I would like to give you a basic and simple version of mental illness 101.
Borderline Personality Disorder: a mental illness that causes intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and severe problems with self-worth.
Depression: a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.
Anxiety: is defined as a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.
Bipolar Disorder: (of psychiatric illness) characterized by both manic and depressive episodes, or manic ones only.
Schizophrenia: a mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as in delusions), perception (as in hallucinations), and behavior—called also dementia.
PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder): a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
So these are just a few, having just barely scratched the surface of known mental illnesses. I have been diagnosed with several of these. As my diagnosis was changed often in my younger years. The diagnosis is an important part of your course of treatment. Diagnoses are not just a few questions, it is a long drawn out process. There are many visits with a doctor and/or therapist to help them understand how you act, think, and behave. This is an important factor in your diagnosis.
If you believe you or someone you may know has a mental illness, please consider talking to your doctor. These mental illnesses are not curable, but they are treatable. No one should live in silence or fearing what may happen next. Doctors can work with you to help find the best course of action. Primary care doctors may even be able to help you with getting started on certain medications(please just ask them). They will be able to give you an idea of what is the best way to go.
Don’t have a doctor? Don’t have health insurance?
Call your local human services department. See what is required for the application process for state funded medical insurance. Can’t hurt try! So that didn’t work? Have you checked around town to see if there are primary care doctors who see patients on a sliding scale fee, they take your income into consideration for both services. Didn’t work either? Have you considered going to your local homeless shelter, not to stay but just to ask questions to see what services they may be able to offer. There are a few resources in place to help, not many but they honestly do try to help you.
Mental illnesses are not a joke. They are a serious medical condition! Medications can help you improve your quality of life. Yes, sometimes it takes a few trials on different medications. Yes, you may feel like it is getting worse before it gets better. .I know some medications can take up to two months to be fully effective. I know from first hand experience how hard it can be to ride out the waiting period of new medications. This is a long time to wait to get back on your feet. It will be worth it! Don’t give up. Stay the course, and you will reap the benefits.
Life with a mental illness is not impossible. It can be trying and very difficult from time to time. If you ever are in need of someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will help in any way I can.