What Dictates A Mental Illness?

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What Dictates A Mental Illness?

Jeffrey Kluger, author of “Understanding Our Own Minds” for Time Magazine, poses the following question: 

“At what point does joy become mania, sadness become depression, apprehension become anxiety, fear become phobia?”

It can be difficult for someone on their own to realize when they are truly suffering from a mental illness. Oftentimes, people self-diagnose when they do not really fit the diagnostic criteria for mental illness. Other times, people believe they are “not bad enough” and do not qualify for the diagnostic criteria of mental illness, when in fact they do. There is this seemingly fine line that most people don’t know how to maneuver. This is why we have trained professionals to help us. There is less of a fine line as we believe, however. There are diagnostic criteria out there for these mental illnesses that Kluger brings up: mania, depression, anxiety, and phobia. He also makes another good point:

“We value imagination but not hallucination. Yet they’re close kin.”

It can be extremely difficult for someone who is unsure of their mental health status to decide to reach out for help. You may not be able to tell what side of the line you fall on. That’s okay. There are diagnostic criteria to lean on and mental health professionals to help you. That’s what we at Pinnacle Recovery are here for. If you would like to learn more at this time, however, you can read some of the diagnostic criteria (according to the DSM V) for depression below. (We chose depression because it is the most common mental illness, impacting about 300 million people, according to TalkSpace.)

  • Five or more symptoms (a few of the many are included in this list) that have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning, while at least one of the five symptoms is either depressed mood, or loss of interest or pleasure
    • Depressed most of the day, nearly every day
    • Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
    • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
    • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
    • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for death by suicide
  • The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
  • The episode is not attributable to the psychological effects of a substance or another medical condition
  • The occurrence of the major depressive episode is not better explained by another psychotic disorder
  • There has never been a manic or hypomanic episode

If you think you are struggling with depression or another mental illness, reach out to Pinnacle Recovery today. We have trained and experienced staff members who can help you. We can be reached by telephone at 1-866-301-0573. We can’t wait to hear from you. 

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