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Mental Disorders

Mental disorders or mental disorders are illnesses that affect the emotions, state of mind and behavior of those affected. As with physical illness, mental illness also has a cure.

Many factors can trigger mental disorders, ranging from suffering from certain illnesses to stress due to a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or prolonged isolation.

Considering that many people have experienced these traumatic events recently, it is no wonder that the COVID-19 pandemic is also often associated with the emergence of mental disorders in a person.

If you need a COVID-19 test, click on the link below to be directed to the nearest health facility :

  • Rapid antibody test
  • Antigen swab (rapid test antigen)
  • PCR

Causes of Mental Disorders

It is not known exactly what causes mental disorders. However, this condition is known to be linked to biological and psychological factors, as described below:

Biological factors or also called organic mental disorders :

  • Disturbances in the function of nerve cells in the brain.
  • Infection, for example due to the bacterium Streptococcus.
  • Birth defects or brain damage.
  • Brain damage caused by a collision or accident.
  • Lack of oxygen in the baby's brain during the birthing process.
  • History of mental disorders in parents or family.
  • Long-term abuse of drugs, such as heroin and cocaine.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.

Psychological factors :

  • Traumatic events, such as violence and sexual harassment.
  • Parents lost or abandoned in childhood.
  • Less able to get along with others.
  • Divorce or death of spouse.
  • Feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, anger or loneliness.

In addition to the psychological factors mentioned above, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that being in a pandemic situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can also be a stress trigger that then makes a person more susceptible to mental disorders. .

Stress can come from fear and worry about health, finances, or work, which have been affected by the pandemic.

Symptoms of Mental Disorders

Symptoms and signs of mental disorders depend on the type of mental disorder experienced. Affected individuals may experience disturbances in emotions, thought patterns, and behavior.

Here are some examples of symptoms and characteristics of mental disorders :

  1. Delusions or delusions, namely believing in something that is not real or does not correspond to real facts.
  2. Hallucinations, which are sensations when a person sees, hears, or feels something that is not real.
  3. Periodic mood swings.
  4. Feelings of sadness that last for weeks or even months.
  5. Excessive and continuous feeling of anxiety or fear, to the point of interfering with daily activities.
  6. Eating disorders, for example fear of gaining weight, tendency to vomit or eat large amounts.
  7. Changes in sleep patterns, such as falling asleep and staying asleep easily, difficulty sleeping, breathing problems, and restless legs during sleep.
  8. Nicotine or alcohol addiction and drug addiction.
  9. Excessive anger to the point of going mad and committing acts of violence.
  10. Unusual behavior, such as shouting incoherently, talking and laughing alone, and leaving the house naked.

In addition to psychological symptoms, people with mental disorders may also experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, back pain, and heartburn.

When to consult a doctor

Consult a mental health specialist (psychiatrist) immediately if you experience the above symptoms, especially if several of these symptoms occur simultaneously and interfere with daily activities.

If people around you are showing symptoms of mental illness, invite them to share and discuss the symptoms they are experiencing. If possible, take him to see a psychiatrist.

Go to the emergency room of a psychiatric hospital immediately if there are signs of harming yourself or others, especially if you feel like killing yourself. If this happens to someone around you, stay with them and call the emergency number.

Diagnosis of mental disorders

To determine the type of mental disorder the patient is suffering from, the psychiatrist will conduct a psychiatric medical examination by interviewing the patient or their family. Questions that will be asked include:

  • Symptoms experienced, including when symptoms first appeared and their impact on daily activities.
  • History of mental illness in patient and family.
  • Events the patient has experienced in the past that precipitated the trauma.
  • Medications and supplements you have or are currently taking.

In order to exclude the possibility of other diseases, the doctor will carry out a physical examination and additional examinations. One of the supporting examinations carried out is a blood test.

Through blood tests, doctors can determine if the patient's symptoms are caused by thyroid disorders, alcohol addiction, or drug addiction.

Examples of Mental Disorders

After conducting a number of examinations, the doctor can determine what kind of mental disorder the patient is suffering from. Among the many types of mental disorders, some of the most common are:

1. Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes people who suffer from it to feel constantly sad. Unlike ordinary sadness which lasts for a few days, feelings of sadness in depression can last for weeks or months.

2. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes hallucinations, delusions, and confusion in thought and behavior. Schizophrenia makes sufferers unable to distinguish between reality and their own thoughts.

3. Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder is a mental disorder that causes the person who suffers from it to feel excessively and constantly anxious or afraid in carrying out daily activities. People with anxiety disorders may have panic attacks that last a long time and are difficult to control.

4. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental disorder characterized by mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can sometimes feel very sad and hopeless, and then very happy at other times.

5. Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are changes in sleep patterns that interfere with the health and quality of life of those who suffer from them. Some examples of sleep disorders are difficulty falling asleep (insomnia), nightmares (parasomnias) or very easy falling asleep (narcolepsy).

Treatment of mental disorders

Treatment for mental disorders depends on the type of disorder experienced and its severity. In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy and administration of medication, doctors will also advise patients to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that aims to change the patient's thought patterns and responses from negative to positive. This therapy is the first choice to overcome mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, depression and schizophrenia.

In many cases, doctors combine cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication to make treatment more effective.


To relieve the symptoms experienced by patients and increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy, doctors may prescribe the following medications :

  • Antidepressants, eg fluoxetine
  • Antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole
  • Anxiolytics, eg alprazolam
  • Mood stabilizers, such as lithium

Lifestyle changes

A healthy lifestyle can improve sleep quality for people with mental disorders who also suffer from sleep disorders, especially when combined with the above treatment methods. Some steps can be taken :

  • Reduce the consumption of sugar in food
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Limit the consumption of caffeinated beverages
  • Stop smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Manage stress well
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a snack with a small amount of carbohydrates before bed.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day

If you suffer from a sufficiently serious mental disorder, you must undergo treatment in a psychiatric hospital. Likewise, if the victim cannot seek independent treatment or if a mental disorder causes them to take actions that put themselves and others at risk.

Complications of mental disorders

Mental disorders can lead to serious complications, both physical, emotional and behavioral. In fact, a mental disorder that is left untreated can trigger other mental disorders. Some of the complications that can arise are :

  1. Feeling of being unhappy in life
  2. Conflicts with family members
  3. Difficulty building relationships with other people
  4. Remote from social life
  5. Dependence on cigarettes, alcohol or drugs
  6. Desire to commit suicide and harm others
  7. Having legal and financial problems
  8. Vulnerable to disease due to weakened immune system.

Prevention of mental disorders

Not all mental disorders can be avoided. However, several steps can be taken to reduce the risk of mental disorders, including :

  1. Actively participate in the association and in activities that please
  2. Share with your friends and family when you encounter problems
  3. Exercise regularly, eat regularly and manage stress well
  4. Set a regular sleep and wake schedule each day
  5. Follow exercises to calm the mind or relax, for example with meditation and yoga
  6. Do not smoke or use drugs
  7. Limit the consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
  8. Take medicine prescribed by a doctor according to the dosage and directions for use
  9. Check with a doctor or psychologist for an initial mental health check-up or if symptoms of mental disorders appear.