Heidi Willey



1.1.       The main types of mental ill health according to the psychiatric (DSM/ICD) classification system are: –

·         Mood disorders – A mood disorder is a psychological disorder.  It can be when a person’s mood is elevated one moment and can be very low the next.  Examples of mood disorders are depression or bipolar.  Clinical depression can interfere with everyday life.  Mood disorders are a group of diagnoses in the DSM (diagnostic and statistical Manuel) classification system and is known as a mood affective disorder in the ICD (international classification of disease).

·         Personality disorders – Personality disorders are mental disorders which causes individuals to have difficulties in how they think and feel about themselves and others.  These difficulties can cause problems in work, socially, within family and even at school.  The DSM list 10 personality disorders and these are paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal disorder, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, dependant personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Figures show that ten percent of people are affected but this is just an estimate because diagnosis can be difficult.

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·         Anxiety disorders – Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders.  With anxiety disorders you have a feeling of worry or fear, which can be very mild or severe.  A person with an anxiety disorder may show signs such as sweating or palpitations.  Everyone experiences anxiety, but it is how we deal with it.

·         Psychotic disorders – These are mental illnesses that can be shown by psychotic symptoms.  The two main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations.  Examples of psychotic disorders are schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  With a psychotic disorder you can lose touch with reality

·         Substance related disorders – These disorders are when you become dependant on certain substances which can be both legal or illegal.  The substances include alcohol, amphetamines, caffeine, nicotine, prescribed drugs, opioids (morphine, heroin), cannabis, cocaine and many more.  These disorders can include been intoxicated, withdrawing and various mental states e.g. dementia.

·         Eating disorders – This is a range of psychological disorders.  It is abnormal or disturbed eating habits.  Theses are habits are known as anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa.  Eating disorders are serious and can be fatal at any age.

·         Cognitive disorders – Are a category of mental health disorders that affect learning, memory, perception and problem solving.  Examples of cognitive disorders are dementia, amnesia or delirium.

All the above are types of mental ill health according to the DSM/ICD.  The DSM (diagnostic and statistical Manuel of mental disorders) is the most common diagnostic system in the United States.  The ICD (international classification of disease) covers health and is widely used in Europe.

1.2.       The strengths of the psychiatric system are: –

·         A range of mental disorders are arranged, organised and described in a certain way and order.

·         Inappropriate behaviours can be distinguished from functional ones.

·         It is used all over the world, so you can get correct diagnosis and treatments from hospital to hospital, wherever you go.

·         Mental disorders are arranged, organised and described in a certain way and order.

The limitations of the psychiatric system are: –

·         The DSM does not explain the causes of various psychological disorders.

·         It can put people into a category that isn’t suitable.

·         It does not accommodate the unique nature of the condition.

·         The system doesn’t look at people as a human being, it looks at them like a piece of data.

1.3.       The two alternative frameworks for understanding mental distress are the biological and medical framework, sometimes known as the disease model. This model views psychological distress because of physical injuries/accidents, physical causes (brain defects) or from hereditary factors like cerebral palsy.  Then you have the behavioural framework that investigates the pattern of behaviours that may have been brought on from a young age or from stresses in life.  It investigates the person’s personality.  This model understands mental dysfunction and believes that the unusual behaviour is picked up from their environment.  They also believe if they find what is causing the unusual behaviour that person can change.

1.4.      Mental health may be indicated through a person’s emotions by: –

·         Crying for no reason or uncontrolled crying.

·         Irritable

·         Angry

·         Laughing at nothing or at inappropriate things.

·         Moods that are all over the place.

Indicated through a person’s thinking by: –

·         Not been able to concentrate

·         Not able to organise their thoughts.

·         Struggle having conversation with others.

·         Can be paranoid and deluded

Indicating through a person’s behaviour through: –

·         Become forgetful

·         Eating causing weight gain or loss.

·         Start hoarding things such as newspapers so their home can become unsafe.

·         Be over cautious

·         Wash hands constantly

·         Be unkempt and not care for themselves.

2.1.  There is a stigma that comes with mental ill health and people jump to conclusions that a person is unstable.  Mental ill health has been stereotyped within society and this can affect a person.  People think people with mental ill will attack them but in fact they are more likely to be the ones harmed either by themselves or others.  In the media it shows people with mental ill health as evil, violent or a criminal which does not help the situation in the society which we live in.  This stigma can make a person’s mental health worse.  Workplaces do not always employ people with mental ill health because they believe that they will cause problems or have a lot of time off sick.  Mental health differs and ranges in severity.  Everyone is stereotyped as the same, but it is so far from the truth.  Each person is individual and deal with things in their own way.

2.2.  Mental health has an impact on people in many ways and how they impact are: –

·         Psychological and emotional – A person with mental ill health is affected differently daily.  Their emotions can be triggered throughout a day.  This means one minute they can be happy and the next extremely sad.  They cannot always control their emotions, so they may respond to situations differently to others and in the wrong manner.  A person psychological well being is affected because they are constantly fighting with themselves and over time they can lose their self – esteem, self-image and confidence.  Relationships can break down because they want to be alone.

·         Practical and financial – Money is often linked to mental ill health.  It will not help because if you have poor mental health it can become harder to manage your finances.  People start to do things that aren’t practical, such as buy something they cannot afford just to make them feel better.  Income can be affected because you need to take time off work.  A person may lose motivation to control their finances, which can lead to debt and can add to their mental health problems.

·         The impact of using services – People may not use the services in place because they feel like failures if they do and their self-esteem drops.  People don’t think they need help because they are in denial.  They do not realise the services are there to help, support and help them to recover.

·         Social exclusion – People with mental ill health can have low self esteem which will affect on how they are with other people due to a lack of confidence.  A person might have been discriminated or judged before and feel as though there is a stigma attached to them.  It can cause people to struggle to build relationships with others.

·         Positive impacts – A person with mental ill health learn to manage it daily and live day to day.  A person can break that stigma that comes with mental ill health by teaching family and friends what mental health is.  People find new ways of communicating which suits them and helps them to communicate with others.

2.3.  Mental ill health may have an impact on individuals familial, social, or work network.  The impacts are as follows: –

·         Psychological and emotional – It can be draining if you have someone in your family with mental ill health.  It is draining because you are caring for them and sometimes although you are doing your best, it is not enough.  They may hate you one minute and love you the next which can lead to a perofeeling confused and not knowing where they stand.

·         Practical and financial – A person may not be able to make plans because they do not know what mood their loved one is going to be in.  They might be the only one working or not work themselves because they care for them, which can be a financial strain.  A person needs to be aware of their loved one’s state of mind and emotional state before they plan trips or holidays.

·         Impact of using services – The services in place are good for family members and others using them.  Services are put in place to help people understand mental ill health and helps family members and others realise they are not alone.  Services suggest ways to cope with the person suffering and can give them a break away from it.

·         Social exclusion – A person needs to be considerate of what they do and where they go when caring for someone with mental ill health.  People may socially exclude themselves because they do not want to upset their loved one or patient who suffers from mental ill health.

·         Positive impacts – When someone in your life has mentalillhealth you develop knowledge about the condition and how it can affect people.  You can learn how to approach people with mental health and learn how discrimination has an impact on a person suffering.

2.4.  It is beneficial of early intervention in promoting individual’s mental health and wellbeing.  If they are shown ways of dealing with their emotions early on it can reduce the risk of self-harm or even suicide.  Intervention is all some people need to realise they are not alone and there is support for them.  With early intervention there is a lower risk they will relapse and can carry on living a normal life without disruption  


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