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The Facts About Mental Health

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When persons with mental illnesses are untreated or under-treated, the results can be devastating. Homelessness, unemployment, hospitalizations, difficulty in school, dropping out of school, family conflict, family dissolution, isolation, legal problems, economic problems, fear, self-loathing, drug and alcohol abuse and, in severe cases, violence or suicide are real possibilities.

The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible. Mental illnesses are disorders of the brain that often profoundly disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and the ability to live, work, and participate fully in the community. Mental illness includes such disorders as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Mental illness involves body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way a person feels about him or herself, and the way a person acts. Mental illness is not a sign of personal weakness, lack of character, lack of willpower, or poor upbringing. People with a mental illness cannot simply overcome it and get better on their own.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, gender, economic level. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan. You can find incidents of mental illnesses is most every community, workplace, school, church congregation, and indeed, in most every family. Here are some important facts about mental illness and recovery:

What Can Be Done?

Mental illnesses are treatable and recovery is a real possibility. Early intervention and appropriate treatment and support improve outcomes for persons with mental illnesses. It is critical for a person to receive care and support when he or she needs it. Gaining knowledge about mental illness, symptoms, and treatment options is very important. Transitions professional staff can assist in this process.

In addition to medication treatment, psychosocial treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups, and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends, and meaningful paid or volunteer activities contribute to overall health and wellness, including mental illness recovery.

The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective. Between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports. Transitions is ready to help. Transitions is where action and compassion meet.

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