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Properly treated, mental health disorders can be minimized, and in many cases resolved.  Having an awareness of the issues involved may help with early detection, help you to recognize choices, and help you to access valuable resources  and support, and achieve the most favorable outcome. 

Chemical imbalances, misfirings, or structural abnormalities are responsible for many mental health disorders.  Just as we would not withhold medication from someone suffering from epilepsy or diabetes, it is essential that we also recognize that the appropriate treatment of some mental health disorders requires the proper use of medication.  If you suffer from a mental health disorder, seek professional assistance; or if you know someone who does, support him or her to do so.  The brain is a very complex instrument.  Trained professionals can help with the assessment of brain functioning, identify treatment options, and make specific recommendations according to individual needs including referrals to resources such as support groups, agencies, and other professional service providers. 

Psychosis and Schizophrenia

Psychosis is caused by malfunctions in the brain.  There can be a number of causations of psychosis.  Some forms of psychosis may be induced by external factors, such as drugs while other forms may be the result of abnormal brain development.

Schizophrenia is a specific form of psychosis.  Affecting approximately 1% of the American population, schizophrenia involves hallucinations, most typically in the form of hearing voices, and delusions such as believing that others can read his or her mind, or control his or her thoughts, or is intending to do harm.  Schizophrenia impacts thought processes involving attention and memory, which makes it difficult to utilize information and successfully problem solve.  Lacking the ability to recognize social cues, those suffering from schizophrenia often have unusual speech and behavior, and become socially isolated.  Risk factors of schizophrenia include substance abuse and suicide (about 10%, the highest risk is found among young males).

As schizophrenia involves disordered brain functioning, treatment involves medications.  A psychiatrist, a physician who has specialized training to assess and prescribe proper medications, is the most suitable provider for this service.  Once the symptoms of agitation and hallucinations resolve (hallucinations often resolve within a few days, and delusions often resolve within a few weeks), treatment to address psychosocial issues ought to begin to assist in the acquisition of effective social, self-management, and employment skills.  These services are offered by specialized organizations and psychotherapists.

Meeting the comprehensive needs of those suffering with schizophrenia requires a strong team comprised of family members, professionals, and community services.

Mental Health Disorders

Knowledge and Information for Psychological Health and Well-being

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