Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Describe the main types of mental ill health according to the psychiatric (DSM/ICD) classification system: mood disorders personality disorders anxiety disorders psychotic disorders substance-related disorders eating disorders cognitive disorders.

There are two main medical models in the classification of mental health. Injuries and causes of death (ICD).DSM – Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.

In the class system the main types of mental health are as follows;
Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, picks disease, alcohol abuse, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, dysmorphia. Major depressive disorder,bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder.

Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, insomnia, kleptomania, obsessive compulsive disorder.Explain the key strengths and limitations of the psychiatric classification system.

Both the class systems assume that mental health disorders fit neatly into categories, however this is not always the case and there can be an overlap of symptoms and medical professionals can have different opinions about what the symptoms represent. It is important before coming to a diagnosis that behaviour is monitored over a period of time to establish if the behaviour is a unique personality trait.

A key strength of the class system is the standardisation of disorders and them being universally recognised. The class system has also helped raise awareness of mental health illness and has impacted on the diagnosis of disorders.
The limitations of classification is that it doesn’t always accommodate for unique human behaviours and can lead to inconsistency in diagnosis.
Explain two alternative Frameworks for understanding mental stress.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a treatment that examines the way a person is thinking, and how your thoughts, beliefs can affect your behaviour. For example if I think negatively about a situation then this can lead me to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, then having an impact on the way I behave, leading me to withdraw from others. CBT is used to teach us skills in coping with different problems on a daily basis.

Another Alternative framework would be the pharmacological approach which is the treatment of mental illness using drugs.

Explain how mental ill health may be indicated through an individual’s emotions thinking and behaviour.

In my experience I have seen signs of mental ill health occurring and the individual became quite withdrawn and there mood was very low. They used language such as “they couldn’t cope” and they “felt worthless” and they seemed uninterested in anyone else around, becoming very distant from others and often expressed “they felt very much alone”. They always seemed to be stressed, and found even simple daily tasks very stressful, at times they seemed very angry with the world and showed signs of erratic mood swings, which led me to be concerned about their mental health as they appeared to be showing signs of depression and anxiety issues.

Another example would be when dealing with someone who showed signs of an eating disorder. They would obsess about food, and calorie content and would become quite agitated when talking about food. They tried to avoid eating with others and there mood was often very low and they became quite distant from people.
In both these situations the individuals represented signs of mental health issues when their behaviour changed and they became withdrawn. There mood was significantly changeable and they were prone to outbursts of tears as well as anger.

2.1 Explain how individuals experience discrimination due to misinformation assumptions and stereotypes about mental ill health
Generally in society people have stereotypical views around mental health issues believing that people who suffer with mental illness are liable to be more dangerous and violent. Because of this stigma attached it can hinder a person’s chance of asking for help which could lead to them suffering more in the long run as it will delay them getting treatment. Media has a negative influence and linked people suffering with mental health to violence and criminal activity and this isn’t a fair representation.

Because of discrimination people with mental health are linked to poverty and unemployment, finding it difficult to find housing and a steady job and can also impact there long term relationships. All of these things can lead to further isolation and lead to people feeling more trapped.

2.2 Explain how mental ill health may have an impact on the individual including;
2.2a “psychological and emotional”
A person might become distant and anti social, feeling anxious and have low self esteem. They may have mood swings, from feeling very low, to quite high to even manic. Emotional outburst of tears and anger.2.2b “practical and financial”
Worrying about debt will make you feel anxious and stressed, especially if you have to take time off work through illness as this may affect your income. A person may find it difficult to manage their finances and this may lead them to stop opening bills and this will add to the worry in the long run.
2.2c “the impact of using services”
A person suffering with mental health would benefit from using the services available. There are various services available including counselling, CBT therapy, and medication. At first the individual may find it daunting but these services will in time have a positive impact on their mental health.

2.2d Social exclusion
Depression, anxiety and any other mental health issues can all lead sufferers to experience social exclusion. They pay find it difficult to find work, or lead them into very low paid work which doesn’t utilise their skills and this can lead to low self esteem and add to their mental health issues. Poor housing conditions, financial pressures can all add to the individual feeling worthless and the stigma around mental health can prevent them from moving on and feeling pushed out of paid employment and education.

2.2e Positive impacts
Taking steps to manage mental health issues with the relevant therapies and/or medication will empower the individual and help them take back control of their lives. Finding hobbies, taking exercise and talking to people are all positive ways of managing mental health.

2.3 Explain how mental ill health may have an impact on those in the individuals familiar social or work network including.

2.3.a psychological and emotional
Most often it will be a family member who cares for someone who is suffering with mental health issues and this can be quite challenging, as they are trying to cope with work, family life, and can often result in the family member struggling with their own emotional/psychological issues such as stress and mental and physical fatigue.

2.3a practical and financial
For family and friends caring for an individual experiencing mental health, it can cause financial stress as they may have to reduce their hours at work, or in some cases give up work to look after them. The assistance they provide can be quite demanding as they will often be helping them with cleaning and general household chores and also taking them to appointments. This can also impact on them having time to them self and if they are not working can affect their self esteem.

2.3c the impact of using services
Family members may not be sure how to access services and also may not feel confident in the services offered.
2.2d social exclusion
Family, friends and people in the work place need to be supported also as they can often struggle with knowing what is best when caring for someone with mental health issues. As it can be quite demanding they may not take time out for themselves and they may find they haven’t the time to socialise. Its important that they do find time for themselves or this could impact their own mental health.

2.3e positive impacts
When family members are involved in the care of someone with mental health issues it usually has a positive impact on the individuals recovery overall. Its also very positive that its acknowledged in the work place as this can play a big part in educating people and improving the health of the workplace.

2.4 Explain the benefits of early intervention in promoting an individual’s mental health and wellbeing
There is increasing evidence that early intervention and the promotion of better mental health is extremely beneficial and leads to a healthier society overall. The more educated people are about mental health will help break down the stigma surrounding mental health.

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