The purpose of this page is to give a better understanding (and provide the clinical definition) of common terms often heard and used by many in the Mental Health field.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood."
Also according to the CDC, "Mental illnesses are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Such conditions may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic) and affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day."
According to Mayo Clinic, "Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living."
According to Anxiety.org, "Anxiety is the mind and body's reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. It's the sense of uneasiness, distress, or dread you feel before a significant event. A certain level of anxiety helps us stay alert and aware, but for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it feels far from normal-it can be completely debilitating."
According to the Addiction Center, "Addictive personalities are classified as elements of one’s character that predisposes them to substance abuse and behavioral compulsions. Traits of addictive personalities can put someone at risk for developing an addiction. An addictive personality is a personality that is more likely to become addicted to something. This can include someone becoming extremely passionate about something and developing an obsession or fixation. The underlying factors for getting carried away and overindulging in video games, food, sex, or drugs and stem from hidden anxiety, depression, and poor impulse control."
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, "Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and uncharacteristic behaviors—often without recognizing their likely harmful or undesirable effects."
According to the American Psychiatric Association, "PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault."
According to the International OCD Foundation, "OCD is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life, and occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease his or her distress."
According to the Autism Society, ASD "is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees."
Many types of impulse control disorders are thought to stem from underlying neurological vulnerabilities coupled with environmental stresses, as noted on verywellmind.com. According to the American Addiction Centers, ICD is "a condition in which a person has trouble controlling emotions or behaviors. Examples of impulse control disorders include oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, kleptomania, and pyromania."
SAD is a form of depression that is identified as Major Depressive Disorder with a seasonal pattern. According to the American Psychiatric Association, "the symptoms usually occur during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight and usually improve with the arrival of spring. The most difficult months for people with SAD in the United States tend to be January and February. While it is much less common, some people experience SAD in the summer."
Please note I am not a licensed physician, nor do I have a degree in psychology, psychiatry or anything pertaining to the mental health field; however, what I do have is numerous years of life experience. As stated in the "About Us" section, throughout my journey, I have battled mental illness in more ways than one. There are times where it has literally crippled me (mentally and physically) to the point that I was unable to muster up enough energy to get out of bed.
There was a time when I was labeled "crazy" and felt like the black sheep in my family. Why? Because that is how I believe most viewed and treated me. If only one person would have taken the time out to see there was actually something "wrong" and there was a chemical imbalance taking place in my brain, opposed to casting me off and throwing me by the wayside, maybe, just maybe, my journey would not have been as difficult. If only one would have focused on the "cause" of my "effect", opposed to the way the pain and confusion was being displayed, maybe, just maybe, my path would have been different. Be that as it may, on today, once tattered and scathed, I can say that I am thankful for every ounce of my terrain filled journey! It has helped me realize my purpose! It is what helped shape and form my vision that has now come to fruition. #NazarahsHeaven
If you live in Anne Arundel County, MD, the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency is a great resource for Suicide Prevention. To reach their Crisis Warmline, please call 410-768-5522.
If you live outside of Anne Arundel County, but reside in the State of Maryland, please call 2-1-1 (Option 1) or send a text to 898-211 to reach the State of Maryland's Crisis Hotline.
If you live outside of the State of Maryland, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is an awesome resource and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!