Common Mental Health Concerns That Often Go Untreated
Mental health issues significantly impact a person’s mood, ability to succeed, and physical health. Some mental health conditions cause mood swings. Other conditions make it hard to concentrate or process information, affecting a person’s ability to succeed in school or their career. Mental well-being can improve your physical health, while untreated mental issues can increase your risk of suffering a stroke or having a heart attack.
Mental illness affects more than 43 billion adults in the United States, but only 40 percent of these adults received treatment in 2011. Negative stigmas about mental illness prevent some people from seeking treatment, while others lack the health care coverage required to see a mental health professional. Despite growing awareness about mental illness, the people with mental health issues explored here may not receive treatment for their condition.
ADD and ADHD
Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder affect both males and females, although these attention disorders are more commonly associated with boys. Due to the association, males are more likely to be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, even though these disorders are equally common in females.
Attention issues characterize ADHD. Typical ADHD symptoms include hyperactivity. People with ADHD seem to be constantly moving, even if their movement has no clear purpose or goal. People with this hyperactive disorder also struggle to pay attention. They’re prone to impulsive behavior, which can manifest itself by abruptly changing activities or interrupting people.
Common ADD symptoms in teens include lack of attention to detail, disorganization, tardiness, and forgetfulness. Teens with an attention deficit may forget schoolwork. They’re easily preoccupied with distractions. They may also appear apathetic.
Teens with ADD may also struggle with low self-esteem. They’re more likely to engage in harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse. Consult your child’s doctor if you note any of the attention deficit symptoms outlined here. Common treatments for ADD and ADHD include talk therapy and medication. People with ADD and ADHD may also benefit from dietary changes.
Depression is a mood disorder that’s frequently undiagnosed or untreated. Depression can be caused by traumatic events, such as abuse or the loss of a loved one. Medications or hormonal changes can also trigger depression.
Common symptoms of depression include loss of interest in activities, feelings of hopelessness, changes to your weight, and an inability to make decisions.
A mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can evaluate people who have symptoms of depression and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Common treatments include prescription medications, behavior therapy, psychotherapy, and experiential therapy.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness also referred to as manic-depression. People with bipolar disorder experience mood cycles. They go through highs and lows. Highs are accompanied by energy and enthusiasm. During lows, people with bipolar disorder feel sad and depressed.
Symptoms include engaging in high-risk behaviors, inability to concentrate, mood swings, and sleep disorders. Some symptoms overlap with symptoms of depression and ADHD, which is why you must see a psychiatrist or psychologist if you think you or someone you know has bipolar disorder.
There’s no cure for bipolar disorder, but it can be treated with therapy and medication.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition developed after experiencing a traumatic event. Suppose you were robbed at gunpoint or in a car accident that claimed the life of a loved one. These experiences could cause PTSD.
Symptoms vary based on the cause. Some people with PTSD have difficulty sleeping. Others struggle with depression and avoid activities that remind them of the source of their trauma. For example, it’s typical for military veterans who’ve experienced trauma in combat to be triggered by loud sounds, such as fireworks or gunfire.
Psychiatrists and psychologists can diagnose PTSD and develop a treatment plan. Common treatments include medication and therapy.
Many people with mental health conditions don’t receive treatment. It’s common for girls with ADD and ADHD not to receive a diagnosis or treatment. Many people who have depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD don’t receive appropriate treatment, either.