It is natural for humans to be sick. Everyone has had an experience of catching a cold, and some may have suffered from other diseases. Like this, our body often gets ill. When we show some signs of disease, we get over it by ourselves or go see a doctor. But how about mental disorders? How do we react to them? Is it common for one to go see a doctor for one’s mental illness? If we are suffering from mental diseases, do we know? This time, we will see some mental illnesses: their causes, symptoms, and brief self-diagnostics.
We will first consider Depressive Disorder. It is also known as depression, and shows at least weeks of low mood. It is commonly accompanied by a loss of energy, interest and motivation. The cause for this mental disorder is not obvious. For biochemical aspect, brain chemicals called ‘neurotransmitter,’ which affect emotions, are thought to be one of the probable reasons. Hormonal imbalances are another reason. Also, depression is likely to be inherited, and one’s environment plays a huge part too. The loss of a loved one, economic difficulties, and the massive stress comes from these devastating situations makes one suffer depression. Below, there is a checklist for self-diagnosing depression. It is not 100% accurate, but you can get an idea.
The second one is Impulse Control Disorder, and it has a wide spectrum. Patients mostly fail to resist a temptation or urge. This “temptation” can be violence, *kleptomania, *arson, which are illegal and dangerous. Some other patients are addicted to something, like shopping, computer games, alcohol, *binge eating, or gambling. These patients feel no guilt about what they did, but do feel a sense of satisfaction or pleasure by their actions. Each action has different causes, but is mainly a combination of genetic, biochemical, and environmental aspects. Symptoms of impulse control disorder are quite obvious, so see the checklist above.
The last thing is Panic Disorder. It shows repetitive and unexpected panic attacks. If you do not know what a panic attack is, check the list below, and diagnose yourself whether you have had panic attacks.
Patients who suffer panic disorders report that they feel threatened in their life from ordinary situations, such as meeting people, driving, or just walking around. So, they feel a horror of dying from daily situations, and show a high rate of anxiety. The cause for this mental disease is supposed to be either a neurobiological reason or a problem with their brain structure.
There are many more mental disorders, but I listed only three of them which I think are the most common. These diseases can be shown separately or combined together with other disorders. Also, the lists I put here are not exact diagnoses, so just use them as a rough reference. As I said above, we all get sick and it is a natural occurrence. There is no reason to be ashamed of it, and no need to hide it. Like we go see a doctor when we catch a cold, we go see a doctor or therapist when our mind is sick. As for someone who has or sees people suffering from mental illnesses, please do not judge them as mentally weak. They are enduring a huge pain and trauma, so be their help, and be on their side. Curing mental disorders is not easy, but it is certain that people will better little by little. And if you think you are having mental health issues, you can contact Student Counseling Center at Hongik Univ. It is in Information & Communication Center, Q301 and contact number is 02-320-1356~7.
*kleptomania : a strong impulse to steal
*arson : a crime of deliberately setting fire to a building or vehicle
*binge : to do too much of something
*lash out : to burst into or resort to verbal or physical attack
Lee Jumi firstname.lastname@example.org
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