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Is Enough Being Done to Address Mental Illness?

Treatment for mental disorders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the treatment recommended will depend on the specific mental illness and symptoms that need to be addressed. In the USA mental institutions were common until a few decades ago, but today many with one or more mental disorders face stigma as well as substandard care. The mentally ill often end up homeless through no fault of their own, or they end up falling through the cracks so that they do not get access to the help and treatment that they deserve. The stigma associated with mental disorders can cause some not to even seek treatment in the first place. There are a number of private programs which can offer confidentiality along with the latest innovative treatments but few insurances and government programs will pay for the higher cost of these effective programs.

If you or a loved one needs treatment for mental disorders you can try to work within the system, waiting weeks or even months in order to try and qualify for a government or social agency program. Another option is to seek out private treatment for any mental illness that you have. If you can afford it this is normally the best choice because the right programs can make a big difference. Government and charity run facilities are typically crowded, and they often offer only the most basic treatment options because they must work within a smaller budget. It is no secret that more needs to be done to address mental illness, and to provide treatment for mental disorders to everyone who needs it.

Are Mental Illness and Workplace Violence Related?

Is there a link between mental illness and workplace violence? Mentally ill individuals are no more likely to become violent than someone in the general population, whether this is domestic violence, workplace violence, or other violent acts. People who suffer from a mental disorder may be high functioning or low functioning, and around 20% of the population will experience at least one mental disorder in any given year. To put this in perspective in the USA alone this means that in 2016 more than 42.5 million people will have to deal with mental illness on some level. Since there is nowhere near this rate of workplace violence in America the false association of mental illness with violence is disproved. Some studies show that those with a mild mental disorder may even be less likely than an individual in the general population to commit workplace violence.

One problem is that as soon as an episode of workplace violence becomes news people start looking for mental illness in the belief that no sane person could do something so extreme. Unfortunately history has shown that there are evil people who do not suffer from any mental disorders yet these individuals have performed monstrous acts of violence and sadism. Until the stigma is removed from any form of mental illness and these conditions are treated the same as physical ailments there will be instances where workplace violence and mental illness are linked. In many more cases mental illness will play no role at all though, and the person who becomes violent will do so because they are angry, they feel unappreciated, they are jealous, they have been rejected, or some other superficial motive.

Recent Study Shows Connection Between Stress Hormone Cortisol and Obesity in Many With Mental Illness

A recent study by researchers at the Umeå University in Sweden has found a connection between the stress hormone cortisol and obesity in patients with mental illness including bipolar disorder and depression. Low cortisol levels have been linked with obesity, a condition that leads to high blood levels of fat and metabolic syndrome as well as excess weight. Researchers determined that patients who had recurrent episodes of depression or bipolar disorder tended to have lower levels of cortisol, although extremely high levels of this stress hormone can also cause problems. The study results were published and can be found in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Both recurrent depression and bipolar disorder are life long conditions, and while there are treatments which can help with these disorders there are no cures.

According to Umeå University Department of Clinical Sciences Division of Psychiatry researcher Martin Maripuu the study examined the connection between patients with low levels of the stress hormone cortisol who also have a mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder. These patients also struggle with obesity in many cases. Maripuu explained “These results provide clues to better understand the high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in people with recurrent depressions or bipolar disorder. The results may in the future contribute to better preventative treatments of cardiovascular diseases in these disorders. The results show that cortisol regulation is linked to worsened physical health in people with bipolar disorder or recurrent depressions. However, further studies are needed in order to better understand these associations.”

Self Stigma a Big Obstacle to Treatment for Mental Illness, Even With Online Options

Researchers at Iowa State University have found that self stigma is an obstacle to help for mental illness , even when the help was offered online in an anonymous setting. The study shows that people who have a greater sense of self stigma are significantly less likely to reach out to obtain information about treatment for mental disorders and mental illness. According to lead study author Daniel Lannin “Self stigma is a powerful obstacle to overcome.” The study looked at how participants responded when they had a chance to learn more about counseling services at the university and get further information about mental health help and treatment. According to Lannin “It’s not just the fear of seeing a counselor or therapist. It’s actually when people are sitting at home or on their phone. That stigma prevents them from even learning more information about depression or about counseling.”

370 participants took part in the study on self stigma and mental illness, and less than 10% of the participants either clicked a link to get more information or wanted to learn more about counseling. All of the study participants were college students. The study results were recently published and can be found in the Journal of Counseling Psychology. Lannin explained that “A lot of people with higher levels of stigma won’t even entertain the possibility of a stigma intervention because they see the intervention as going to therapy to be more open to therapy. It’s like telling someone who doesn’t like vegetables to eat some broccoli to get over it.” One possible solution is self affirmation interventions.

Is a Schizophrenia Cure Possible? New Research Shows Hope for This Mental Illness!

In the USA alone around 3.5 million people could benefit from a schizophrenia cure because they struggle with this form of mental illness. In the past schizophrenia was considered to be incurable, leaving suffers with little hope. People who have this mental disorder often experience patterns of speech and thought that are disorganized and even chaotic. Delusions and hallucinations are also very common with this condition. A new research study gives hope that a cure may be possible, and the cure could come from within the individual instead of from external sources. A study performed by a research team from Western University Robarts Research Institute and London Science Centre Prevention & Early Intervention Program for Psychoses Medical Director Dr Lena Palaniyappan has determined that the damage done by schizophrenia in the brain could be repaired over time. The goal is to cure schizophrenia instead of just managing the symptoms of this mental disorder.

The research study on a schizophrenia cure and more effective treatment options for this form of mental illness involved 98 adults who were previously diagnosed with schizophrenia and who were clinically stable. An additional 83 subjects of the study did not have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. According to Dr. Palaniyappan “Even the state-of-art frontline treatments aim merely for a reduction rather than a reversal of the cognitive and functional deficits caused by the illness. Our results highlight that despite the severity of tissue damage, the brain of a patient with schizophrenia is constantly attempting to reorganize itself, possibly to rescue itself or limit the damage.”