Mental Health

Mental Health

How well you cope with life - your mental health - is just as important as your physical health. Worry, stress, anxiety affects everyone, but if it overwhelms your ability to cope, make good decisions, and have fulfilling relationships, you need help. Counseling, medications, and supportive friends can help strengthen your ability to cope - and improve your mental health.

Recently Answered

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    People with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are likely to take actions that may include these kinds of behaviors:

    • Seek advice and medical treatment from cosmetic surgeons, doctors and dentists to attempt to fix the supposed physical defect
    • Operate on themselves
    • Stay away from social situations
    • Keep themselves away from other people
    • Hurt themselves
    • Try to kill themselves

    The disorder can prompt people to quit their job or drop out of school and to become housebound. Some may isolate themselves in a room and only allow others to see them when they are completely veiled or masked. About 80 percent of people with BDD have considered suicide and about 25 percent of people who have BDD have attempted suicide.

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    Typically, body dysmorphic disorder begins in adolescence. Some people, however, begin exhibiting symptoms in childhood and others do not develop the disorder until reaching adulthood.

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    Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted research that reveals that people with body dysmorphic disorder may process visual information differently than those without it.

    In the study, people with and without BDD were shown three different images of faces in regular, high and low resolutions. Results from MRIs showed participants with BDD used the analytical side of their brains to process all three images, while the other participants used that side of their brains only for the high resolution image.

    This may mean that the minds of people with BDD seek to acutely process visual details, even when there aren't any visual details to process. This may explain why they see flaws in themselves, even when those flaws might not be there.

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    An imbalance of serotonin in the brain is a possible factor involved with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

    People with BDD often respond well to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), a class of antidepressants. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that transmits signals between billions of neurons that are in constant communication, allowing the body to act and think. Serotonin is produced in each individual neuron from tryptophan, which is an amino acid. Serotonin is typically active in regions of the brain that are responsible for sleeping, sensory perception and emotions.

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    There are cultural factors, such as a societal premium on beauty, that may contribute to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). One example of this is muscle dysmorphia. Proponents of this theory believe that perceived social pressures on men to be buff and big - communicated through the media and advertising - could cause a man to develop BDD. He might begin obsessing about his size and start exercising excessively to attempt to create a body that emulates the so-called perfect bodies of some celebrities and models.

    The movie 'Zoolander' is a satire about the way some models can make some people feel physically inadequate, which can trigger psychiatric problems.

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    Conduct disorder is a behavior disorder, sometimes diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by antisocial behaviors which violate the rights of others and age-appropriate social standards and rules. Antisocial behaviors may include irresponsibility, delinquent behaviors (such as truancy or running away), violating the rights of others (such as theft), and/or physical aggression toward others (such as assault or rape). These behaviors sometimes occur together; however, one or several may occur without the other(s).

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    The conditions that contribute to the development of conduct disorder are considered to be multifactorial, with many factors (multifactorial) contributing to the cause. Neuropsychological testing has shown that children and adolescents with conduct disorders seem to have an impairment in the frontal lobe of the brain that interferes with their ability to plan, avoid harm, and learn from negative experiences. Childhood temperament is considered to have a genetic basis. Children or adolescents who are considered to have a difficult temperament are more likely to develop behavior problems. Children or adolescents from disadvantaged, dysfunctional, and disorganized home environments are more likely to develop conduct disorders. Social problems and peer group rejection have been found to contribute to delinquency. Low socioeconomic status has been associated with conduct disorders. Children and adolescents exhibiting delinquent and aggressive behaviors have distinctive cognitive and psychological profiles when compared to children with other Mental Health Disorders problems and control groups. All of the possible contributing factors influence how children and adolescents interact with other people.
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    Approximately 1 to 4 percent of children ages nine to 17 years old have conduct disorders. The disorder is more common in boys than in girls. Children and adolescents with conduct disorders often have other psychiatric problems as well that may be a contributing factor to the development of the conduct disorder. The prevalence of conduct disorders has increased over recent decades. Aggressive behavior is the reason for one-third to one-half of the referrals made to child and adolescent Mental Health Disorders services.

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    Most symptoms seen in children with conduct disorder also occur at times in children without this disorder. However, in children with conduct disorder, these symptoms occur more frequently and interfere with learning, school adjustment, and, sometimes, with the child's relationships with others.
    The following are the most common symptoms of conduct disorder. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. The four main groups of behaviors include the following:
    • Aggressive conduct causes or threatens physical harm to others and may include the following:
      • intimidating behavior
      • bullying
      • physical fights
      • cruelty to others or animals
      • use of a weapon(s)
      • forcing someone into sexual activity, rape, molestation
    • Destructive conduct may include the following:
      • vandalism; intentional destruction to property
      • arson
    • Deceitful behavior may include the following:
      • lying
      • theft
      • shoplifting
      • delinquency
    • Violation of ordinary rules of conduct or age-appropriate norms may include the following:
      • truancy (failure to attend school)
      • running away
      • pranks
      • mischief
      • very early sexual activity
    The symptoms of conduct disorder may resemble other medical conditions or behavioral problems. Always consult your child's (adolescent's) physician for a diagnosis.
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    A child psychiatrist or a qualified mental health professional usually diagnoses conduct disorders in children and adolescents. A detailed history of the child's behavior from parents and teachers, observations of the child's behavior, and, sometimes, psychological testing contribute to the diagnosis. Parents who note symptoms of conduct disorder in their child or teen can help by seeking an evaluation and treatment early. Early treatment can often prevent future problems. Further, conduct disorder often coexists with other mental health disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disorders, increasing the need for early diagnosis and treatment. Always consult your child's (adolescent's) physician for more information.