Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Who will have a mental illness?

The commonest image of a mentally ill person is someone who is talking nonsense and behaving bizarrely. In reality, the vast majority of people with a mental illness look, behave and talk no differently from those with a physical illness.

Mentally ill people are no more dangerous than physically ill people, and you should never feel that you are at risk of being harmed simply because you are talking to a person who is suffering from a mental illness. You should consider using some kind of screening procedure to identify people who may be suffering from a mental illness.Then you can spend more time with such people to find out what the problem is and start treatment.

There are two approaches to screening people in a busy clinic. First, there are some kinds of clinical presentations that are typical of mental illness. If anyone presents with these, you should suspect a mental illness. Second, you can ask a set of ‘golden questions’ to help detect the two commonest types of mental health problems in general health care, namely the common mental disorders and alcohol dependence. If the answer to any of these questions is positive, you should then ask more questions about these conditions.

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