Disorders.org is a guide to understanding mental health disorders and available treatments. This website also has listings of Counselors, Therapists, Treatment Centers, Support and Therapy Groups and Psychiatrists near you to get the support you or someone close to you may need. After being diagnosed with a mental illness, you may have more questions than answers. No one wants to feel unwell, but a mental illness diagnosis can be especially hard to deal with. You may ask yourself, “Why did this happen to me?” You may also wonder how this diagnosis will change your life and the lives of those close to you. It is important to remember that you are not your diagnosis; it does not define who you are. You are someone who happens to be dealing with a mental disorder.
The most common question asked by people is why me? This is a very normal reaction. Learning that you have a mental disorder can be very hard to swallow at first. When you first experience the signs of a mental health disorder (delusions, depression) it can be quite frightening. Recognizing the signs, seeking help and getting diagnosed with a mental illness can actually be a very overwhelming process. The most important part of the process is seeking help. You may feel a combination of fear, hope, shock, denial, confusion, anger, grief, guilt and even relief. Do not feel a loss of control and/or loss of hope because there are a variety of effective treatment options available for many of these conditions. Seeking help early from a qualified mental health professional can help you and your family effective cope with your condition.
Coping with Mental Illness
Being diagnosed is the most important step in your path of recovery. Most people ask themselves: Is it my fault? and it’s very important to remember that any kind of medical condition has a multifaceted origin, and it is never anyone’s fault.
There are many factors that can contribute to a mental health disorder such as:
- Genetics (family history)
- Hormonal imbalances (puberty, pregnancy, puberty)
- Stressful life events (loss of a loved one, divorce, marriage, a new addition to the family, unemployment, health problems, etc.)
- Substance abuse
Just like any other condition, mental disorders are also best treated if early intervention is practiced. In most cultures around the world, there is a stigma associated with mental health. This should not be the case. The human mind, just like any other organ, is prone to diseases, disorders and pathologies. It is of the utmost importance that you educate yourself and others about mental health disorders.
Steps You Can Take to Help Yourself
The most important step for you to take now is to understand your condition and ask questions from health professionals and groups that you can trust.
You need to ask yourself:
- How will this disorder affect my life?
- What kind of treatment and support is available for me?
- What should I expect from treatment plans and recovery?
- What can help me speed up my recovery journey?
- What kind of role can my loved ones play?
Any disorder that inhibits a person from functioning optimally and interferes with his/her social, professional and personal life may be deemed a mental health disorder. The following symptoms may indicate mental health disorders:
- Inability to express your desires
- Inability to cope due to extreme stress
- Overwhelming sadness and despair
- Irregular sleep patterns (oversleeping or insomnia)
- Loss of appetite or deliberately avoiding food
- Suicidal thoughts
- Substance misuse, abuse and/or addition
- Excessive gambling
- An unnatural preoccupation with food
Treatment, Recovery and Beyond
Recovery is often possible, but it is imperative that you seek help early. It is important to remember that your condition is not a life sentence. Learning to cope with your symptoms is the most important part of your recovery. Treatment for a mental disorder may include: a combination of medications, psychotherapy and/or lifestyle changes. Your treatment plan will be unique—there is no set formula that works for everyone. So it may take some time to find the best combination for you.
Your Experience Is Unique To You Alone
The mental health field is constantly changing and evolving so it is important that each case be individually assessed and examined in relation to the larger context. Seeking treatment early is the most critical step in the recovery process. There have been numerous advancements in the study and treatment of mental disorders. In addition to individualized psychotherapy, group therapy has proven beneficial in helping individuals and their families cope, with the often, confusing and stressful effects of mental illness. Many have reported that group therapy has not only helped them effectively manage their condition, it has also given them the support that they desperately need during this time.
The mission of Disorders.org is to present you with the most up-to-date knowledge available about mental health disorders and their treatment options and help you find therapists and treatment centers near you. Mental health disorders affect millions of people across the world. You are not alone… Find the help you need and live a healthier life.
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