Written by Nicole Baldwin FNP-C, Family Nurse Practitioner
As we focus this month on abuse and mental illness, it is well known that these two can coincide. There are also many cases of individuals who have mental illness and live healthy lives with supportive relationships. Mental illness NEVER justifies abuse.
A distinctive difference between abuse and mental illness are the areas of a person’s life most impacted by the behavior. Mental illness lends to affecting multiple areas of a person’s life including friends, work, and family. Abuse typically impacts personal relationships on a smaller scale.
Mental illness disorders affect mood, thinking, and interactions with others. Warning signs of mental illness may include excessive worry,
withdrawing from social interactions, long-lasting sadness, or changes in moods. Emotional outbursts, feelings of guilt, or substance abuse may also indicate mental illness. Delusion, aggression, depression, or excessive fear may indicate a serious mental illness. Note the word mentioned several times, ILLNESS. Many mental disorders are manageable with the appropriate medical treatment, talk therapy or a combination of both. If you or someone you care for experience any of these symptoms or have concerns about mental illness please consult a primary care provider, mental health facility, or psychiatrist.
Stay healthy and be well!