Mental Disease

Mental health disorders manifest in any number of ways. It can be an eating issue, substance abuse, or obsessive compulsive disorder among many others.

Good mental health is an exception. Surprisingly only 17% of adults are considered to be completely free of mental health issues.1 The disease affects over 20% of the population. It is generally diagnosed at an early age with 50% of the cases defined by age 14 and 75% defined by age 24.The difficulty in achieving the proper care is the fact that the typical signs - extreme mood swings, feeling sad or down-- are often attributed to typical adolescence behavior.

Mental health is based upon a number of factors from feelings of security to the development of strong, healthy relationships. 3In addition, genetics play a significant role. A recent study indicates that individuals with a family history, have a greater propensity to be affected especially with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Combined with ADHD, depression and autism, the five account for between 17% and 28% of mental disorders.

Dependent upon age, there are a number of warning signs that should alert caregivers there is a problem. In adults the warnings are such things as changes in sleep habits and social outings. In young adults signs include intense anger and avoiding responsibilities. In children aggression and hyperactivity are often warning signs of mental concerns.

Many individuals often refuse treatment due to the stigma associated with such a diagnosis. The lack of action often leads to horrific consequences. In a recent study of fourteen mass shootings from 2011 to 2013, eleven shooters had previous mental health problems. The shooters with mental disease were responsible for 84 deaths, 27 from Sandy Hook Elementary.

The toll of the crisis is felt on a personal and economic level. Depression is the number one mental health issue affecting 26% of U.S. adults and is on target by 2020 to be second after heart disease in disability claims.

Treatment plans are dependent upon the illness. The use of drugs, psychotherapy, interventions and residential treatment centers have been utilized. In cases of depression medications and therapy work well for those with mild cases. If the feelings become more intense medications become more effective. For those who could do potential harm to themselves or others the most intensive treatment of electroconvulsive must be used for impact.