How to Cope With Multiple Mental Illnesses
Mental illness can affect every aspect of your life and make daily responsibilities very challenging. It can cause disruptive sleep patterns, low job performance, and poor eating habits. When you have a mental illness, you can feel extreme fatigue and lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. While many people struggle with mental health problems, it is possible to be diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses, making coping with symptoms very difficult.
A mental illness, also sometimes known as a mental health disorder, is a condition that affects your mood, behavior, and thinking. Some mental illnesses may occur short-term, and others can be chronic. A diagnosis of two or more mental health disorders is known as a co-morbid condition.
Different Types of Mental Illnesses
Mental illnesses are more common than most people think, affecting one in five adults in the U.S. each year. Some mental health disorders can be severe and, in some cases, life-threatening. There are different types of mental illnesses, with some being more common than others.
Anxiety disorders make you feel intense fear that can prevent you from performing daily activities. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, anxiety disorders are a common mental health condition that affects more than 40 million adults in the U.S. Many children are also affected by anxiety disorders.
There are five major types of anxiety disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety disorder
Anxiety disorders can vary in severity for each individual. People who have general anxiety may experience a wide range of symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating, restlessness, fast breathing, or rapid heart rate. Although anxiety disorders can be challenging, they are treatable.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that makes a person experience recurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from one day to months. Bipolar causes dramatic shifts in mood and energy and can affect work or school productivity and performance.
The Mayo Clinic describes four types of bipolar:
- Bipolar I: characterized by having at least one manic episode preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. Sometimes, mania can trigger psychosis.
- Bipolar II: classified by a series of depressive and hypomanic episodes
- Cyclothymic disorder: periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms lasting at least two years
- Unspecified bipolar disorder: bipolar disorder symptoms that do not fit into the other bipolar categories
During manic episodes of bipolar, a person can feel energized and require less sleep. A manic episode can cause a person to lose their appetite, talk fast about many different things, and engage in risky behavior. Depressive episodes can cause a person to feel down and empty. They can also disrupt sleep patterns, lead to poor concentration, and cause a person to lose interest in activities. Many people who suffer from bipolar have other mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorder, substance use disorder (SUD), eating disorder, or ADHD.
Major depressive disorder is a common and severe mental health disorder that negatively affects many parts of a person’s life. Depression causes intense and debilitating feelings of sadness with a loss of interest in daily activities. Many people who suffer from major depressive disorder also struggle with other mental health disorders. According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is among the most treatable mental illnesses. On average, 80-90% of people with depression respond well to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from the symptoms. The most common co-occurring mental illness with major depressive disorder is an anxiety disorder. Approximately five to nine percent of the general adult population has an anxiety and depression diagnosis.
Healthy Ways to Cope With Mental Illness
Although some mental illnesses can disrupt many aspects of your life, there are healthy ways to cope with symptoms. Exercise is a natural way to relieve stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem, and enhance well-being through the release of endorphins. Maintaining a healthy diet will also help improve overall health. Regular exercise and healthy eating can help o regulate sleep patterns, lower cholesterol, and increase brain function.
While taking care of your physical body is essential, it is also crucial to take care of your spirit. Take time to engage in self-care activities, such as reading, journaling, gardening, and more. By taking care of yourself, you aim to replenish your soul and care for yourself on a deeper level. Taking the time to connect to yourself can also include meditation and yoga.
It is also essential to reach out for help when you need it. Keeping in contact with a healthy support system of family and friends can help individuals share their feelings with people they trust. Sometimes, letting out our emotions gives us some relief. You should also not be afraid to seek professional help if you need it. Treating comorbid mental health disorders can be challenging, and a medical professional can help you find the best treatment plan that fits your needs.
Many people suffer from more than one mental illness at once. Multiple diagnoses are treatable, and Achieve Concierge offers a comprehensive health plan that we can tailor to fit your needs. We work with our patients to develop the best strategy to manage mental health symptoms. Our panel of expert clinicians is prepared to create the best treatment path just for you. Our members experience a continuum of care that addresses healing for the mind, body, and spirit. Achieve Concierge offers mental health services for children and adults to ease anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. We take your mental health very seriously, so we offer same-day, in-person appointments so you can get help quickly and effectively. We can also provide appointments via telemedicine. We want to help you by determining the best course of action to restore your overall health. Discover more about our treatment options and call Achieve Concierge today at (858) 221-0344.
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