Mental illness and trauma

The top 7 misconceptions surrounding mental illness

In recent years, the subject of mental health has become a lot less taboo. 

For instance, countless celebrities have spoken out about their challenges with mental health. Also, with the emergence of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram – online conversations are being had left, right, and center about a whole range of mental issues.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 4 people is likely to become affected by neurological and mental health disorders at some stage in their lives.

Therefore it is essential to address some of the common misconceptions surrounding mental health. Some of these misconceptions include: 

The taboo surrounding mental health has gotten worse:

Twenty years ago, mental health initiatives were limited, and those experiencing depressive symptoms, for example, would end up visiting a doctor and likely put on antidepressants.

In this way, symptoms became alleviated, but the root cause of the depression often remained unaddressed.

Antidepressants were the hush drug, where people would often be prescribed medication to treat depression, rather than a combination approach, which would often result in intermittent relapse. 

Nowadays, things have improved with treatments such as:

Furthermore, having a therapist is commonplace amongst many age groups, and talking about struggles, even more so.

Mental health is a question of extremes:

It is possible to experience a mental health condition to varying degrees. 

Most people assume that depression, for example, must be an all-encompassing condition where the sufferer cannot get off the couch or get out of bed in the morning.

Therefore it is helpful to remember that the most upbeat, happiest people can also struggle with feelings of depression. 

Similar to a physical condition, mental health has a spectrum that ranges from:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe

Those on the spectrum qualifying as mild might not always exhibit the most extreme version of mental illness.

However, people still require the same care and attention no matter where they appear on the spectrum. There should be no distinctions.

Mental health problems are rare:

As it currently stands, 450 million people worldwide suffer from some form of mental illness, with studies conveying that mental health disorders are one of the leading causes of poor health and disabilities across the globe.

Depression alone affects more than 264 million people worldwide, and recent studies conducted in the US illustrate that these rates have tripled during the pandemic. 

Also, an estimated 75% of the population with a mental health disorder have not received treatment for their condition. Statistics also show that 1 in 13 suffers from some form of anxiety disorder. 

These figures highlight that suffering from a mental health condition is not such a rarity after all, although it is an unfortunate reality for many people.

Those with a mental health condition are unable to hold down a job:

Celebrities have long spoken about their challenges with mental health, such as the likes of:

  • Jim Carrey
  • Demi Lovato
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Stephen King
  • Kristen Bell

The range of mental health issues experienced by the above celebrities include:

It is doubtful then that those suffering from depression or any other mental health disorder are incapable of functioning well at work.  

Of course, mental health conditions often affect the body and can cause a range of physical symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability
  • Changes in appetite

The symptoms you see above (and the mental and emotional aspects) can present many challenges to a mental health sufferer.

The point is that it is possible for a person to be functional and have a mental health disorder. The two are not mutually exclusive.

People suffering from poor mental health are violent:

Perhaps one of the most unhelpful misconceptions surrounding mental health. This type of thinking also illustrates that although we have come a long way in understanding mental health as a society, we have a long way to go.

Of course, there are mental conditions that increase the potential for someone to become violent (such as those with triple morbidity), cases of violence in those suffering from mental health disorders are in the minority.

The media has sensationalized violence in association with mental illness in films such as Split and Psycho. The characters in these movies suffer from several mental health disorders, but they are hyped massively for the sake of publicity. 

Of course, this over-sensationalized viewpoint does not do a whole lot for the stigma already attached to mental health.

According to Sir Graham Thornicroft, a professor of psychiatry at King’s College, London, people suffering from mental health disorders are often the victims of violence.

People with more severe mental illnesses (such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia) are more likely to be violent than those without these disorders, which is still disconcerting for many reasons Thornicroft.

Mental health problems only occur in those with bad childhoods:

Our environment matters, and numerous psychologists and mental health workers will vouch for this many will also be surprised to learn that most behavior is biological.

Genetic dispositions play a significant role in mental health, which makes the conditions far more perplexing and often harder to diagnose.

It goes back to the age-old nature v nurture debate; is a behavior a product of our environment or are we innately programmed to be who we are from our biology and DNA?

Trimarchi (2012) explains that: Having just one blood relative with a mental health problem can significantly increase the risk for an individual developing a similar (if not the same) mental health issue in the future.  

Some mental health disorders are genetically linked, conditions such as:

  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia

Those whose parents who either had (or still have) one of the above mental health conditions are up to 15% more likely to develop the same. Although having a pleasant childhood does factor into the quality of future mental health, it does not exempt anyone from having a mental health condition.

Having a mental health problem is a sign of weakness:

Having a mental illness is NOT a sign of weakness.

Unfortunately, though, due to the stigma around mental health, people often experience shame and guilt for the way they feel. 

These feelings often create a double-edged sword, as they often result in a person not reaching out for help. It also presents many challenges for mental health professionals. 

It can be hard to admit when we have a problem, but there is absolutely no shame in reaching out and getting the help you need. Admitting to a problem and reaching out is one of the first steps to recovery; it may be challenging at first, but necessary.

It is also helpful to remember that sharing your feelings and thoughts with another, takes a lot of courage; it certainly does not make you weak!

In conclusion, it appears that there needs to be more heightened awareness around the stigma and misconceptions associated with mental health. We have come on in leaps and bounds over the years, but it is clear from the literature that there is quite a way to go.

We’re here to help.

Contact us today for a free and confidential talk with one of our highly trained clinicians.

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Why a luxury rehab helps to treat anxiety

A certainty about 2020 is that we are living in an age of uncertainty.

For many people, this may bring on anxious thoughts and for those already with anxiety, it will only exacerbate this disorder.

Some anxiety sometimes is a way of reacting to stress. It directs our attention to any situation where something unpleasant or unwelcome could happen.

This could be such as when walking on a wet floor or riding a bike in busy traffic. Anxiety can also arise when we need to do something well, such as before a presentation, exam or performance – but again this is usually a positive as it causes us to focus.

Unless the anxiety becomes overwhelming. For an increasing number of people this type of anxiety has become their norm.

But it is a norm that stops them from living a normal life. When it’s like this it is classified as an Anxiety Disorder.

This is a group of mental health illnesses that causes virtually continual daily worry to the point the anxiety can stop people from even leaving their house.

People suffering like this may withdraw from family, friends and social events, may find it seems impossible to go to work or the shops or anywhere.

“Anxiety is created by our thinking,” says psychotherapist Wayne Kemp. “You’re not going to feel anything positive until you can think: ‘But that’s very unlikely or impossible.’

“The problem is we don’t catch all our thoughts quick enough, so we just catch the feelings and then we get the feeling and we think: ‘Oh my God, why am I feeling this?’ and that increases the thought pattern and that makes the feeling worse.

“It’s all about how you think. Your mind is a fantastic creating machine, your imagination creates your world. If your imagination is out of control you’ll scare yourself to death.”

What are Anxiety Disorders?

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Anxiety Disorders affect at least 300 million people around the world. In America alone, they affect 40 million adults. Because many people do not get diagnosed it is likely to be many more than this figure.

The five main types of Anxiety Disorder are:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Someone with GAD will be anxious most if not all the time. Many executives and other successful people experience this anxiety due to extra pressures that come with the success. It can also lead to burnout.

Around seven million people in the US population suffer from GAD. It is the most diagnosed mental illness in America.

Panic Disorder

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Panic Disorder means someone suffers with unexpected and recurring panic attacks that can come on abruptly for no clear reason. Other times they can be triggered by a person, place or thing.

A panic attack often causes breathlessness, palpitations, excessive perspiration, abdominal distress, an overpowering feeling of being totally helpless, shaking, trembling, and seemingly uncontrollable feelings of impending doom.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

An incident or situation that someone finds traumatic can cause PTSD. It can start immediately afterwards or it can take weeks, months or even years to develop.

Traumas that frequently cause PTSD include having a serious accident; being attacked or abused; childhood neglect; witnessing any of these; developing a serious illness; or suffering a bereavement.

PTSD affects about 30 percent of those who experience a trauma. Frequently the person will have frightening nightmares and/or flashbacks. This causes sleep problems and concentration difficulties.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a chronic disorder causing someone to have obsessions and compulsions that they feel an immense urge to repeatedly do. This includes such as cleaning, checking taps are turned off or constantly counting things. Many experts think it is an attempt to alleviate persistent fears or intrusive thoughts – but that causes severe disruption to daily life.

Social Anxiety Disorder

This is an intense fear of any social situation that means someone suffering from it will try to avoid anything where other people are present. Self-confidence and self-esteem problems will increasingly worsen.

A sufferer from this type of anxiety is often continually anxious about doing something wrong or that they consider would be embarrassing. Physical symptoms include trembling, palpitations and nausea.

What is the best way to treat anxiety?

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Thankfully there are many proven successful treatment options for anxiety. But because excessive anxiety is often a result of thinking and responding in a way that has been learned – often since childhood – professional guidance is needed to find the solution.

Our team of experienced staff has helped treat people with anxiety for many years. A major starting point is to ensure comfort and not be stressed – everything about Tikvah Lake Recovery has been designed with this in mind.

We chose where we are by a tranquil lake to enhance the luxury comfort of our mansion house. We see the lake as part of the healing process here.

We decided on this beautiful part of Florida with its year-round sunny climate to help with relaxation. We are surrounded by stunning nature that also helps recovery.

Thankfully we are in an area with a very low number of COVID-19 cases. We have also adapted to ensure we offer the best possible treatment for anxiety during this period of the worldwide pandemic.

There are many other reasons why a growing number of people with anxiety are coming to recovery centers like ours or are increasingly being referred.

Some major benefits of coming to Tikvah Lake are:

  • You can make significant connections with others who are looking to recover from similar problems.
  • Our compassionate team of experts is here for you 24/7.
  • Negative influences and people are at a distance.
  • Pressures of regular life are also absent while you are here.
  • There are no interruptions – so that you can fully focus on your recovery.
  • Being away from regular life allows for a perspective shift. This means that solutions arise more clearly and swiftly.
  • Our team will help, teach and encourage with such as yoga, walks in nature, meditation and we will ensure you eat nutritious (and delicious!) meals – all of which are beneficial to a swift and strong recovery.

We really value helping our guests.

As a family-run center you can be assured of first-class personal attention. 

If you or someone you care about is struggling with anxiety get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.

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