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Psychological and Mental Disorders
Striving for Mental Health
“At least you’ve got your health.” Most people mean physical health when they make that comment, but in truth the greatest treasure is mental health. Yet mental health is a hard-won treasure for many. To understand the array of threats to mental health, it’s good to review the various psychological and mental disorders.
Threats to Mental Health
- Mental Illness with physical causes.
- Psychological disorders – dealing with the damage life has dealt.
The Body’s Effect on the Mind
Our culture tends to see mental illness as a weakness of character, something to be overcome by willpower alone. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case, most especially in regards to mental illness based on physical conditions. These can range from metabolic or chemical imbalances focusing specifically on mental function, to secondary illness caused by systemic illnesses like diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even by common problems like circulatory disease.
Common instances of specific medically caused mental illness include bi-polar disease (known as manic depression), schizophrenia, and ADHD. These have been found to have a reliable physical element. Some are even felt to have a genetic element, establishing both a medical condition and a physical cause for that condition. Medically caused mental illnesses are often best addressed with a combination of first, medical treatment, usually in the form of medication, and second, counseling to help overcome engrained responses developed over a lifetime of coping with an inherent mental illness.
In other instances, the most obvious cause for a mental illness lies in the life-history of a patient. Abuse, insecurity, trauma, even simple confusions that have become entirely integrated into the mental and emotional system of a patient are best dealt with primarily through counseling and behavioral therapy, only supplemented by medical treatment to alleviate stress and anxiety, or depression. When the underlying causes of mental illness aren’t medical, they can best be compared to faulty data fed into a computer, or bad programming. No matter how the glitch in the mental patterns arrived, the only way to deal with the problem is to locate where the errors are, and fix them with better data and better self-programming.
This is usually accomplished through personal therapy, behavioral therapy, and coaching. These methods can help carry a patient through an examination of his or her life, with special attention given to experiences, thoughts, and assumptions that contribute to poor mental health. Once a patient finds the issues of their life with the help of a counselor, new ways of thinking and behaving are worked out and put into practice.
Many mental health conditions respond best to mixed strategies, combining medical elements with counseling elements. Depressions, phobias, neuroses, and obsessive behaviors fall into this category. Having symptoms that respond well to medication, and having in some instances physical contributing factors, these conditions are none-the-less often best dealt with in the long term through behavioral skills and self-programming techniques.
By addressing issues such as anxiety, stress, and chemical depression, the way is cleared to manage underlying psychological issues that may be reinforced by, or which may reinforce those elements of mental illness which can be medically treated.
Finding the Best Treatment and Counselors for Your Health Issues
If our minds are working below par, our ability to run our lives is likely to be below par also. The best way to make sure your mental health is well attended is to find counseling and medical advice suited to your life and your personal issues.
This can easily be done working with reliable referral resources. Whether you rely on public resources, such as the government or religious organizations, or through private channels, including doctors and referral agencies, you can assemble a list of reliable, professional counselors working in a range of disciplines and styles, and choose the one best suited to your life.