Identifying Mental Illness

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Identifying mental illness is a difficult task. There is no medical technology that can detect it; neither a CAT scan nor bloodwork can determine depression, nor any other mental affliction. Even illnesses with supposedly obvious physical signs, such as many eating disorders, are impossible to diagnose simply from a person’s outward appearance. Additionally, mental illnesses are also stigmatized by society, causing would-be patients to forego treatment of their problems. America’s health care system is also ill-equipped to help those fighting mental illness and its effects, making it so fewer and fewer people can get the help they need. There is no single cause for these illnesses; trauma, abuse and environment play roles in their development, …show more content…
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are two extremely common mental illnesses which are often found to work together. Of course, anyone can identify with feelings of nervousness or sadness. After all, it is only human to have negative emotions. It is the seemingly endless and all-consuming nature of anxiety and depression, as well as their ability to disrupt all aspects of life, which sets them apart from normal negative emotions. There are three major areas of life that are affected by anxiety and depression as disorders: physical health, emotional health, and interpersonal relationships with both self and the outside …show more content…
A human’s most basic instinct is to preserve and protect their own life; only the most powerful emotions can cause a person to ignore their body’s will to survive. Almost every human indulges in self-destructive behavior to some degree. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, prescription pills, reckless driving, procrastination, skin-picking . . . these are all examples of unhealthy and self-destructive coping mechanisms. How can a person purposefully hurt themselves? Strong and oppressive feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, self-hate, fear, or emptiness can all be factors. Emotions guide humans through life; when negative emotions are fed, they become vaster and more influential. People who have depression often feel negatively about themselves, and suffer from low self-esteem; anxiety causes sufferers to hyper-criticize their actions and their image, causing their already low self-esteem to plummet. Those who are mentally ill have a difficult time seeing themselves in the same light as others do. Anxious people are prone to also having a disorder called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), in which a person obsessively focuses on their real (or perceived) flaws for hours upon hours each day. Unfortunately, when someone has BDD, they are unable to control their negative emotions. These people then spiral into severe emotional distress over how they believe others see them. When a person

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