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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Mental Illness





Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Schizophrenia, severe mental illness characterized by a variety of symptoms, including loss of contact with reality, bizarre behavior, disorganized thinking and speech, decreased emotional expressiveness, and social withdrawal. Usually only some of these symptoms occur in any one person. The term schizophrenia comes from Greek words meaning “split mind.” However, contrary to common belief, schizophrenia does not refer to a person with a split personality or multiple personality. (For a description of a mental illness in which a person has multiple personalities, see Dissociative Identity Disorder.) To observers, schizophrenia may seem like madness or insanity. (Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders, Psychotic Disorders Mental Illness, Schizophrenia Disorders Mental Illness)

Perhaps more than any other mental illness, schizophrenia has a debilitating effect on the lives of the people who suffer from it. A person with schizophrenia may have difficulty telling the difference between real and unreal experiences, logical and illogical thoughts, or appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Schizophrenia seriously impairs a person’s ability to work, go to school, enjoy relationships with others, or take care of oneself. In addition, people with schizophrenia frequently require hospitalization because they pose a danger to themselves. About 10 percent of people with schizophrenia commit suicide, and many others attempt suicide. Once people develop schizophrenia, they usually suffer from the illness for the rest of their lives. Although there is no cure, treatment can help many people with schizophrenia lead productive lives. (Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders, Psychotic Disorders Mental Illness, Schizophrenia Disorders Mental Illness)

Schizophrenia also carries an enormous cost to society. People with schizophrenia occupy about one-third of all beds in psychiatric hospitals in the United States. In addition, people with schizophrenia account for at least 10 percent of the homeless population in the United States (see Homelessness). The National Institute of Mental Health has estimated that schizophrenia costs the United States tens of billions of dollars each year in direct treatment, social services, and lost productivity. (Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders, Psychotic Disorders Mental Illness, Schizophrenia Disorders Mental Illness)

People with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders lose contact with reality. Symptoms may include delusions and hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech, bizarre behavior, a diminished range of emotional responsiveness, and social withdrawal. In addition, people who suffer from these illnesses experience an inability to function in one or more important areas of life, such as social relations, work, or school. See Psychosis. (Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders, Psychotic Disorders Mental Illness, Schizophrenia Disorders Mental Illness)

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders | Psychotic Disorders Mental Illness | Schizophrenia Disorders Mental Illness