Mental health is a word that is often bandied about in conversation. Yet, we hear very little about this term. I’m going to lay this out for you so you can begin to understand why this is the case.
Mental health is a very broad term. It encompasses everything from anxiety, depression, stress, and many other issues. The term mental health is often used to refer to any of these things, but it is also often used when it comes to talking about someone’s ability to handle stress. It’s not an exact science. I personally think mental health is a highly individualized term. For example, I have depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and a fear of death.
Now that we know the difference between mental health and mental illness, it’s not exactly a stretch to say that someone with mental illness is mentally ill. One of the most common ways people with mental illness are defined is on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. It is a collection of guidelines for medical professionals to assist in identifying the symptoms of mental illness, and to create a classification system for the different types of mental illnesses.
If you’re under 18 and in school, there is a lot of stigma associated with mental illness. In fact, the DSM-5 was originally created to classify all mental illness, thus leaving out the specific label of mental illness. Mental illnesses are often diagnosed without a physical examination, and are often determined through a medical doctor’s interpretation of the symptoms. There are many different forms of mental illness, and they can be very difficult to diagnose.
Many people don’t realize that mental illnesses are actually very different from physical ones. Although we can be diagnosed with physical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, mental illnesses are treated much more aggressively. In fact they often require a whole different type of treatment than the physical illness. For example, a patient who is diagnosed with schizophrenia may have their medication changed or their treatment method modified to include other medications.
The fact is that mental illnesses are often treated with a whole different set of medications than those used for physical illnesses. For example, schizophrenia is treated with anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, but bipolar disorder can be treated with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication.
Mental illnesses are often treated with a whole different set of medications than those used for physical illnesses. However, these treatments are often not as effective as drugs we take for physical illnesses.
A better approach would be to treat the mental illnesses with drugs, not medications. However, these drugs are often not as effective as the drug we take for the physical illness. Why? We don’t have any of the same chemicals. For example, we don’t experience the same chemicals in a depression as we experience in a physical illness like an asthma attack.
We also have no way to test a drug for effectiveness. We only have a drug called Depakote that we take for a physical illness. It is a prescription drug that has been approved by the FDA for use in treating adults who have a depressive disorder. But when it comes to mental illnesses, we can’t even treat a depression with Depakote, let alone treat it with Depakote that works for a physical illness.
I’ve been to the best and worst of the best and worst of the worst of depression. The worst is when I get a prescription for a drug that I have to take for my depression, I can’t even get a prescription for the drug. And the best is when I get a prescription for a drug that I can’t get, I have to take it for my depression. Then I just have to figure out how to not get it.