Mental Illness

In many ways, it is easier to deal with physical than mental illness. In our society, most of us have been taught from a variety of institutions and individuals that mental illness is more of a weakness than a disease. Yet, medical evidence strongly tells us that a disease of the brain should be viewed and treated with the same approach as physical ailments.

And like physical disease is quite often genetic, so is mental illness. If you have 1 parent who is schizophrenic, then your chance of developing schizophrenia is 1 in 4. If both parents are schizophrenic, then your chance is 1 in 2. Similar statistics are true for depression, bipolar illness, colon cancer, heart disease, and a myriad of other illnesses.

It is heartbreaking when a patient has an illness of any type and because of what they have been taught about illness is incorrect, they do not seek medical help or seek help which has no evidence that it does any good.

Two of the most common mental illnesses are depression and bipolar illness(manic-depressive illness). Quite often, the patient has little or no insight that they are experiencing serious mental illness. Those around them may notice a problem, but are unfamiliar with this type of illness, and therefore are unable to direct their family member or friend to seek appropriate help.

Depression is characterized by sadness, hopelessness, lack of interest, change in diet and sleep habits, and in more severe cases, of suicidal thoughts.

Mania is characterized by pressured speech and thoughts, excessive energy and sleeplessness, making poor decisions, and often having little or no insight that anything is wrong.

There are medicines which are very effective in treating both of these conditions. I know of a patient who was advised to see a psychologist for manic-depressive illness. The psychologist said I’ll be happy to see you for counseling, but what you need now is medications to bring this disease under control. I’m sure that his honesty was much appreciated.

At Emergicare, we have sympathetic and knowledgable providers to assess and treat uncomplicated clinical depression. generalized anxiety, and insomnia. Patients with more complicated illness would be referred to a psychiatrist.

If you or someone dear to you may be suffering from mental illness, get professional help. You will make their life and the lives of those around them better.

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