Lifelong health encompasses both physical and mental wellbeing. Not unlike a disease of the body, Psychiatric disorders left untreated can interfere with daily activities, impact quality of life and even shorten life span.
A Mental Health Disease Statistic
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 26 percent of adults in the United States are affected by a mental health disease, making it one of the leading causes of disability.
Because the brain is such a complex structure, mental health issues can stem from many different causes and have many different manifestations. Genetic predisposition is a factor for many people struggling with mental health disease, although environmental factors are also common contributors to many disorders. Some conditions begin as early as childhood, while others, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms, are typically brought on by old age.
The term dementia is used to describe a group of symptoms associated with mental impairment, such as short term memory loss and changes in social behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The condition is usually only seen in people over 65, but it can arise earlier. Alzheimer’s is an example of a mental health disease that has both genetic and environmental influences. Read about the signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s in the articles covering these important topics.
Like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease is also a cause of dementia, and typically begins later in life. It is characterized by degeneration of the nerves that control muscle movements and mental function. Unlike Alzheimer’s, the cause of Huntington’s disease is strictly genetic. Learn how this disease is inherited, including information about the gene mutation responsible for Huntington’s disease.
Although Parkinson’s disease does not directly impair mental cognition, its cause is rooted in the cells of the brain. Parkinson’s symptoms include:
- Progressive loss of coordination and balance
- Trembling limbs
The range and severity of Parkinson’s symptoms vary from person to person. Find out how to recognize the early signs of this disease, and learn what researchers are doing to develop a cure for Parkinson’s.
Although bipolar disorder is one of the most common mental health issues, it can be difficult to diagnose properly. The cause is thought to be multi-factorial, with genetics as a contributing factor in many cases. If left untreated, symptoms of bipolar disorder can have devastating effects on day-to-day activities, as well as social and familial relationships. HealthTree.com offers information on the risk factors and symptoms of bipolar disorder.