Mental Health Disorders

Daily Health Solutions
on December 13, 2011

Mental health disorders are fairly common world-wide, though instances of stress-related mental health issues are on the rise in developed countries such as the United States, Canada and many European countries. While, it's estimated that more than 13 percent of adults have received mental health treatment in the United States alone, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states, "Mental disorders are common throughout the United States, affecting tens of millions of people each year, and only a fraction of those affected receive treatment." Mental health disorders can range from impulse issues, such as ADD or ADHD, all the way up to full-blown psychosis. Regardless of the disorder, these issues generally disrupt everyday life and may seriously impact quality of life. However, while most mental health disorders are not curable, nearly all are treatable.

Depression. Depression is the most prevalent mental health issue in developed countries. There are many different types of depression, and it may appear as a symptom in a wide range of more specific mental health disorders. Mild to moderate depression may be treated with outpatient behavioral or drug therapy, but severe or cyclothymic depression may warrant inpatient care. Regardless of the type or severity, untreated depression will interfere with normal daily activity. It even can be life-threatening in severe cases due to suicidal ideation and tendencies.

Anxiety. While anxiety is a fairly broad category for mental health disorders, it's extremely common. This may include phobias, panic disorders and many stress-related conditions. In most cases, lifestyle changes or drug therapy are sufficient to keep the various anxiety disorders in check.

Addictions. While the exact classification of substance abuse addictions are hotly debated, they're widely accepted as mental health disorders. Drug and alcohol addictions are the most prevalent, and also generally the most dangerous types of addictive disorders. However, addictions such as gambling are also dangerous to lifestyle and financial health, which in turn may lead to anxiety, severe depression and suicidal ideation. While addictive disorders are difficult to treat successfully, there are many programs and therapies that have excellent success rates if an addicted person is ready to pursue recovery. Treatment for substance abuse addictions generally occurs later in life than for other mental health disorders, possibly due to the greater social stigma attached to addictions than to other mental health problems, as well as resistance to accept addiction as a problem and receive treatment.