Mental Disorders Due to a General Medical Condition
Health care providers may encounter clients who have both physical and mental health issues. Identifying a physical illness that is masquerading as a mental illness may be difficult, particularly when assisting clients who already have a mental health disorder. There is no one test, examination, or operation that can be performed to tell the difference between primary and secondary psychosis.
Avenues of confirmation are undertaken by highly trained clinicians. The general terms “medical mimic” or “secondary psychosis” have been used to describe this clinical situation.
When identifying a medical mimic, look for telltale symptoms and indications that aren’t often associated with mental disorders. Some examples include, but aren’t limited to, normal functioning prior to current symptoms, atypical age, and a paroxysmal onset.
It’s also important to consider whether or not there is a prior personal or family history of mental illness, recent substance abuse or prescription medication use (new medications, recent dosage changes, or unreported overuse or abuse), changing mental status, treatment, resistance, or any unusual treatment response during the evaluative process.
Substance use disorders (SUDs) are pathological patterns of behavior associated with substance use (e.g., patients continue to use a substance despite substantial difficulties associated with the use of that substance). Mental illnesses caused by substance use or withdrawal can resemble separate mental health disorders are referred to as substance-induced disorders (e.g., depression, psychosis, anxiety, or neurocognitive disorders).
A substance must be recognized to be able to cause the condition for a mental health disorder to be considered substance-induced. Substances may belong to one of the ten drug classes that are known to induce substance use disorders, or they may belong to one of many additional classifications. These secondary substance-related disorders most often:
- Appear within one month after intoxication (or abstinence)
- Pose significant discomfort or impairment in function
- Have had no symptoms exhibited prior to the usage of the substance
- Has not been presenting over a long time
Most people experience sadness or irritability from time to time and may claim to be “in a bad mood.” However, a mood disorder is different than just having a bad day and is an ongoing issue that affects a person’s mood. It has an impact on a person’s emotional state on a daily basis.
Almost one out of every ten individuals aged 18 and over suffers from a mood illness. Depression and bipolar disorder are two examples.
Mood disorders can raise a person’s chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. Medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two are often used as treatments. Most individuals with mood disorders can live productive lives through treatment and therapy.
A mental health clinician can provide a diagnosis that can be the basis for treatment. Treating and managing mood disorders often involve a combination of psychotherapy and prescription medication.
A patient with a factitious disorder deliberately fabricates medical or mental symptoms in order to gain some kind of benefit. Symptoms may be brought on by one’s own actions or manufactured artificially. Also called Munchausen’s syndrome, individuals deliberately cause, fake, or exaggerate medical or mental health problems in order to get something they want from it. This group of suffers is driven by self-interest, whether it’s a need for attention, a way to cope with stress, or a way to stump medical professionals.
The inherent deception in this condition poses a significant challenge for healthcare providers in making a diagnosis. Clients with factitious disorders often have co-occurring mental disorders, such as depression. It is critical to treat the comorbid symptoms properly in these people since this may indirectly improve factitious conduct.
Somatization is a condition that occurs when mental causes, such as stress, produce physical symptoms. Somatoform disorders are a severe form of somatization in which physical sensations may cause significant discomfort, typically over a long period of time. People with somatoform disorders are generally persuaded that their symptoms have a medical origin rather than a mental cause.
Somatic symptom disorder (SSD) is characterized by excessive, exaggerated worry over bodily symptoms. The individual has such strong thoughts, emotions, and actions linked to the symptoms that they believe they are unable to do certain everyday tasks. They may think that minor medical issues are life-threatening emergencies. This worry can persist despite normal test findings and assurances from the doctor.
Gender Identity Disorders
Gender dysphoria (formerly gender identity disorder) refers to the psychological distress that a person may feel when the sex assigned at birth doesn’t match their gender identity, which is what they feel and experience on the inside as their real gender, regardless of their anatomy. It is not an attempt to make anyone conform to gender norms. It is mental health support for those experiencing difficulty in trying to be themselves.
People who are experiencing this conflict are unable to connect their gender expression while identifying with the conventional, strict social binary of male or female gender roles, which may result in rejection, discrimination, and abuse. This may lead to relational problems with family, peers, and friends, as well as interpersonal disputes, social isolation, symptoms of depression and anxiety, drug use disorders, negative feelings of well-being and low self-esteem, and an increased risk of self-harm and suicidality. Patients with this disorder should get mental health care, as well as gender-affirming medical care if needed. Depending on the particular situation and patient requirements, hormone treatments and surgical therapy are options.
Impulse-control disorders (ICDs) are defined by excessive and/or dangerous impulses and actions to oneself or others, which create substantial impairment in social and vocational functioning, as well as legal and financial problems. ICDs are very prevalent mental disorders, but they are poorly understood by the general public, doctors, and those suffering from them. SoCal Mental Health provides up-to-date therapies for ICDs.
Adjustment disorder is a collection of symptoms that may develop after a stressful or traumatic life experience, such as stress, sadness, or hopelessness, as well as physical signs. The symptoms appear as a result of a person’s inability to cope with the experience. Often, the response is greater than anticipated, given the nature of the incident.
Stressors for people of any age include:
- Death of a loved one
- Divorce or problems with a relationship
- General life changes
- Illness or other health issues in yourself or a loved one
- Moving to a different home or a different city
- Unexpected catastrophes
- Worries about money