Mental Health and Depression

When most people think of home health care, they most often imagine only physical injuries or illnesses. However, mental health is an important part of our overall health and can directly affect our physical well being or health. Mental illness requires diagnosis and treatment just as physical conditions do.

What is a Mental Condition or Disorder?

Health conditions are diagnosed and treated based on signs and symptoms, as well as on how much the condition affects a person’s daily life. Signs and symptoms can affect:
  • Behavior – like drinking too much alcohol or constantly washing your hands;
  • Feelings – such as a deep or ongoing sadness, joy or anger; or,
  • Thinking – such as thinking that the television is controlling your mind — or thoughts of suicide. Mental illness or a mental health condition can happen at any ages, and it can affect children, adults or the elderly.
There are more than 300 diagnosed mental health conditions or disorders. There are 7 main types of mental disorders:
  • Anxiety: such as obsessive/compulsive behavior or post traumatic stress disorder
  • Attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism
  • Eating Disorders
  • Mood disorders: such as depression
  • Personality Disorders, or
  • Schizophrenia

The National Institutes of Mental Health, a division of National Institute of Health, reports that in any given year about 26% of adults have one or more diagnosable mental disorders. The average age of most diagnosed conditions is 14. Those who are disabled by a mental condition or are seriously mentally ill is a much smaller group, only 6% of the population.

Mental Health Condition or Disorder and Diagnosis

Each mental health condition has its own set of signs and symptoms. In general, however, professional assessment and help may be needed if someone:
  • Has a noticeable, serious change in personality, eating or sleeping patterns
  • Is unable to deal with problems or daily activities 
  • Has strange or grandiose ideas
  • Show excessive anxiety when facing daily life
  • Feels depression or not caring about usual life for over two weeks
  • Thinking or talking about suicide
  • Abuses substances such as drugs or alcohol
  • Displays extreme mood swings or excessive anger, hostility or violent behavior

Many people who have mental health conditions think their signs and symptoms are a normal part of life – such as reacting to a death or an illness, or they do see doctor or mental health professional out of shame or fear. Seeing a family doctor, or making an appointment with a counselor or psychologist offers an assessment to see if the behaviors or feeling are really a mental health condition. There are treatment options just as with a physical illness, such as medications or counseling, which can help a person often return to a normal life and activities.

How Patients Benefit from Interim’s Care

Interim HealthCare can support the treatment of individuals and help them and their families live with, and in many cases recover from a mental illness.  Interim’s qualified psychiatric nurses and social workers work with mental health professionals including psychiatrists and psychologists to create a home care plan supporting an individual’s treatment and management of daily life.


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