Health: Mental Health – 17 Facts #48in48

17 facts on Mental Health

1. The difference between Psychologists and Psychiatrists: Because psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, they can prescribe medications, and they spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment. Psychologists focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients with behavioral intervention. #333

2. In the mid-1950s, humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow created a theory of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs that motivate individuals to move consciously or subconsciously through levels or tiers based on our inner and outer satisfaction of those met or unmet needs.       Maslow’s study of 3000 college students found that none met the criteria for self-actualization. His hierarchy looks like this: #334

3. The Stanford Prison Experiment was an attempt to investigate the psychological effects of perceived power, focusing on the struggle between prisoners and prison guards. The experiment got out of hand and was stopped earlier than planned. The details of that experiment can be found: #335

4. Schizophrenia does NOT mean “split personality,” but instead means a splitting of affect, thought, and behavior. The nonspecific concept of madness has been around for many thousands of years and schizophrenia was only classified as a distinct mental disorder by Kraepelin in 1887. He was the first to make a distinction in the psychotic disorders between what he called dementia praecox and manic depression. #336

5. The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly. The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach. In the 1960s. Rorschach’s nickname as a child was “inkblot.” #337

6. The idea that there are “right brain” and “left brain” people is a myth. #338

7. Bogyphobia is the fear of bogeys or the bogeyman. There are hundreds of phobias. A list of some of those can be found here: #339

8. It takes a minimum of 12 years of schooling to become a psychiatrist. You’ll spend the first four years as an undergraduate and pre-med student earning a bachelor’s degree. After that comes four years of medical school, followed by four years of residency. The first year of residency is typically done in a hospital, treating all kinds of patients for a variety of issues; the last three years are spent training specifically in psychiatry. After residency, many new doctors become board certified by passing an exam administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, although certification is not necessary to work as a psychiatrist. It is, however, mandatory that you take a national licensing exam and be licensed by the state you’ll be working in. #340

9. The term “psychiatry” was first coined by the German physician Johann Christian Reil in 1808 and literally means the ‘medical treatment of the soul’ (psych- “soul” from Ancient Greek psykhē “soul”; -iatry “medical treatment” from Gk. iātrikos “medical” from iāsthai “to heal”). #341

10. Sigmund Freud was the eldest of 8 children. He initially was an advocate (and user) of cocaine. He is considered the founder of psychoanalysis. He gave up his scientific career in order to become a doctor (the motivation was to be able to marry the woman he loved as a lab tech made no money – the endeavor took four years to accomplish – she waited patiently). His daughter, Anna was a significant doctor as well, she worked in the field of child psychoanalysis. When the Nazi’s invaded Austria, many of Freud’s books were burned along with those by other famous thinkers. Freud and his daughter Anna were both interrogated by the Gestapo before his friend Marie Bonaparte was able to secure their passage to England. Bonaparte also tried to rescue Freud’s four younger sisters, but was unable to do so. All four women later died in Nazi concentration camps. Freud had been a heavy cigar smoker all his life. In 1939, after his cancer had been deemed inoperable, Freud asked his doctor to help him commit suicide. The doctor administered three separate doses of morphine and Freud died September 23, 1939. #342

11. In 1979, Senator Ted Kennedy chaired U.S. congressional hearings on the increase in tranquilizer use. Other prominent figures, such as Gloria Steinem and former first lady Betty Ford, spoke out about drug and alcohol addiction, which became rampant in the 1970s and 80s. Surprisingly, despite the fears of counterculture use and drug addiction, a study showed that, in the late 1960s, middle-class mothers were the highest consumers of tranquilizers. Because addiction changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug. The resulting compulsive behaviors that override the ability to control impulses despite the consequences are similar to hallmarks of other mental illnesses. #343

12. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adults. An estimated 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders. Only about one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment, even though the disorders are highly treatable. Some types of anxiety disorders are: general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, phobic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), separation anxiety disorder. Women have double the risk of anxiety disorders than men. #343

13. Nationally, 57 percent of adults with mental illness receive no treatment, and in some states (Nevada and Hawaii), that number increases to 70 percent. Despite low utilization of treatment, individuals in Hawaii are the least likely to say that have unmet treatment needs, with  only 12 percent of adults in Hawaii reporting that they do not receive the treatment they need. This leads to the question of whether it is possible that individuals in Hawaii are trying to manage their mental health problems on their own, or perhaps the stigma surrounding mental illness is preventing individuals from acknowledging the need for help. #344

14. An estimated 5,200,000 adults suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions or other threats on a person’s life. People with PTSD are at a higher risk of suicide and intentional self-harm. #345

15. This year’s report finds nearly 6 in 10 adults with a mental health issue receive no treatment, and 18.5% of Americans were found to be experiencing some form of mental health issue, a slight increase from the 18.1% reported last year. For this year’s report, that represents a total of 43.7 million adults. #346

16. #347 An infographic outlining influences on Mental Health:

17. In 2011, the United States spent $113 billion on mental health treatment. That works out to about 5.6 percent of the national health-care spending (study published in the journal of Health Affairs). #348


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