October is Health Literacy Month, and at The Mind Spa, we are humbled by the role we play in our community to help embrace the importance of maintaining good mental health and wellness.
1 in 5 adults (or 20%) suffer from mental illness. That means that mental illness is a lot more common or “normal” than people realize. Let’s reduce the stigma by learning about the three most common mental health conditions today:
1. Anxiety Disorder
A mental health disorder characterized by worry, anxiety, or fear that is intense enough to interfere with one’s daily activities
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feelings of dread
- Panic attack episodes
- Body disruptions (sleep, bowel movements, etc.)
When it comes to some of these symptoms, many of us may have experienced them at some point in our lives, whether we were in a high-stress situation or environment. However, for those who suffer from an anxiety disorder or GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), multiple symptoms can linger at once for a prolonged period – without an identifiable trigger.
When looking for treatment, always seek the guidance of a medical professional first. They will be able to do a thorough examination and prescribe a tailored solution. Treatment for anxiety disorder may include medication such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy). Alternative therapies may also include hypnosis and more.
2. Major Depressive Disorder
A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Long term fatigue and changes in energy
- Feelings of emptiness, loss of self-esteem
- Thoughts of suicide or wishing to die
These symptoms may or may not originate from a traumatic event in a person’s life, and sometimes, they may not appear to have any cause at all. Regardless, it is important to reach out to a medical professional if these symptoms are persistent.
When looking for treatment, always seek the guidance of a medical professional first. They will be able to do a thorough examination and prescribe a tailored solution. Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder may include antidepressants and other psychotropic medications. Complementary therapies such as psychotherapy may also be recommended. Emerging treatments also include alternative therapies such as DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) and more.
3. Bipolar Disorder
A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
Common symptoms of bipolar disorder include
- Extreme shifts and swings in mood and behavior
- Increased irritability or short fuse and temperament
- Reckless activities that put the individual (and sometimes others) in harmful situations
- Reduced need for sleep in manic stage and low energy in depressive stages
When it comes to these symptoms, these can originate from environmental and genetic factors. It is important to reach out to a medical professional if these symptoms are persistent.
When looking for treatment, always seek the guidance of a medical professional first. They will be able to do a thorough examination and prescribe a tailored solution. Treatment for bipolar disorder may include mood-stabilizing medications such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants. Complementary treatment options such as psychotherapy are also recommended.