What is a Mental Disorder?

Hello everyone! Welcome to our second vlog! Today, I will talk about mental disorders. In general, what is a mental disorder? Maybe you are not sure. It is a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s functioning such as cognition (ex: cognitive style), emotion regulation (ex: controlled or dysregulation), or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in an individual. A dysfunction can involve psychological, biological, or developmental
processes underlying mental functioning. These are several types of mental disorders. If you think you might have a mental disorder I want to emphasize that mental disorders are usually associated with SIGNIFICANT (not like “Oh, I have some of this and that) DISTRESS that has resulted in a mental disorder. If it is not a significant distress, it is not a mental disorder. You know how everyone has some of things such as anxiety, etc. but if it does not significantly affect your functioning, then it is not a mental disorder. *reading* It is a mental disorder if it significantly affects your functioning in occupational, social, or other important activities. For example, you’ve been working as a public speaker then you started becoming more anxious than usual and ended up struggling to give presentations. Your distress would be considered significant. Therefore, you might have a mental disorder. Another example, … You work with people and you need to interact with them then after a long while, you started developing social anxiety. You begin having a hard time interacting with people. Now, the distress is affecting your job, your social relationships, etc. That might be a mental disorder. *reading* HOWEVER… if the reaction is an expectable or culturally approved (maybe it is approved in your culture, but not in other cultures), , the reaction is ok. For instance, … you love that one person and then all of sudden, they passed away. You start grieving, crying, lose control, struggle with emotions and to get out of bed for a while, … it would not be considered a mental disorder. It’d be a normal reaction to bereavement. It’s okay. Or for instance, a deaf person constantly feels neglected in class, cannot understand, struggles to follow… becomes pissed off, stands up, and speaks out frequently. You would probably think the deaf person has a mental disorder based on that. Nah, because it is culturally approved and they were deprived of information, etc. It is important that you have an objective perspective on whether the reaction is appropriate for your situation. If not… if the reaction is extreme for the given situation, it might be a sign for some kind of mental disorder. Or if the reaction is blunted to a given extreme situation, like for example, you’ve been in a serious car accident and you almost died. You did not react. You were like, “So. I’m ok.” And you continued with life like nothing happened. It is possible that you might develop
a mental disorder like PTSD at some point. It varies for individuals. *reading* Also, I want to emphasize that socially deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) and conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are not mental disorders. Like for example, if someone supports a president the majority of society despite, they do not automatically have a mental disorder. Or if someone practices an odd religion, they do not automatically have a mental disorder. Or if someone has odd sexual preferences they do not automatically have a mental disorder. Unless these behaviors, preferences, conflicts, etc. cause a significant impact on the person’s functioning in social, occupational, and other important activities, which would signify a possible mental disorder. But if their preferences are different or odd, and they are doing fine in life, at work, with friends, etc. then they do not have a mental disorder. The deviance or conflict results from a significant DYSFUNCTION in the individual. That is the important difference. *reading* I want to give some examples of how people are making it difficult for mental disorders to become recognized. Some people believe that mental disorders are merely psychological – “it’s just in your head” and therefore, it’s no big deal because it is not real. Some other people believe that mental disorders are merely biological- “it’s just genetic” along with other types of “Yes, this and that” and “No, this and that”. Actually, mental disorders are considered genetic AND environmental. A combination. It can be primarily triggered by environmental factors or primarily triggered by genetic factors. Sometimes, protective environmental factors can suppress particular genes from emerging. *reading* Some people would say you
can rail about your society unless you have a “dysfunction,” at which point your railing
is a mental disorder. People say various of things. The point is that if you cannot function and you are constantly acting out in classes, with politics, or with friends all the times where you start to lose a lot of friends, when your grades start to drop, and mess up various of other important things. then at that point, you might have a mental disorder. People usually say that mental disorders are hard to see so do mental disorders actually exist? Or is it fiction? People currently have a great range of perspectives on mental disorders. The point is that sometimes, those people with power for example, the principal at your school might be a part of a bigger social circle involving other teachers where they make you believe that you have a mental disorder, that you are moody or you have anger problems, etc. and makes you wonder if something is wrong with you and then you start to overanalyze and overthink when in reality, you were only reacting appropriately and being reasonable. It is indeed difficult because mental disorders can be difficult to objectively identify in an absolute manner. In that case, your best bet is to see a psychologist. I will explain a little more about that in a bit. The point is that it is difficult because it is about perspectives. It can be easy to believe the wrong perspectives. So, I want to emphasize that if your behavior or thinking style, etc. is causing you significant distress in your life, and you are struggling to function, then you might have a mental disorder but if you are experiencing some struggles that are relatively manageable, then you might do not have a mental disorder. Many of us have struggled from times to times and that is normal. Having a mental disorder is like experiencing life at a very low level or maybe highest and lowest… constantly. It is rather marked. Unlike normal reactions to certain life events. My point is that I am not here to discuss whether the phenomena certainly exist. I am here to tell you that mental disorders are real and I will continue educating you about them For you to understand. For instance, some people argue that being alive proves the existence of gods. In contrast, some people simply being alive does not necessarily prove the existence of gods. Similarly, some do not think that having pain proves the existence of mental disorders. And therefore, it is your own problem. Some people argue that because we suffer and struggle throughout life, mental disorders exist. Right now, people still have various perspectives on mental disorders. Straight to the point, let us move forward knowing that mental disorders are indeed real. Some of you have asked me how to help someone who seems to be suffering or struggling in pain or how to help yourself if you are unsure what to do. I will explain what you can do as if you are the person who needs help. If you are not that person who needs help, you can apply this to the person you want to help. First, if you believe that you have a serious problem or if you are seriously struggling and you are not sure what to do… Here are several options- First, you can make an appointment with a psychologist who is trained to make objective evaluations, identify the mental issues you’re having, and collaboratively treat you. Physicians are not really trained in mental health They are mostly trained in physical health. That is the important difference. You could see a counselor, a psychologist, or a therapist You can do that as the first step. If you are unsure how to locate a mental health provider- if you are a Gallaudet student, you could go to the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) which is on campus. or if you are not a Gallaudet student or prefer to see someone off campus, you could search online for local mental health providers who are deaf or uses ASL or if you have insurance, you could call the # on back of the card and request that they email you a list of local mental health providers who have listed themselves as ASL providers. However, that does not guarantee that they are actually ASL fluent. But it is a good step to take. After calling, the insurance company will email you a list. They have this system where they can screen local mental health providers based on the language(s) they provide their services in. Like for example, they can narrow down the list to only Spanish-speaking mental health providers or mental health providers who use ASL, etc. They will email you that list. I have done this before and it worked. If you feel like this is a HUGE step to take, you could text Crisis Text Line (CTL) at 741-741 it is a free 24/7 anonymous service. You will be connected with a trained volunteer who can help you clear your thoughts, figure out your next steps, and provide you with resources. Or you could tell a trusted friend and see how you feel talking about your feelings. You might feel supported. Or you could talk to a trusted family member. See if they’ll offer some help. You are NOT alone. You do not need to suffer alone. Many of us are also suffering in our own ways and you might not realize it. but we are dealing with our own pain but we can help each other heal if we allow ourselves to be free in our pain. It is important that we welcome help and be open to receiving support. Then you will realize that you are not alone. Look forward to seeing the next vlog! There is a link to the article under this vlog with points I’ve discussed today, if you’re interested. Have a good day! Bye-bye.

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