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The Science of Mental Illness

THE SCIENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS More than 50 million Americans suffer from a mental illness or mental disorder. Because most of them are not severe and many go untreated, it may be helpful to understand the science behind what causes mental illness and how it manifests itself in everyday life. PICTURE OF MENTAL HEALTH 1 4 36% IN ADULTS WITH A THOSE WITH A MENTAL DISORDER MENTAL ILLNESS WHO ARE RECEIVING TREATMENT $57.5 BILLION 1. 2 NEARLY IN ANNUAL MENTAL HEALTHCARE COSTS PEOPLE WITH MENTAL DISORDERS WHO FIT THE CRITERIA FOR = 10 BILLION MULTIPLE DISORDERS 9.5% 18.1%- MOOD DISORDERS ANXIETY DISORDERS 6.7% 2.7% Major depressive disorder Panic disorder 1.5% 1.0% Obsessive-compulsive disorder Dysthymic disorder 3.5% Post-traumatic stress disorder Bipolar disorder 2.5% Generalized anxiety disorder 3.1% 1.1% 6.8% Social phobia SCHIZOPHRENIA WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BRAIN Scientists who study mental illness believe an imbalance in brain chemicals contributes to the development of many disorders. Researchers suspect this imbalance impedes the brain's ability to move messages from neuron to neuron and for the brain's wiring to function normally. As a result of this breakdown, the brain may not communicate properly with the body, and a person may begin to show signs of mental illness. DIFFERENT CHEMICALS HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH A VARIETY OF MENTAL DISORDERS: ACETYLCHOLINE Too much: Depression Too little in the hippocampus: Dementia GABA (GAMMA-AMINO BUTYRIC ACID) Too little: Anxiety and anxiety disorders. Some anti-anxiety medication increases GABA at PARIETAL LOBE FRONTAL LOBE receptor sites. DOPAMINE Too much: Schizophrenia Too little: Some forms of depression, muscular rigidity and tremors found in Parkinson's disease OCCIPITAL LOBE TEMPORAL LOBE NOREPINEPHRINE Too much: Schizophrenia Too little: Depression SEROTONIN Too little: Depression and some anxiety disorders, especially obsessive- compulsive disorder. Some antidepressant medications increase the availability of serotonin at receptor sites. CEREBELLUM ADRENALINE Too much: Anxiety and anxiety disorders EPINEPHRINE Too little: Depression SPINAL CORD WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BODY ANXIETY DISORDERS DEPRESSION SCHIZOPHRENIA Blank, vacant facial expression Insomnia or excessive Twitching Lightheadedness sleeping Muscle aches and joint pain Headaches Involuntary Insomnia movements of the tongue or mouth Nausea Burning sensation on face, neck, ears, scalp or shoulders Racing heartbeat Overly acute senses Change in appetite Clumsy, inexact motor skills Chest pain Weight loss/weight gain Back pain Awkward gait SOURCES

The Science of Mental Illness

shared by caradelany on Jul 29
1 comment has published an infographic detailing different types of mental illness and their causes. Anxiety disorders like panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social ...


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