Mental illness awareness week: Battling the stigma of mental illness

Prejudiced beliefs that were once considered a normal part of life have been abandoned as people became more humane and informed. Many countries around the world have made strides in advocating for equal rights among all demographics. However, mental illness, it seems, is one of the last subjects up for discussion. Research points to a deeply-rooted stigma attached to mental illness, partially taught, partially due to ignorance and fear.

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Going over the line with relying on others: Dependent personality disorder

Dependent personality disorder(DPD) is characterized by a pattern of submissive and clinging behaviors for an excessive need to be taken care of, leading to fears of separation. Typically DPD begins in early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts, including other symptoms shared with other mental and personality disorders. Continue reading

The 10 different personality disorders

A person with a personality disorder would normally be dealing with one of 10 main personality disorders. The definition of a personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment. In order for the pattern of behavior to constitute a personality disorder, it must cause significant functional impairment or subjective distress (DSM-5).

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Cognitive training for brain repair

Cognitive training and cognitive rehabilitation are interventional approaches designed to address alterations, injuries or impairment of cognitive functioning. According to the Center for Brain Training, the brain has the ability to change itself, also known as neuroplasticity. The main premise behind “brain training” holds that through utilizing brain training games and exercises, one can learn to regulate cognitive and mental functioning on their own. Some scientists see this as an innovative approach to treat addictions, learning disabilities and mental health disorders such as Attention deficit disorder (ADD), Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and Borderline personality disorder.

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Rational emotive behavior therapy vs. cognitive behavioral therapy

Mental health and substance abuse disorders are both a result of and the cause of a person’s perception of his or her reality. Emotions such as anger, stress, depression, fatigue and worry are all derived from one’s perceptions of the world around him or her. If the beliefs change and the idea a person has of the world can be altered, his or her everyday life can too. Two of the main forms of therapy that work to help changes people’s thoughts and beliefs to help them deal with mental health disorders and addiction include Rational emotive behavior therapy and Cognitive behavioral therapy. Continue reading

What is an adjustment disorder and how do you treat it?

Abnormal psychological or behavioral symptoms that develop in response to a drastic life-change such as a severe medical condition, a death in the family or a divorce from a spouse could be diagnosed as an adjustment disorder. According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5th Edition, an adjustment disorder (AD) is a stress related illness in which a person isn’t able to emotionally adjust to a change in life for up to six months. Continue reading

Suicide: a permanent solution to a temporary problem

Suicide rates are harder to gauge because the media usually doesn’t report suicides due to stigma. Another aspect of why suicide statistics are skewed is largely due to the media portraying most of the gun violence in the country as being homicidal, as opposed to suicidal. When suicides are underreported, the urgency of finding a solution to the problem is diluted. Some studies suggest that the underreporting of suicides is also due to social or religious values. Continue reading

Learning about borderline personality disorder and finding help

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can cause many problems in a person’s life and is characterized by a pattern of unstable moods, behavior and relationships; many people with BPD also have brief psychotic episodes (NIMH 2014). It is very common for people with BPD to exhibit life-threatening behaviors such as risky substance abuse behaviors, risky sexual behaviors and promiscuity and hostile or aggressive outbursts.This personality disorder is also characterized by several other symptoms including the following: Continue reading

Preventing suicide contagion by changing how suicide is reported

Evidence shows that reporting suicides on national television could have a negative effect on viewers who might be at risk of wanting to end their lives. Acknowledging the old adage, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” is extremely important to keep in mind when communicating tragic events to the public, especially when there is a growing global concern about mental health. Continue reading