According to The Free Dictionary, mental illness is defined as, “Any of various psychiatric conditions, usually characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by physiological or psychosocial factors “(The Free Dictionary, 2007). Mental illness can certainly be a physical illness, but is not as easily diagnosed like a disease such as diabetes. In a disease like diabetes, physicians can run tests to look for certain indicators of the disease in the blood like the levels of blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C.
Sometimes physical conditions can cause mental illnesses. Unlike diseases like diabetes, mental health diagnoses’ often rely more on the patient relaying their symptoms to their physician or health care provider. This could not be as accurate because the patient may be unable to distinguish all of their symptoms or they may not think to tell the health care provider every symptom that they are suffering. According to John Grohol PsyD, “Treating mental illness rarely results in a “cure,” per se.
What it does result in is a person feeling better, getting better, and eventually no longer needing treatment (in most cases). But even then, rarely will a professional say, “Yes, you’re cured of your depression. ””(Grohol PsyD, 2009). The deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill began with the introduction of the use of psychotropic drugs for mental health treatment in the 1950’s. It was embraced as a way of saving money because the patients would be able to be treated on an outpatient basis and in theory also be able to function in the world while on medications.
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This has not been as successful of a plan as originally intended. Crystal Riberio makes this point by stating, “The programs thought to replace care given in institutions were not nearly adequate. These programs, attempts to place the mentally ill back in society to be helped by the community members, day programs, and medications were not fully implemented to the full extent needed to replace institutions. This process led to an overwhelming number of mentally ill loose in society, becoming criminals due to lack of treatment” (Riberio, 2006).
It is important to acknowledge that mental health services are often administered by a patient’s primary care physician. The patient may make tell their primary physician about problems that they are suffering from in order to seek help there first. The primary physician can prescribe anti-depressants for a patient that is suffering from anxiety or depression. They can also run tests to make sure a problem is not organic in nature versus purely mental. If mental health and physical health care are kept separate, a physician could miss a medical diagnoses that could be causing a mental problem.
Some of the services that could be needed for the mentally ill are safe places for them to stay that will help protect mentally ill people from themselves if they are that unstable. There is also a need for therapy to help patients learn about their illnesses and how to cope with it. Managed Healthcare poses more challenges to the treatment of mental illness because they often impose more hoops to jump through in order for the patient to get approved coverage.
Managed care organizations reduce health care costs of mental health treatments by imposing limits on the amount of care a person can receive. They may also cover the treatments at a lower percentage, making the patient liable for a larger portion of the cost of care. In order to determine what kind of facility a mentally ill person should go to, one would have to be evaluated by a mental health professional. If the person is a danger to themselves or others, it would probably be best to have them admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
If they are simply depressed, they may be able to be treated with medicine and therapy. ? References The Free Dictionary . (2007). Medical Dictionary. Retrieved from http://medical-dictionary. thefreedictionary. com/mental+illness Grohol PsyD, J. M. (2009). Psych Central. Pysch Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral. com/blog/archives/2009/05/22/how-do-you-cure-mental-illness/ Riberio, C. (2006). Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill. Associated Content. Retrieved from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/47201/deinstitutionalization_of_the_mentally_pg2. html? cat=17
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