THE EXPERIENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS

ATTITUDES TOWARD MENTAL ILLNESS

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS

DEFINING MENTAL ILLNESS

PREVALENCE - United States and Worldwide

Among Children and Adolescents
Among the Elderly
Among the Poor and Among Men and Women
Changing Rates of Mental Illness

KINDS OF MENTAL ILLNESSES

Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders
Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
Personality and Cognitive Disorders
Dissociative, Somatoform and Factitious Disorders
Substance-Related, Eating and Impulse-Control Disorders

CAUSES OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Biological Perspective
Psychodynamic, Humanistic and Existential Perspectives
Behavioral, Cognitive and Sociocultural Perspective

DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT

Drug Therapy
Individual Psychotherapy
Group and Family Therapies
Electroconvulsive Therapy and Psychosurgery
Treatment Settings
Treatment in Non-Western Countries


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF MENTAL ILLNESS



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Among the Elderly

With a greater percentage of people living beyond the age of 65—both in the industrialized nations of the West and the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America—the problem of mental illness among the elderly has grown significantly. Researchers estimate that from 15 to 25 percent of elderly people in the United States suffer from significant symptoms of mental illness. Dementia, characterized by confusion, memory loss, and disorientation, occurs mostly among the elderly. A study of residents of Boston, Massachusetts, revealed that about 10 percent of people over the age of 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, and research on residents of Shanghai, China found that 4.6 percent of people over 65 suffer from this condition. (Among the Elderly, Mental Illness)

Major depression, the most severe form of depression, affects from 1 to 2 percent of people aged 65 or older who are living in the community (rather than in nursing homes or other institutions). The prevalence of depression and other mental illnesses is much higher among elderly residents of nursing homes. Although most older people with depression respond to treatment, many cases of depression among the elderly go undetected or untreated. Research indicates that depression is a major risk factor for suicide among the elderly in the United States. People over age 65 in the United States have the highest suicide rate of any age group. (Among the Elderly, Mental Illness)

Among the Elderly | Mental Illness