The evolution of mental health and mental health treatment
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Mental health generally refers to one’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing. It describes and affects the way that one feels, behaves and thinks. Mental health can affect relationships (friends, family or romantic), daily life and physical health. In order to maintain a healthy mental status one must have a healthy balance between all of the events that can occur in one’s daily life. Mental illness occurs when there are changes in one’s cognitive, emotion and behavioral wellbeing. This can lead to distress in many areas of an individual’s life which includes work, family or social activities. Mental illness does not discriminate on who it affects; it affects people of all ranges of gender, income, age, religion, race/ethnicity, social status, cultural identity, or sexual orientation. In fact, in the U.S. around 19%, or one in five adults, is currently suffering from some form of mental illness. While one can develop mental illness at any age, around three-fourths of all cases of mental illness begin after the age of 24. As of 2015, it was estimated that 9.8 million adults have some form of serious mental disorder - which represents about 4.8 percent of the American adult population. It is also not uncommon for people who have a mental disorder to suffer from more than one. In developed countries like the U.S, mental illness or disorders are one of the lead causes of disability. The aim of this study to is to examine the evolution of mental health and treatment. In order to further examine this the history of mental health and illness will be examined using various research studies from a number of sources. Learning the origins and science behind mental illness has had a powerful impact on mental health. This awareness has evolved from the theory that mental illness is due to evil spirits and sin to there being a biological, genetic, and situational reason for mental illness. The original stigma of mental illness has had a lasting effect on patients receiving help and seeking treatment. Though the negative stigma of mental illness still exists, there have been major treatment gains. From ancient times when an individual would get their blood drained to treat their illness to burning people (women) on the stake for being “witches”, treatment has progressed to multiple forms of therapies that are available for the majority of the mental illnesses that exist. Examples include the myriad of medications and cognitive and behavioral therapies. Over many years of research, trials, and patient feedback, the conclusion has been reached that combination therapy in almost all mental illness cases results in the most positive, productive and long lasting treatment and recovery plans. There is a still enormous amount of work needed to fully understand the depths of mental illness. There are still new mental illnesses discovered to date, along with some mental illnesses being renamed and redefined. The understanding of mental illness and its treatment will continue to evolve as the understanding of the human brain continues to develop and scientific technologies continue to improve.