Mental disorders are a group of conditions that affect how an individual thinks and feels. They often make it difficult to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Symptoms usually develop gradually and should not be ignored. Early treatment can prevent a serious mental illness from causing problems in later life.
Place of Residence
Mental disorders are disabling illnesses that affect one in four adults in the United States. They range in severity from mild to severe, and are influenced by a combination of genetics, personality and social factors.
Living with a mental disorder can be an uphill battle, but with treatment and support, it can be a rewarding journey to recovery. A growing number of patients are able to return to their communities after hospitalization.
A variety of residential treatment facilities provide a range of options, from apartment-based communities in urban settings to farm-based group homes. Each facility offers its own unique ambiance and is designed to meet the specific needs of psychiatric patients, with different levels of independence and community integration incorporated into their programs.
The right housing option is vital to a successful transition from hospital care to a more independent lifestyle. The process is best pursued simultaneously; making multiple phone calls to mental health facilities, support groups, and public housing authorities may be the most effective way to secure your name on several different waiting lists.
The social environment can play a critical role in the onset of mental disorders. This includes family relationships, employment and housing conditions.
People with severe mental illness often live in precarious housing situations and are vulnerable to substance abuse, isolation, and homelessness. The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model aims to address these issues with flexible, multidisciplinary team services that include housing first activities, employment support, social support, and medication.
A person with mental illness may have a strong need for social interactions and kinship networks, which can help alleviate symptoms. This can also contribute to their overall health.
Researchers need to study the impact of a variety of social environments on mental illness. This will help clinicians develop better case-finding techniques and improve their ability to identify protective factors in the environment that can promote a patient’s recovery. It will also allow them to plan for a more comprehensive approach to psychiatric care, including environmental design.
There are many psychological disorders that can be linked to a specific genetic factor. This means that people with a family member who has the same mental health problem may be more likely to develop it themselves.
One of the most common examples of this is bipolar disorder. It can be linked to an abnormality in a gene that controls mood regulation.
Another example is schizophrenia. The condition can be linked to a polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has invested in a wide range of studies that aim to understand the relationship between genetics and mental disorders. But much remains to be done.
Environment of Treatment
Mental disorders are serious illnesses that cannot be overcome by “will power.” They affect people of all ages, backgrounds, income levels and ethnicities.
Treatment for mental health disorders varies, but generally involves a combination of medication and therapy. Recovery is the process of learning how to cope with a mental illness while regaining a positive sense of self, roles and life outside the mental health system.
Psychotherapy is a form of psychological treatment that is provided by medical personnel and aims to explore thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It can be conducted on an outpatient or inpatient basis.
There are three main approaches to treating mental disorders: the biological/medical, cognitive and sociocultural approaches. Each approach focuses on the uniqueness of each person and has its own set of therapies. These techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). All of these therapies help patients to develop coping skills and change harmful or negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors.