Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Conditions

Mental Illness Overview

Another name for Mental Illness is Mental Health.

What is a mental health disorder?
A person with a mental illness, or a mental health disorder, has a disease of the mind that triggers emotional and behavioral problems. Mental illness can cause distress and disability, as well as interfere with interpersonal relationships. The two most common mental health disorders are depression and anxiety disorder.

What are the symptoms of a mental health disorder?
Symptoms of a mental health disorder depend on the underlying cause. Common symptoms of depression include difficulty sleeping, hopelessness, irritability, decreased enjoyment from usual activities, and self-disappointment. Additional symptoms of depression include anxiety, anorexia, weight loss, fatigue, guilt, and difficulty concentrating. Severe depression may result in suicidal thoughts. Symptoms of anxiety disorder include physical symptoms, such as palpitations, chest pain or shortness of breath.

How does the doctor treat a mental health disorder?
Treatment for a mental health disorder depends on the underlying illness. Treatment for depression includes mental health counseling, a support group, and medication. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications used to treat depression. The treatment for anxiety disorder includes medication and psychological counseling.

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