What does it mean to be ‘horizon mental ill?’
Well, if you’re a young person with ‘mental illness’ you may not even know you have it.
In fact, it’s not something you usually think about when you think of mental illness, but for some people it can have an impact on their daily life.
A young person who suffers from ‘horstmannia’ has a ‘mental health’ disorder which makes them unable to control their emotions and thoughts.
‘Horstmannic disorders’ are thought to be caused by the damage to the brain caused by ‘brain injury’, and include a range of conditions including anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.
What’s worse, if your diagnosis isn’t accurate, you may also be labelled with other disorders.
‘We’re told by our society that people who have mental illnesses are criminal, violent and mentally ill, and we’re taught to blame them for their lives, rather than look after them,’ said Dr Efraim Katz, a professor of psychiatry at Bar-Ilan University and co-director of the Bar-Yosef Foundation.
Dr Katz has been a psychiatrist for 25 years, but he’s now at the forefront of a campaign to challenge the ‘horrific’ diagnostic labels and treatment.
‘The term ‘horrendia’ is a misnomer, it doesn’t mean that a person is mad, that they have anorexia or binge eating disorder, but they have a very different type of condition, one that doesn’t have the same level of severity or consequences as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder,’ he said.
‘It’s not the same, but if we don’t treat them properly, they are more likely to develop mental health problems, not better.’
The Bar- Yosef campaign is one of a number of initiatives to push for a more comprehensive diagnosis of mental health disorders.
It’s called Horizon Mental Illness Awareness Day and was launched in October, highlighting the fact that a wide range of disorders can cause mental illness.
Dr. Katz, who has been studying people with ‘horrestmannia’, said it was important to understand the nature of the condition before it can be diagnosed and treated.
‘There’s a huge amount of confusion, especially amongst young people, and people aren’t being told that this is a mental illness,’ he explained.
‘People are often told it’s a brain injury or something like that.
‘But in reality, there’s a lot of other problems with the brain, there are neurological conditions and some things that are not so clear, and so we’re not sure what’s causing this condition.
‘I think that people are really under-informed about the condition.
They’re told it has to do with anorexics or binge eaters, and there are many other things that they may not be aware of.’
‘Horizon Mental Illess Awareness Day’ has also highlighted how people with mental illnesses often have difficulties in social interactions and how they may experience stigma in the community.
‘When you’re diagnosed as ‘Horrendia’, you can’t just walk out of the hospital and expect that you’re going to be fine, but it is important that people understand that the condition can also affect a young child or young adult, who may be struggling with mental health,’ Dr Katz said.
What does this mean for me?
It is important to note that it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that mental illness is a ‘black and white’ issue, and to make decisions based on what is labelled ‘mental’, rather than ‘biological’.
‘The condition is not something that’s seen as a medical condition, it is something that people struggle with,’ Dr. Katie said.
A ‘horror story’ can cause a young mind to wander, and for people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to have issues with social skills, and anxiety.
‘Sometimes, people are told that they are ‘horribly lonely’, or that they’re ‘crazy’.’
For some people, the diagnosis of ‘horrible loneliness’ can lead to depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and even suicidal behaviours.’
But if you look at a young adult with a ‘horrage’ diagnosis, their anxiety is lower than most people’s, and they have higher levels of self-esteem, compared to most people.
‘So, if they are suffering from depression, they may find that their depression may be more intense, and that’s not to say that it doesn.
But it’s something that may be associated with an underlying psychological condition.’
If you have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, Dr Katz recommends that you talk to your doctor and seek support.
‘If they’re diagnosed and you have depression, it may be very helpful to talk to them about what is happening in their life and about their thoughts, feelings and behaviours,’ he added.
‘Some people may be able to help themselves through this, but not everyone.’
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