One of the goals of my practice is raising the awareness of understanding and appreciating mental illness
Understanding and appreciating mental illness is one of my primary goals of my Scottsdale Mental Health Care practice. Educating the public about the physiological basis of mental illness is crucial in removing the stigma and essential to the patient’s recovery. I read many studies and articles on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental illnesses. I keep abreast of the latest findings through continuing medical education. I recently read a story about the town of Flagstaff Arizona having to cut back on subsidizing psychotropic drugs for the needy. As a result the emergency rooms were full of suicidal patients decompensating from lack of their medicine. Mental health effects the whole community and too often, because of a lack of advocacy, this segment of society seems to be the first to feel the budget cuts during tough times. The end result is more costly to the society as a whole and devastating to the individual.
Understanding and appreciating mental illness will help remove the stigma associated with it and more people will seek therapy
Many people are in denial about their mental illness because of the long held stigma associated with such illnesses. Because of a lack of understanding, people often see mental illness as a character issue instead of a physiological issue. As a psychiatrist, I come across this issue very often. This is why one of my primary goals has been to educate patients about the physiological and genetic groundings of mental illness in order to lift this stigma and encourage individuals to seek medical. Mental illness in many cases is very treatable. We see that with ADHD, often the effects and benefits of the medications can be observed within hours from the first dosing. With many antidepressants, we see about a 70% positive response rate on the first attempt to treat depression. Anxiety is very treatable with the wide variety of medicines available today. Understanding and appreciating mental illness is usually the first step of recovery for most individuals.
The brain is like any other organ in the body, and therefore, can become diseased just like any other. When the brain has disease that is caused by genetics, trauma, stress or some other cause, often the only effective agent to bring balance back to the brain are the medications that increase the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain. Sometimes an existing bodily disease such as a thyroid condition or diabetes will manifest as depression or anxiety. Once a patient was found to have an elevated fasting glucose when he came to see me for symptoms of anxiety. I sent him back to his Primary Care Physician for a further medical work-up of this. It was soon discovered that he had diabetes and the insulin that was given to him took his anxiety symptoms away completely. There are many reasons why people suffer from mental illness and seldom are these diseases related to character or personality issues.
I encourage you to read the many of the articles on this website and learn about the causes of mental illness. Hopefully these will provide you with some insight into the medical causes of the illnesses and the strength to seek help and return to a life of peace, fulfillment, and accomplishment; and achieve the goals in life that you would like to achieve. Usually, it is just taking the first step that is the toughest. But to reassure you, the majority of patients that I see comment on how they wished that they would have sought out help much sooner…sometimes years sooner. Understanding and appreciating mental illness is so very much needed in our society. This group individuals seldom have any advocates, they are overlooked, shown little attention when in fact this illness is often physiological in nature and more debilitating than the illnesses that get the fund raisers and attention on the billboards. Read more on understanding and appreciating mental illness