People all around the world live with mental health disorders, some being treated and others going undiagnosed. In many communities there is a strong stigma against these disorders and that makes it much more difficult for those suffering to seek treatment. When you know the signs, you can see help from a healthcare professional.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people between the ages of 15 and 44, and over 16.1 million American adults live with depression. Common symptoms of depression are loss of interest in things that used to please you, intense sadness or grief, trouble balancing eating or sleeping, thoughts of death or suicide, and irritability. Women are diagnosed more often than men, but in many cases for men depression has taken the form of anger and they more often turn to drugs or alcohol to counteract their symptoms. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you could search for online healthcare tests, or see a doctor in person to get more immediate help.
- Anxiety disorders come in many forms, but General Anxiety Disorder affects 6.8 million adults in the United States, with only 43% of them receiving treatment. Many people who have been diagnosed with depression also suffer from anxiety, and vice-versa. However, they are very different disorders as anxiety often manifests in more physically recognizable symptoms. These include increased heart rate, hyperventilation, sweating, trembling, and problems with gastrointestinal functions. They also include mental symptoms similar to those of depression, such as difficulty sleeping, a feeling of unshakable fear, and feeling irritable or on edge. Anxiety also manifests in panic attacks for many people, which include these symptoms and are extremely exhausting for those who suffer from them.
- PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and can result from many different types of situations. This disorder is commonly known as what some soldiers suffer from after they come back from war. Despite this association, rape and sexual abuse is the most common trigger of PTSD, as 65% of men and 46% of women who are raped will develop this disorder. PTSD can develop for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event of any kind, and the symptoms are very disorienting for those who have it, disrupting their lives while they are awake and while they sleep. Symptoms include vivid nightmares, intrusive memories, flashbacks, trouble concentrating, an inability to remember traumatic events and feelings of detachment from others. If you or a loved one has gone through a traumatic event and experience two or more of these symptoms, you can go to the doctor to get a mental health assessment.
Everyone needs to evaluate their mental health as seriously as they evaluate their physical. It may seem intimidating or embarrassing to go to a professional, but your brain has to be in the best possible condition for you to live your best life. Therapy and medication have helped many people with mental health disorders get their life back on track, and you can too.