Mental Health Treatment Programs – Database Access
Mental disorders can afflict people of every race, creed, or gender at literally any stage of life. There are hundreds of conditions officially recognized by the American Medical Association. Some are genetic, potentially appearing at birth and late in life, while others are chemical interactions (including drug use), trauma, or other life events. Accurately describing every mental disorder requires an encyclopedia. However, it is possible to provide broad strokes about common disorder types, causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Many mental disorders can be categorized based on similar symptoms or causes. The most common disorder categories are:
- Dissociative Disorders are where patients frequently experience episodes of mental detachment from reality, affecting behavior and memory. Such disorders occur with psychiatric counseling and prescription medication.
- Eating Disorders – Disorders caused by societal pressure where patients engage in dangerous dietary behavior. Treatment includes psychiatric counseling.
- Sexual Disorders – Sexual disorders represent a wide range of both genetic and behavioral disorders where patients experience difficulty engaging in regular sexual activities, in some cases causing physical and emotional harm to others. Prescription drugs treat genetic disorders, while counseling, medications, and in extreme cases, incarceration is necessary to treat behavioral disorders.
- Sleep Disorders – Primarily genetic disorders that involve sleeping more or less than is healthy regularly. Prescription medication may assist, as can counseling in some cases, but sleep disorders often use diet and exercise routines as treatment.
- Personality Disorders – Generally not diagnosed until adulthood, these disorders represent a particular difficulty when engaging in regular societal interactions. Depending on the disorder, this may need prescription medication, counseling, or both.
- Childhood Disorders – Almost universally, genetic disorders diagnosed in individuals start at birth until the early teen years. These disorders usually represent a difficulty in developing a particular skill or motor function and often can be treated with tutoring and specific therapeutic exercises.
- Dependence Disorders – Chemically induced disorders generally involve abuse of a mind-altering substance or a socially disruptive activity. Treatment regularly consists of a combination of medication, counseling, and rehabilitation services.
Additionally, some mental disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease and most phobias, are not easily categorized. Medical professionals can identify symptoms and potential causes, but treatment usually differs case by case more significantly than other mental disorders.
The options for treating a mental disorder are about as varied as creating a physical ailment. For example, a doctor wouldn’t prescribe Aspirin to treat cancer and wouldn’t prescribe radiation therapy to treat a simple headache. Similarly, potential treatments for mental disorders include, but are not limited to, prescription medication, psychiatric counseling, mental exercises, physical exercises, group therapy, detoxification, rehabilitation services, tutoring, diet changes, and even potentially surgery.
While few doctors specialize in mental disorders, the average general practitioner, especially pediatric doctors, has the training necessary to identify the most common mental illnesses and identify an uncommon condition, even if the doctor can’t precisely diagnose it. Thus, the best way to get proper treatment is to be examined by a general practitioner who will refer the patient to a specialist who can provide a more thorough diagnosis and treatment plan.