You might have heard the phrase 'mind over matter'. The phrase means that the mind controls the body and that the mind has influence over any subject or matter that it concerns itself with. But what if the mind is ill?
Just like the body, the mind can become unhealthy. Mental illness happens when the mind is sick, damaged or tired.
An ABC news article cited a recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that found that roughly five percent of Americans suffer from severe mental illness that interferes with their everyday life.
The report stated that 11.4 million adults experienced serious mental illness in the past year with women being diagnosed more often than men. Young adults, individuals ages 18 to 25, were noted as being twice as likely to suffer mental illness as persons over the age of fifty. And eight percent of adolescents endured a major depressive episode in the past year in which they lost interest in daily activities for at least two weeks while displaying a number of the symptoms associated with mental disorders.
The researchers gathered the findings from about 70,000 surveys on mental health. Their report notes that only sixty percent of people with mental illness seek treatment each year.
There are several reasons why someone may not seek treatment for a mental illness. Obstacles may include shame, embarrassment, financial restraints and lack of healthcare coverage. In the past few years, certain government authorities have been behind legislation seeking health reform including mental health services.
In a news release, the head of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Pamela S. Hyde, had positive remarks for the steps currently being taken to address the growing mental health crisis. She stated, "The Obama Administration is working to promote the use of mental health services through health reform. People, families and communities will benefit from increased access to mental health services.”
Hyde stated that mental illness is not set apart from other illnesses. That in fact, mental illness often goes hand in hand with physical illnesses such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. She explained that the treatment of mental illness can reduce the effects of such disorders. She stated, "Mental illnesses can be managed successfully, and people do recover."
Others experts are cautiously optimistic about the current measures that are being taken.
Dessa Bergen-Cico believes that there are many aspects of mental health treatment that need improvement such as: counseling, intervention programs and greater access to preventive mental health care including coverage for evidence-based prevention. She believes that the approach to treating and preventing mental illness must be reviewed and revised. She stated, “Despite legislation calling for coverage of mental health and addictions, not much has changed in insurance coverage for prevention or treatment. Whereas health care providers are readily prepared to practice medicine, [and] by this I mean write appropriate prescriptions for medication to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc., they are not trained as counselors and do not and should not fill that role.”
She further explained that, “What is missing is the approach to mental health problems with a comprehensive ongoing strategy much like what we do for physical injury for which health care providers commonly employ a robust treatment that in addition to surgery would include any or all of the following: physical therapy, medication, preventative education and long term follow-up,”. Bergen-Cico is an assistant professor of public health, food studies and nutrition at Syracuse University in New York.
In these economic times a great deal of people are depressed, stressed, sad and angry. And these feelings are normal when felted for a limited amount of time. If these feelings are experienced for a long duration you or someone you love may be suffering from a mental illness. Mental illness is treatable and manageable.
For more information regarding mental health please contact your mental health physician near you.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.