The Many Faces of Mental Illness

Mental illness may affect someone as close to you as your next door neighbor, or mental illness may be a reality you or a family member will come to face. If you’ve been struggling but have never sought treatment for a mental health issue before, it’s common that over time the ability to cope with ordinary life demands may reach a point that help is finally sought.

Mental Illness Surrounds All of Us

Twenty-five percent of adults experience mental illness in any given year; the percentage takes on an even more personal importance when saying one out of every four adults suffer with some form of mental illness. One-out-of-four brings the issue home. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports one-out-of-four means that over 60 million adults in the U.S. who may have difficulty coping with life, and many who may be living life unfulfilled who could be on the road to positive change working with a practiced mental health professional.

Symptoms of Mental Illness

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health indicates that having a mental illness does not mean an emotional reaction to an event or situation – it is normal to experience feelings, for example, of sadness, loss, anger, fear, agitation or panic related to a real-life occurrence. With the wide variety of diagnosed mental disorders, the combination of different symptoms needs to persist over time and dramatically impact one’s life roles, social and family relationships, work history, behavior, or even the ability to perform basic self-care and hygiene.

Stigma of Mental Illness

With one-out-of-four experiencing mental illness and one-out-of-17 living with a serious mental illness like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression, one would think the awareness and willingness to seek help would be commonplace. Typically however, people wait a long time to seek help, if they ask for help at all.  The person may know something is wrong, or that they are “different,” yet they fight through life struggling to get by.

Reality of Mental Illness

Anyone of any age, religion, race, or socio-economic background can have a mental illness. Being diagnosed with a mental illness does not mean that you are a weak person, or that if you really wanted you could “get over it.”  The reality is that you can recover with treatment. Stop waiting to make the decision to get help; your life is waiting to begin anew.

Atlanta Mental Illness Psychiatrist

Dr. Darvin Hege is a psychiatrist in Atlanta. Call to set up an appointment and make a change for the better.

About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege, MD, PC, is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is an Emory Hospital residency trained psychiatrist who has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years. He maintains over 50 hours of AMA certified education each year to stay informed of advances in psychiatry.

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