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Mental illness is everybody’s problem

28mentalhealth-400Mental illness continues to plague our society. Tens of thousands have been diagnosed and just as many have yet to be diagnosed. I'm sure you know someone who is mentally ill. But if truth were told, some people would deny this disease exists. They'd rather believe their mental faculties are in order and cannot be compromised.

Some people are naturally different. But those on the verge of mental collapse suffer from failing memory, dementia, amnesia or alzheimer's, while others tend to look spaced out and sometimes are seen conversing when no one else is around. They hear things and see things that our eyes and ears don't see or hear. In some cases, they wander alone without regard for their own safety.

Mental illness is a state of mind that results in abnormal behavior and emotional thoughts – and those thoughts are often unrealistic. While failing memory, dementia, amnesia and alzheimer's are indeed troubling, mental disorders also can be caused by depression and drug abuse. Mental retardation, on the other hand, may be congenital disorder.

What does someone look like with mental illness? Could it be you, your next-door neighbor, an associate or your child? Mental illness affects all of humanity. It comes in many colors, affects all personality traits, and doesn't care one iota about gender or sexual orientation.

According to a 2004 Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention report on mental illness, 25 percent of adults in the United States reported having some type of mental illness. That means in a family environment of four, one person in the household has some type of mental or emotional issue.

The CDC also reports that nearly half of the American population has experienced, or will experience, some form of mental disorder. In developing counties, according to The World Health Organization, mental illness is the leading cause of disability, surpassing cancer and heart disease at an alarming rate.

Women, for example, are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men. If you take a calculated guess, it would appear that a lot of people are dealing with some type of stressful situation, whether it's caused by family, friends, employment, church, financial issues or children moving back into the home.

African Americans are more likely to suffer from mental illness than their white counterparts. In most cases, they are less likely to seek treatment out of stigma or fear. But when they do, they usually go to the emergency room where the treatment is private.

When it comes to our mental health, we must not allow various barriers to prohibit us from seeking the proper medical care: income, family, status, and embarrassment. So, if no one wants to listen to your problems, go to a mental health practitioner. If that person fails to understand your problem or dismisses you as a hypochondriac, find another mental health practitioner.

Our emotions control our thoughts – like playing a game of chess. However, mental illness shouldn't be treated like a game of chess.

Did you know that poverty has a lot to do with a person's mental health?

We must stop and demand that insurance companies accept mental illness as a disease and not require a tragedy to take place before deciding to take notice and offer assistance. Mental illness should be treated before it completely destroys the individual.

I've talked to individuals who provide assistance to those with some type of mental health issue, and there main concern is relating to relatives or loved ones the challenges they face when working with someone in the family with a mental disorder.

There is no immediate solution. For example, if there's a caregiver to tend the mentally ill, that person more than likely will become overwhelmed and not be able to cope with life themselves because they're generally on call 24 hours a day.

If you know someone who needs help with mental illness, take them or assist them in getting the proper help they deserve and need to maintain a secure and safe life. If you need help yourself, don't be embarrassed. Find the right mental health practitioner.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He is the author of "47 Tips To Reverse Your Diabetes." He can be reached by email at cheftimothy@ ­cheftimothymoore.com, visit him at www.cheftimothymoore .com or follow him at www. twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)


0 #1 Zorina Bowen 2012-12-28 17:56
Mental health treatment at the ER is NOT private & can lad to a trip to jail or if you are lucky & have insurance, to a mental health facility. With proper treatment, the person with mental illness is NOT a stressor to their caregiver. I have a daughter who was diagnosed with bipolar/schizoa ffective disorder. African Americans Are more likely to be misdiagnosed because of medical bias & the belief that all of us are on welfare, when we are not. Correct this & more can get treatment.

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