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Mental Illness
Title: What is mental illness and how can it be treated?
Purpose: To inform the audience on mental illness and the different treatments.
A. Introduction

Raise your hand if you understand what a mental illness is? Raise your hand if you know someone
who suffers from a chronic mental illness?
Those of you who raised your hands have an idea of what mental illness is and their everyday
I work with over 50 individuals that suffer from chronic mental illness and need extra supports to live
in our community.
When mental illness strikes, it can turn lives upside down. Today I will define mental illness
including who is more at risk, the different diagnoses, and the different treatment options.
Transition *Lets first define and understand what mental illness is.
B. Body
I. What is mental illness and who are more at risk?
1. According to NAMI National Alliance on Mental illness A mental illness is a condition that

affects a person's thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone's ability to
relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even
people with the same diagnosis. A mental illness isnt the result of one event. Research
suggests multiple causes such as genetics, environment, and lifestyle influence. A stressful
job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being
the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and basic brain structure may play a role, too.
a. My individuals explain mental illness to me as trying to convince themselves and society that
how they feel, what they see or what they hear does exist to them.
b. Remember when everyone was trying to figure out the color of the infamous dress. People
didnt understand how someone could not see the color that they saw. This is the constant
feeling of someone who has a mental illness. Trying to explain how they feel or explain what
they see or hear and no one understands.
c. Mental illnesses are medical conditions just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas;

mental illnesses are brain-based conditions that often result in a variety of symptoms
that can affect daily life.
2. Who is affected by mental illness

a. Mental illness commonly presents itself during young adulthood according to The Kim
i.Young Adults often begins with a series of transitions. These may include heading off to college,
entering the workforce, marriage, children, divorce, job changes, or a job loss. Each of these
transitions can bring added stressors and uncertainty. In addition to dealing with such life
changing events, mental illnesses often strike. The prime of an individuals life is usually late teen
years or when an individual is in their early twenties.
ii. At times as the symptoms persist, young adults often go un-diagnosed. Prolonged symptoms of
mental illness can have devastating consequences.
b. Men versus women according to American Psychological Association
i. Mental illness affects both women and men equally.
ii. Women are more likely than men to experience an anxiety or mood disorder, such as
depression, while men are more likely than women to experience an impulse-control or
substance use disorder.
Although we discussed the statistics of mental illness; mental illnesses can affect people of any age, race,
religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor
Transition *Now that we have some insight on what mental illness is let us discuss the different illnesses
II. The DSM V list over to 200 different mental illness diagnoses. Mental illness is broken down into categories:
anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychotic disorders We will discuss the 3 frequently diagnosed
1. Schizophrenia (Psychotic disorder)
a. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness categorizes schizophrenia as an illness interfering
with a persons ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others.
Schizophrenia impairs a persons ability to function to their potential when it is not treated.
Unfortunately, no single, simple course of treatment exists. Environmental stressors and genetic
risks are now thought to both contribute to this illness. Schizophrenia causes unusual,
inappropriate and sometimes unpredictable and disorganized behavior. The apparent erratic
behavior is often caused by the delusions and hallucinations that are symptoms of schizophrenia.
b. There are five types of types of schizophrenia: Paranoid type, Disorganized type, Catatonic type,
Undifferentiated type, and Residual type. Diagnosis depend on which symptom is more prevalent.
2. Bipolar (Mood disorder)
a. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual
shifts in a persons mood, energy, and ability to function according to The Kim Foundation. The
reoccurring episodes of mania (high) and depression (low) can last from one day to several
months. People living with bipolar disorder often experience two intense emotional states. These
two states are known as mania and depression. A manic state can be identified by feelings of
extreme irritability and/or euphoria, along with several other symptoms such as agitation, surges
of energy, reduced need for sleep, talkativeness, pleasure-seeking and increased risk-taking
behavior. On the other side, when the individual experiences symptoms of depression, they feel
extremely sad, hopeless, lethargic and may have suicidal thoughts.
b. There are two types Bipolar type I and Bipolar type II. Diagnosis depends on the severity of the
mood shift. Type II is the milder form.
3. Major Depression Disorder (Mood disorder)

a. Major depression is also known as clinical depression, involves a combination of symptoms

such as depressed mood (sadness), poor concentration, insomnia, fatigue, appetite disturbances,
excessive guilt or hopelessness and thoughts of suicide. Major depression is a mood state that
goes well beyond the temporary feeling of sad or blue. It is a serious medical illness that affects
ones thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health for more than two weeks.
Depression is often a life-long condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrences
of illness.
b. An abnormal activity of neural circuits may be the cause.
Transition *Now that we know what mental illness is including who is more likely affected and we know at
least 3 often diagnosed disorders; we can now talk about treatments
III. Remember the dress, what if there was a medication or a treatment that allowed you to see the color
everyone else sees, but it came with side effects. Mental illnesses are persistent illnesses; they need
continuous maintenance to help prevent the reemergence of symptoms. The management of the illness
include attention to a persons lifestyle, their stress management, supports from loved one and medication
options. There is no one approach.
1. Self-Medicated
a. Many individuals with mental illness self -medicate, which mean they use addictive or habituating
drugs to relieve their symptoms. Often medications become too expensive, are not covered by their
insurance, or the side effect are unbearable, so they discontinue taking it.
b. These individuals are categorized as having dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders because of
the substance abuse and mental illness combined.
2. Medications
a. Anti-psychotic medication according to the FDA are a class of psychiatric medications primarily
used to manage psychosis, similar to those seen in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Antidepressant are used to treat depression disorders.
b. Side effects are the number one reason individuals stop taking their medication. Medication does
not make the illness go away or stop the symptoms completely.
3. Psychotherapy/Cognitive behavioral therapy
a. Psychotherapies generally focus on understanding the illness and learning how to cope and
change ineffective patterns of thinking. One popular type of psychotherapy used for changing
these ineffective patterns is known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
4. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
a. According to Mayo Clinic ECT is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which

small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief
seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse
symptoms of certain mental illnesses like depression.
b. Memory loss and delayed speech is the common side effect.
If mental illnesses are left untreated, the symptoms can become more pronounced. Recognition and
diagnosis of any condition in its earliest stages is important so it can be treated effectively. Effective
treatment plans include medication, psychotherapy, education, self-management strategies and external
supports such as family, friends and community support groups
Transition *Now we know what mental illness is, the different types of mental diagnoses, and the
treatments available to treat them.

C. Conclusion
In conclusion, mental illness is a condition that can disrupt a persons thinking, feeling, mood, ability to
relate to others and daily functioning. Mental illnesses are brain-based conditions that often result in a
variety of symptoms that can affect daily life. Teens and young adults are at a time in their life when
many psychiatric illnesses can begin to manifest because of all the changes and pressure. Schizophrenia,
bipolar, and major depressive disorder are three commonly diagnosed mental illnesses. Mental illness has
many treatment options such as medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. Recovery is
possible, it may not mean returning to the same life before the onset of a mental illness, but with effective
treatment and support most people who live with mental illness can significantly reduce the impact of
their illness and live satisfying lives.

Work Cited
American Psychological Association