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Give a critical overview of the current treatment approaches offered to individuals experiencing a mental health issue.
Mental health stems into many different categories, in this assignment I will be focusing on how people tackle their mental health illnesses and examining how different treatment approaches offer help and support to those who need it. Throughout this assignment I will be covering different approaches practitioners offer and the benefits and disadvantages these have on their clients. I will also be looking at what policies are currently available and the uses of these and finally I will talk about the other services out there which also offer support such as charities.
The mental health topic I am going to be focusing on is depression. Depression Is more than just feeling sad or unhappy although these symptoms are very common and appear in most forms of depression. Depressions is a medical illness which without the correct help can be an ongoing illness. Depression comes in different forms and many individuals who suffer with mild depression may just think they are having low days. Mild depression is the most common form and may leave people feeling down and low at times however usually doesn’t affect their everyday life and they are still able to complete day to day tasks however if this goes untreated this can then trigger major depression and can therefore start to take effect on everyday life. People struggle to leave their home or even get out of bed. (Mind, 2013) There are many types of depression and people may only suffer one type and others may suffer varied types of depression. The most common types of depression are major depression, melancholia, psychotic depression and antenatal and postnatal depression. All of these affect you most of the time and people can suffer nearly every day if left untreated. (beyondblue,2018) In the UK 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem of some form and 1 in 6 people in England have suffered with common mental health problems such as depression. (Mind,2013)
Treatment is available to help individuals who suffer with depressions however the severity of their depression will determine which treatment will be most helpful for them. Symptoms of depression can vary from one individual to another. The physiological symptoms can range from: continuous low moods, low self-esteem, finding it hard to keep themselves motivated, having difficulty with decision making and having little enjoyment in life which can cause suicidal thoughts. Physical symptoms to look out for are: constipation, lacking in energy and being a lot slower than usual and having sleep troubles. Depression will also cause social symptoms such as: reducing the number of social events attended and trying to avoid social situations. (NHS,2016) There is a wide range of treatments available for people who suffer with depression such as; Counselling and talking therapy, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and prescribed antidepressants. There are also self-help treatments for mild depression such as exercising. (Mind,2013) Depression is one of the most common mental health issues and for some people there could be an obvious reason for this such as a traumatic life event, stress and illnesses. (CAMHS,2017) There are many factors which can be causes of depression such as; abuse, death of a close relative or friend, drug misuse and family genetics. (MInd,2013) In the UK the trend of depression is increasing. Depression in teenagers between 15 and 16 has doubled from 1 in 30 to 2 in 30 from 1999 and 2004. (Nuffield Foundation) It is estimated that around 300 million people of the world’s population suffer with a form of depression and/or anxiety, these figures were published by the world health organisation (WHO) and women are more likely to have depression in comparison to men. (the guardian, 2018)
In recent years it has been said that social determinants of health have an impact on mental health such as depression. Social determinants are defined by the worlds health organisation as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life” (Social determinants) These factors are said to have an impact of people who suffer with depression for example for people who are living in poor environments, it is said this can aggravate their mental health states. In a recent article it states that people who suffer with a mental health issue are often living in rented/social accommodation and don’t have a permanent home to live in. Research was carried out by the NHS confederation (PDF) and they found that people who suffer with mental health are one and a half times more likely to be in a rented home which isn’t a permanent home and they don’t have a time frame of how long they will have a secure home for this is why people in rented homes are said to be twice as unhappy with their accommodation and say this a reason they feel their mental health may be worse. If I child lives in a social/rented property for more than a year they are 3 times more likely to suffer a mental health illness such as depression this can be due to living in poorer conditions and moving from one place to another and always feeling an uncertainty of how long they will be in their home for. (The guardian,2016)
Counselling can be one of the first treatments offered to those who suffer with depression, for many this can be a daunting time knowing they will be facing their fears head on and talking to a complete stranger about their feelings. Talking therapies such as counselling offer individuals a safe place to come and talk about their thoughts and feeling. The counsellor is there to help depression suffers understand why they may be feeling the way they do and give them techniques to help them live with these so they don’t seem as bad as they were. Counsellors are also there to help you understand why you may be feeling the way you do and give you ways to cope with these feelings. Depression can cause people to isolate themselves from social situations and find talking to friends and family very difficult which is why counselling has many benefits. Counsellors do not know who you are and therefore cannot and will not judge you, they are professionals and therefore your information stay confidential unless they have to tell someone for your own safety. Therapy is available at any time. (Mind, 2018)
The biochemical model is linked with mental health illnesses such as depression and It is assumed that these illnesses have a physical cause. The biochemical approach focuses on an individual’s genetics, neurotransmitters, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy many people think that mental health illnesses occur due to the physical structures of the brain. Psychiatrists are professionals who work in treating people who suffer with mental health illnesses. They work under the biochemical model and find that people who suffer with a mental health illness usually suffer similar symptoms and cluster symptoms such as hallucinations and suicidal thoughts and they use these symptoms to diagnose a particular condition such as depression or anxiety. When using the biochemical approach, the first thing that is looked for are symptoms to enable the mental health care professionals to give a clear diagnosis and put in place a treatment for that individual. Once this has been completed a prevention method would then be given to prevent the patient from relapsing. Psychiatrists use medication to treat mental health, they use these to treat a physical abnormality in the brain. Incorrect imbalances in the brain are thought to cause some mental health illnesses and therefore these medications are seen to help correct these imbalances and which should cure the underlying symptoms of the disorder helping them make a recovery. The medications they use can consist of; antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and mood stabilizers. The biochemical approach has been seen to be effective especially when it comes to the stigma attached to mental health disorders it helps people to see that these are mental illnesses and that people who suffer from this need medication to resolve the issues. As this approach is linked with drug therapy it works quickly and research shows that it works for around 65% of people who use it. As the treatment used in this area of approach are drugs it is used for sufferers with serious mental health issues as the medication works quicker.
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