The Most Common Modern-Day Mental Health Disorders

Published: 26th March 2010
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Statistics about mental health problems are now becoming more increasingly alarming. The key factors in the apparent rise in mental health cases have not yet been fully determined. In fact, authorities may have released inaccurate figures since people tend to hide mental illness or ignore them. This is also the reason why many mental health problems worsen. Perhaps, the only good news to come out from this is that there are some common mental health disorders and conditions among the statistics. According to the records of a number of Washington-based psychiatric hospitals, there are four particularly common strands of mental health problems that have been recorded.



Depression



Among all the common mental health disorders, depression is stated as being the most common. Approximately 80% of the population has experienced clinical depression at one point in their lives. In the early stages, this problem can be alleviated through counseling. However, the problem lies in the fact that most people tend to see the early stages of depression as just a negative mood swing. Since it is typically difficult for most people to detect depression until it has taken full effect, the condition can often go completely unnoticed. For some people, the physical and mental changes are gradual, which only makes it harder to detect the problem.



Bi-polar Disorder



Bipolar disorder, as compared with depression, is more difficult to detect. The condition causes the person's mood to swing, being manic one moment and depressed in the next. While this usually fits the stereotype of people with this particular strain of mental health illness, the reality is that there are periods where the person exhibits a relatively normal mood. This period of normalcy between the high and low points is often enough for casual observers to discount the possibility of a person having bi-polar disorder. Often, casual observers and the patient himself will only note the frequency of the mood swings and the possibility of a problem much later on. On occasion, a session of psychiatric counseling mandated by company policy can detect the problem. However, not all companies have such a system in place.



Schizophrenia



Approximately two million people are suffering from schizophrenia at any given time, which should be a cause for alarm. The condition is often characterized by the patient hearing "voices" in their head that no one else can hear, a typical trait of insane people. This mental health condition has a number of sub-varieties and can effectively disable a person's ability to interact with others if left unattended or treated. Schizophrenia can also sometimes cause other mental health disorders. While there are medications that have been proven to alleviate the problem, there are still some cases where medication must be complimented by counseling. Roughly 20% of people who develop the condition never fully recover and times of great stress and anxiety can sometimes result in a relapse.



Alzheimer's



Arguably, Alzheimer's Disease is among the most debilitating mental conditions known to man. The increasing frequency of the condition has caused alarm since current medications only help ease the symptoms and not really treat the condition. Usually diagnosed during the latter years of a person, Alzheimer's can take an immense toll on one's life and relationships. As a debilitating condition, it rapidly takes away the patient's self-confidence and ability to physically function in a normal way. In contrast to other mental health problems, Alzheimer's is relatively easy to detect if the person is properly informed. However, as previously mentioned, the disease is difficult to treat with any level of certainty. Counseling is known to have minimal effects even the mildest of cases. There is still no psychoactive medication that has shown appreciable effects other than "delaying the inevitable."



As these mental health conditions eclipse the human mind, it has become more clear that more work needs to be done in terms of research and drug development.



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