Mental Illness and Treatment

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Many people live with undiagnosed mental health disorders. Unfortunately, leaving these disorders untreated can lead to devastating consequences for the individual. With 1 in 5 individuals experiencing a mental illness – evaluation when symptoms occur are very important before they become extreme. 

Knowing the difference between a normal response to major life events and thoughts and feelings that are the result of mental illness is not always an easy task. This is why it is vital to understand the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders and to turn to a mental health professional for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible. Living with an untreated mental health disorder can take a heavy toll on your relationships, job, and life. 

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness 

a man holds his head while sitting on a sofa

Everyone experiences emotional ups and downs — especially in the face of major life events, like the death of a loved one, job loss, or when a child moves away. The difference with mental illness symptoms and expected responses to major life events involves the level of intensity these emotions and feelings occur, and for how long. 

For instance, some people may be fearful, but not excessively or extremely fearful. It might not be a sudden change in behavior, but a change in behavior that includes excessive or extreme fear that could be a sign of a mental illness. It’s important to realize that you are not alone if you are experiencing these symptoms. Reaching out for help is not a weakness and this is not your fault. 

Other behaviors to be aware of include:

  • Sadness that is persistent
  • Fear or anxiety in response to situations that shouldn’t cause fear
  • Anger or emotional outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Avoidance
  • Changes in behavior
  • Confused thinking
  • Inability to cope
  • Negative coping mechanisms, such as self-harm or increased use of drugs or alcohol

What Causes Mental Illness?

Researchers are not entirely sure what causes a person to develop a mental health disorder. There is some evidence that indicates a person will develop a mental health concern if a blood relative had the same or similar disorder. But environment and epigenetic factors play a significant role in the expression of a genetic predisposition for certain mental illnesses.

Mental health disorders can appear at any point in a person’s life, but generally begin in early adulthood. Stressful jobs, dysfunctional family habits, abuse, and lack of knowledge in problem solving with major challenges can trigger mental health problems. Certainly, trauma is a major triggering factor in mental illness. Brain chemistry is another determinant in the possibility of developing a mental illness. 

Types of Mental Illness

Mental health disorders are generally classified as mood or personality disorders. Mood disorders are more commonly diagnosed and include: anxiety disorders, PTSD, and depression. Personality disorders include: schizophrenia, dissociative disorders, and borderline personality disorder.

Anxiety Disorders

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives. When the feeling of fear and anxiety become so extreme that your normal activities are affected you could be experiencing an anxiety disorder. Over 40 million adults and 7% of all children ages 3-17 in the US have an anxiety disorder.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder involves excessive inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. 8.8 % of children 4-17 are affected by this disorder. 4.4% of all adults are affected by ADHD. With treatment which usually includes medication you can return to a normal life. Individuals with ADHD often have a co-morbid mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety.

Bipolar Disorder

This disorder usually has an onset of the age of 25, though symptoms can be present as early as childhood. There are four classifications of bipolar disorder, specific to the experiences of manic, hypomanic, and depressive symptoms. This disorder requires treatment and usually medication to keep on a level keel. 

Borderline Personality Disorder

This disorder presents with difficulty in regulating emotions. Emotions are intense for an extended period before they stabilize and become normal again. Usually, a triggering event will cause the changes. This disorder leads to impulsive behavior, poor self-image, stormy relationships and intense emotional responses. This disorder can result in coping with self-harm behaviors such as cutting.


More than 19 million adults have experienced at least one major depressive event. Depression is more than simple sadness. It can be debilitating. Hopelessness, sadness, unhappiness, changes in eating and sleeping and the inability to cope with your intense feelings are all common experiences for those living with depression.

How is Mental Health Treated 

When mental health issues are suspected, evaluations performed by mental health professionals are the best way to achieve a proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, a personalized treatment plans using evidence-based treatments can include:

  • Pharmacological management
  • Counseling
  • Cognitive processing and/or cognitive behavioral therapies
  • Coping skills training
  • Psychosocial rehab services
  • Peer support

A customized treatment plan and level of care depend on multiple factors, such as physical health, the severity of the diagnosed mental condition(s), lifestyle, and family history, and if there is a co-occuring substance use disorder.

Statistics of Mental Health 

The importance in seeking treatment for mental health concerns cannot be understated. Untreated mental health disorders can negatively affect a person’s quality of life, impacting relationships, work, school and other key areas. More serious symptoms can lead to suicidal thoughts or ideation, self-harm, or addiction.

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all mental illness over a lifetime begin by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • In Texas over 16% of adults are living with at least one mental illness

Mental Health Treatment in Dallas, TX

At ARM Dallas, our experienced staff members can help treat mental health issues while providing a safe and healthy environment. We want to see you not only survive but thrive! For more information about our mental health treatment options, call us at (214) 943-5010 or contact us today

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