Redirected from Mental health disorders
Mental illness is distinct from the legal concept of insanity.
Mental health, mental hygiene and mental wellness are all terms used to describe the absence of mental illness.
Advocacy organizations have been trying to change the common perception of psychiatric disorders as a sign of personal weakness and something to be ashamed of to an affliction akin to physical diseases (like the measles).
Mental illness is one of the most common causes of disability in the Western World. According to NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) an American advocacy organisation, twenty-three percent of North American adults will suffer from a clinically diagnosable mental illness in a given year, but less than half of them will suffer symptoms severe enough to disrupt their daily functioning. Approximately nine percent to 13 percent of children under the age of 18 experience a serious emotional disturbance with substantial functional impairment, and five percent to nine percent have a serious emotional disturbance with extreme functional impairment due to a mental illness. Many of these young people will recover from their illnesses before reaching adulthood, and go on to lead normal lives uncomplicated by illness.
The treatment success rate for a first episode of schizophrenia is 60 percent, 65 percent to 70 percent for major depression, and 80 percent for bipolar disorder.
The subject is profoundly controversial, e.g. homosexuality has been considered such an "illness" from time to time, and obviously this perception varies with cultural bias and theory of conduct. Some psychiatrists, notably Doctor Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Syracuse, are profoundly opposed to the practice of labelling "mental illness" as such. "There is no such thing as mental illness" is not an uncommon statement at gatherings of therapists emphasizing patient care and self-control, often decrying labels as suitable only for pill salesmen. This movement, known as anti-psychiatry gained populatiy in the 1970s, but is now less popular, largely due to recent discoveries in neurochemistry[?].
Neurochemical studies have proven that there are systemic lacks of certain neurotransmitters in the brains of certain individuals. Also, some structural differences between brains of people with behavioral differences can be detected in brain scans[?]. Routine tests for these conditions are, however, not generally required for prescription of drugs, and are not always employed in law either.
These many mental illnesses have been categorised into groups according to their common symptoms, in a diagnostic manual called the DSM-IV. There are thirteen different categories. Some categories contain a myriad of illnesses and some with only a few: