What is a mental health disorder? Warning signs & Treatment | Alsana
 In Mental Health Disorder

mental health disorderWhat is mental health?

  • Mental health refers to our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how we think, feel, behave, and function in our day-to-day lives. A person’s mental health indicates the extent to which they can enjoy and engage in life and relationships. It can also affect physical health either positively or negatively.

What is a mental health disorder?

  • There are five major categories of mental health disorders: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and psychotic disorders, dementia, and eating disorders.

What are warning signs for mental health concerns or a disorder?

  • Changes in mood (extreme highs or lows)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Social isolation
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Irritability, violence, or hostility
  • Suicidal/homicidal thoughts
  • Paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, or detachment from reality
  • Excessive worry and feelings of guilt
  • Difficulty coping with problems or stress
  • Changes in ADLs (activities of daily living) such as showering, brushing one’s teeth, or dressing appropriately
  • Helplessness
  • Overwhelm

What mental health disorders often accompany eating disorders?

  • There are a number of mental health disorders that accompany eating disorders. These are:
    • Generalized anxiety disorder
    • Depression
    • Bipolar
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Obsessive compulsive disorder

What kind of treatment is available for mental health disorders?

A person can experience more than one mental health disorder at a time. At Alsana, we have a multidisciplinary team experienced in treating co-occurring mental health disorders that accompany an eating disorder.

What’s the truth?

  • Eating disorders are present in individuals of all genders and of all ages. Alsana offers eating disorder treatment for adult clients (ages 18 and older) of all genders. Alsana will open a PHP/IOP program for adolescents in March 2019.
  • You can’t tell if a person has an eating disorder by appearance.
  • Eating disorders can all appear different with different behaviors around food and various compensatory behaviors.
  • To achieve lasting recovery, the things that perpetuate and maintain the eating disorder must be treated.
  • Eating disorders are life-threatening.

How do you get help for yourself or a loved one with an eating disorder and co-occurring mental health issues?


Authored By:

Rebecca Baker, M.Ed., LPC, SEP

Regional Executive Director – St. Louis

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