, usually starting in fall
    or winter and ending in spring or early summer.
    It is more than just "the winter blues" or "cabin
  • Symptoms of winter SAD may include the seasonal
    occurrence of
  • Fatigue
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Decreased levels of energy
  • Weight gain
  • Increase in appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased desire to be alone

  • Dysthymia, sometimes referred to as chronic
    depression, is a less severe form of depression
    but the depression symptoms linger for a long
    period of time, perhaps years. Those who suffer
    from dysthymia are usually able to function
    normally, but seem consistently unhappy.
  • Symptoms of dysthymia include
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of interest or the ability to enjoy oneself
  • Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking or making
  • Changes in appetite
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Clinical Depression
  • An illness, not a weakness
  • Serious disturbances in work, social, and
    physical functioning including suicidal thought
  • Not relieved by circumstances
  • May last for months or years untreated
  • Persistent and intense mood change

Clinical DepressionWho and When
  • 1.5 million young adults in US each year
  • ? Fewer than half seek treatment
  • ? 1 of 4 women and 1 of 10 men develop depression
    during their lifetime
  • Often begins in early adult years
  • Family history, substance abuse, and stress
    increase risk

Clinical DepressionSigns and Symptoms
  • Extreme sadness, guilt, shame
  • Decreased concentration, poor academic
    performance or work performance
  • Decreased interest/enjoyment in daily activities
  • Increased irritability, arguments
  • Change in sleep, appetite, energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Hopelessness, helplessness, suicidal thought

Clinical DepressionTreatment
  • Anti-Depressant medications (effective,improved
    safety tolerability, not habit forming)
  • Psychotherapy (individual, group, cognitive
  • Day treatment, hospitalization
  • Exercise, sleep hygiene, light therapy, ECT

Psychotic Depression
  • Roughly 25 of people who are admitted to the
    hospital for depression suffer from what is
    called psychotic depression.
  • What Are the Symptoms of Psychotic Depression?
  • Anxiety (fear and nervousness)
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia (difficulty falling and staying asleep)
  • Physical immobility
  • Intellectual impairment
  • Psychosis

Bipolar Disorder
  • 2 general population over a lifetime
  • Half of cases begin before age 20
  • Episodic extremes between states
  • depressed state and excitable,
  • euphoric/irritable, impulsive state
  • Strong family linkage
  • Occurs equally in men and women

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
  • Symptoms of mania ("the highs")
  • Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
  • Sudden changes from being joyful to being
    irritable, angry, and hostile
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid speech and poor concentration
  • Increased energy and less need for sleep
  • High sex drive
  • Tendency to make grand and unattainable plans
  • Tendency to show poor judgment, such as deciding
    to quit a job
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Increased impulsivity

Bipolar Disorder
  • Some people with bipolar disorder can become
    psychotic, seeing and hearing things that aren't
    there and holding false beliefs from which they
    cannot be swayed.
  • During depressive periods ("the lows) symptoms
  • Sadness
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Loss of enjoyment from things that once were
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Irritability
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Insomnia
  • A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Attempting suicide

Bipolar DisorderTreatment
  • Mood stabilizer medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • May require emergency hospitalization

Facts About Suicide
  • 3rd leading cause of death in 15-24 year olds
  • Men 4 times more than women
  • Highest rate in white men over 65
  • Alcoholism associated with up to half of all
  • Mood disorders account for 60-80 of suicides
  • 50-75 seek help before suicide but 50 have
    never seen a psychiatrist

Risk for Suicide
  • History of attempt
  • MalesFemales
  • Family history of suicide
  • Native American
  • Mood Disorder or Substance Abuse
  • WhiteBlack

Social/Environmental FactorsCan Increase Risk
for Suicide
  • Humiliating life events
  • Loss
  • History of childhood abuse
  • Interpersonal discord
  • Social isolation

What to Do?Listen For
  • Life isnt worth living
  • I feel my family would be better off without me.
  • Suicide is the only way out.
  • Take my (something) I dont need it anymore.
  • Ending the pain is all I care about.
  • Next time, Ill take enough pills to do it right.

How to Help
  • Do
  • Voice concerns
  • Get professional help immediately
  • Tell someone or call the police
  • Dont
  • Assume the situation will take care of itself
  • Leave the person alone
  • Be sworn to secrecy
  • Act shocked
  • Challenge or dare
  • Argue or debate moral issues

Asking About Suicide
  • How depressed do you get?
  • Ever so depressed that you think about hurting
  • yourself or taking your own life?
  • What kinds of ideas do you have about suicide?
  • When do you feel most like hurting yourself?

Suicide Prevention
  • Decrease social isolation
  • Identify victimization, rejection, mental
    illness,and substance abuse
  • Treat depression
  • Reduce hopelessness
  • Skill building around mood regulation
  • Secure or remove firearms
  • Decrease barriers around help seeking

Post Traumatic Stress
  • Can develop after a person has experienced or
    witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in
    which serious physical harm occurred or was
  • PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic
    ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or
    horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the
    unexpected death of a loved one, an accident,
    war, or natural disaster.
  • Families of victims can also develop
    posttraumatic stress disorder, as can emergency
    personnel and rescue workers.

Symptoms of PTSD
  • Symptoms of PTSD most often begin within three
    months of the event.
  • In some cases, however, they do not begin until
    years later.
  • The severity and duration of the illness vary.
    Some people recover within six month, while
    others suffer much longer.
  • Symptoms of PTSD often are grouped into three
    main categories, includingre-living, avoiding,
    and increased arousal

Symptoms of PTSD
  • Re-living may include flashbacks, hallucinations
    and nightmares. They also may feel great distress
    when certain things remind them of the trauma,
    such as the anniversary date of the event.
  • Avoiding may avoid people, places, thoughts or
    situations that may remind him or her of the
    trauma. Have feelings of detachment and isolation
    from family and friends
  • Increased arousal excessive emotions problems
    relating to others, including feeling or showing
    affection difficulty falling or staying asleep
    irritability outbursts of anger difficulty
    concentrating and being "jumpy" or easily
    startled. The person may also suffer physical
    symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and
    heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension,
    nausea and diarrhea.

Who can suffer from PTSD?
  • Victims of trauma related to physical and sexual
    assault face the greatest risk for PTSD.
  • How Common Is PTSD?
  • About 3.6 of adult Americans -- about 5.2
    million people -- suffer from PTSD during the
    course of a year, and an estimated 7.8 million
    Americans will experience PTSD at some point in
    their lives. PTSD can develop at any age,
    including childhood. Women are more likely to
    develop PTSD than are men. This may be due to the
    fact that women are more likely to be victims of
    domestic violence, abuse and rape.

  • Treatment for PTSD may involve psychotherapy (a
    type of counseling), medication or both.
  • Therapy
  • Cognitive-behavior therapy, which involves
    learning to recognize and change thought patterns
    that lead to troublesome emotions, feelings and
  • Psychodynamic therapy focuses on helping the
    person examine personal values and the emotional
    conflicts caused by the traumatic event.
  • Family therapy may be useful because the behavior
    of the person with PTSD can have an affect on
    other family members.
  • Group therapy may be helpful by allowing the
    person to share thoughts, fears and feelings with
    other people who have experienced traumatic

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Common obsessions include
  • Fear of dirt or contamination by germs.
  • Fear of causing harm to another.
  • Fear of making a mistake.
  • Fear of being embarrassed or behaving in a
    socially unacceptable manner.
  • Fear of thinking evil or sinful thoughts.
  • Need for order, symmetry or exactness.
  • Excessive doubt and the need for constant

  • Medication
  • Therapy Various types of psychotherapy,
    including individual, group and family therapy

Personality Disorders
  • Personality disorders People with personality
    disorders have extreme and inflexible personality
    traits that are distressing to the person and/or
    cause problems in work, school or social
  • In addition, the person's patterns of thinking
    and behavior significantly differ from the
    expectations of society and are so rigid that
    they interfere with the person's normal
  • Examples include antisocial personality disorder,
    obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and
    paranoid personality disorder.

Psychotic Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • People with this illness have changes in behavior
    and other symptoms -- such as delusions and
    hallucinations -- that last longer than six
    months, usually with a decline in work, school
    and social functioning.
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • People with this illness have symptoms of
    schizophrenia, as well as a serious mood or
    affective disorder, such as severe depression,
    mania (a disorder marked by periods of excessive
    energy) or bipolar disorder (a disorder with
    cyclical periods of depression and mania).

Psychotic Disorders
  • Schizophreniform disorder
  • People with this illness have symptoms of
    schizophrenia, but the symptoms last less than
    six months.
  • Brief psychotic disorder
  • People with this illness have sudden, short
    periods of psychotic behavior, often in response
    to a very stressful event, such as a death in the
    family. Recovery is often quick -- usually less
    than a month.

Psychotic Disorders
  • Delusional disorder People with this illness
    have delusions involving real-life situations
    that could be true, such as being followed, being
    conspired against or having a disease. These
    delusions persist for at least one month.
  • Shared psychotic disorder This illness occurs
    when a person develops delusions in the context
    of a relationship with another person who already
    has his or her own delusion(s).
  • Substance-induced psychotic disorder This
    condition is caused by the use of or withdrawal
    from some substances, such as alcohol and crack
    cocaine, that may cause hallucinations, delusions
    or confused speech.

Psychotic Disorders
  • Psychotic disorder due to a medical condition
    Hallucinations, delusions or other symptoms may
    be the result of another illness that affects
    brain function, such as a head injury or brain
  • Paraphrenia This is a type of schizophrenia that
    starts late in life and occurs in the elderly

Symptoms of a Psychotic Disorder
  • Hallucinations and delusions.
  • Hallucinations are unusual sensory experiences or
    perceptions of things that aren't actually
    present, such as seeing things that aren't there,
    hearing voices, smelling odors, having a "funny"
    taste in your mouth and feeling sensations on
    your skin even though nothing is touching your
  • Delusions are false beliefs that are persistent
    and organized, and that do not go away after
    receiving logical or accurate information. For
    example, a person who is certain his or her food
    is poisoned, even if it has been proven that the
    food is fine, is suffering from a delusion.

Psychotic Disorders
  • Other possible symptoms of psychotic illnesses
  • Disorganized or incoherent speech
  • Confused thinking
  • Strange, possibly dangerous behavior
  • Slowed or unusual movements
  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Problems at school or work and with relationships
  • Cold, detached manner with the inability to
    express emotion
  • Mood swings or other mood symptoms, such as
    depression or mania

How Common Are Psychotic Disorders?
  • About 1 of the population worldwide suffers from
    psychotic disorders. These disorders most often
    first appear when a person is in his or her late
    teens, 20s or 30s. They tend to affect men and
    women about equally.

  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy Various types of psychotherapy,
    including individual, group and family therapy,
    may be used to help support the person with a
    psychotic disorder.

Eating Disorders
  • Eating disorders involve extreme emotions,
    attitudes and behaviors involving weight and
    food. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge
    eating disorder are the most common eating

Impulse control and addiction disorders
  • People with impulse control disorders are unable
    to resist urges, or impulses, to perform acts
    that could be harmful to themselves or others.
  • Pyromania (starting fires), kleptomania
    (stealing) and compulsive gambling are examples
    of impulse control disorders.
  • Alcohol and drugs are common objects of
    addictions. Often, people with these disorders
    become so involved with the objects of their
    addiction that they begin to ignore
    responsibilities and relationships.

Adjustment Disorder
  • Adjustment disorder occurs when a person develops
    emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to a
    stressful event or situation.
  • The stressors may include natural disasters,
    such as an earthquake or tornado events or
    crises, such as a car accident or the diagnosis
    of a major illness or interpersonal problems,
    such as a divorce, death of a loved one, loss of
    a job or a problem with substance abuse.
  • Adjustment disorder usually begins within three
    months of the event or situation and ends within
    six months after the stressor stops or is

Dissociative disorders
  • People with these disorders suffer severe
    disturbances or changes in memory, consciousness,
    identity, and general awareness of themselves and
    their surroundings.
  • These disorders usually are associated with
    overwhelming stress, which may be the result of
    traumatic events, accidents or disasters that may
    be experienced or witnessed by the individual.
  • Dissociative identity disorder, formerly called
    multiple personality disorder, or "split
    personality", and depersonalization disorder are
    examples of dissociative disorders.

Factitious disorders
  • Conditions in which physical and/or emotional
    symptoms are experienced in order to place the
    individual in the role of a patient or a person
    in need of help.

Sexual and gender disorders
  • Sexual and gender disorders These include
    disorders that affect sexual desire, performance
    and behavior. Sexual dysfunction, gender identity
    disorder and the paraphilias are examples of
    sexual and gender disorders.

Somatoform disorders
  • A person with a somatoform disorder, formerly
    known as psychosomatic disorder, experiences
    physical symptoms of an illness even though a
    doctor can find no medical cause for the

Mental Retardation
  • Condition of limited mental ability
  • Low IQ on traditional test of intelligence
  • Difficulty adapting to everyday life
  • Onset of characteristics by age 18
  • Some causes include
  • Organic retardation
  • Cultural-familial retardation-IQ's 55-70- result
    from growing up in a below average intellectual

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  • A topical approach to Life Span Development, John
    W Santrock