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Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ

WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT MEETING?


It’s important to have a thorough assessment initially so that you can be clear about what the diagnosis is and then plan the treatment that’s going to be right for you.

So for some people, it’s going to be very important that they take medication.

For others, psychological help in the form of counselling/ psychotherapy may help them to come to terms of their difficulties

HOW DO I CHOOSE A TREATMENT THAT’S RIGHT FOR ME?


The key thing is to have a clear understanding of what the diagnosis is and going through the options so that you know what’s going to suit you

Often it isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of approach, but actually, it’s very important for your individual situation to be taken fully into account.

WHAT CAUSES A MENTAL ILLNESS

It is becoming clear through research that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.

WHAT PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO MENTAL ILLNESS?

Psychological factors that may contribute to mental illness include specific vulnerabilities such as personality traits, particular extremes in temperament features, specific sensitivities to negative emotions, cognitive susceptibility, dysfunctional attitudes, hopelessness, negative distortions.

WHAT BIOLOGICAL FACTORS ARE INVOLVED IN MENTAL ILLNESS?

Neurochemical Causes: Some mental illnesses have been linked to an abnormal balance of special chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters help nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other.

If these chemicals are out of balance or are not working properly, messages may not make it through the brain correctly, leading to symptoms of mental illness. 

Genetics (heredity): Many mental illnesses run in families, suggesting that people who have a family member with a mental illness are more susceptible (have a greater likelihood of being affected) to developing a mental illness.

Infections: Certain infections have been linked to brain damage and the development of mental illness or the worsening of its symptoms.

Structural Causes: This involves possible problems in the "wiring" of different parts of the brain. This includes possible consequences from brain trauma.

WHAT ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO MENTAL ILLNESS?

 Losses experiences (physical loss after a trauma, loss of significant others, separation, etc…

Chronic threats

Long-term exposure to traumatic conditions

 Harmful family dynamic

 Living in extreme deprivation and poverty

Alcohol and substance misuse

 Severe neglect

 War, natural disasters, accidents, etc…


Chronic pain and incapacitating chronic illness


Social discrimination for example towards minorities

CAN MENTAL ILLNESS BE PREVENTED?

Most mental illnesses are caused by a combination of factors.
Factors that can be potentially reduced to somehow prevent mental illnesses are:
Prevent neglect and abuse in childhood , prevent substance abuse, prevent exposure to war, increase social support , decrease burden of other health disorders, train in management of stress.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WARNING SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS?

Symptoms of mental disorders vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Some general symptoms that may suggest a mental illness include:

  • Problems in concentration

  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability

  • Recurrent changes in energy

  • Extremely high and low moods

  • Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety

  • Social withdrawal

  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits

  • Strong feelings of anger

  • Delusions or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)

  • Increasing inability to cope with daily problems and activities

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Confused thinking

  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol

IF A MEDICATION IS PRESCRIBED TO ME AND I BEGIN TO FEEL BETTER AFTER TAKING IT, IS IT OKAY TO STOP TAKING IT?

It is common for people to stop taking their medication when they feel their symptoms have become controlled.
Others may choose to stop their medication because of side effects.
Another problem with stopping medication, especially if you stop it abruptly, is that you may develop withdrawal symptoms that can be very unpleasant.
If you feel you need to stop your medication, it is necessary to discuss it with your physician as he might be able to suggest another type of medication or adjust the dose of your medication.

IS PSYCHOTHERAPY/COUNSELLING A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICATION?

Psychotherapy in some (very few) cases can be sufficient for the treatment of certain mental conditions like grief & Adjustment disorders.
However, it may be needed in conjunction with medication. This is why in several cases, it is not considered as a substitute for medication.

Apart from this there might be several other questions/ doubts that you may want to clear. In all such scenarios feel free to contact us and book an appointment. We shall be happy to help

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