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Just a Thought
Serious or Chronic Mental Illnesses have to be managed just like any other chronic illness. Serious or Chronic mental illnesses fluctuate over time and can manifest in cycles. Refusing to take medications, displaying grandiose ideas and endorsing thoughts such as wanting to “run for president” or believing that people are “out to get you” are symptoms of the illness. Wearing clothes that are not appropriate for the season (heavy clothes in the summer time, etc.), displaying odd behaviors (not in keeping with the culture), argumentative behavior and changes in mood are other examples. Mental illness can impact any of us, it does not matter if we like the person or not. Lets not wait until Mental health month to support people who are living with the impact of a mental illness.
What is “Serious Mental Illness” and What is Not? Serious mental illnesses (SMIs) are a small subset of the 300 mental illnesses that are in DSM. While the line between mental health and serious mental illness is debatable, the extremities are clear. Three separate efforts to define serious mental illness have come to similar conclusions and report similar numbers of people have it. CMHS: The Center for Mental Health Services had to define SMI when it was created in order to distribute mental health block grants to states proportional to the number of SMI in each state.
They defined SMI as mental illnesses listed in DSM that “resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.” (CMHS 1999, FN *) To calculate how many adults over eighteen in each state had serious mental illness, CMHS had to define “functional impairment.” After doing so, CMHS noted that “90% [of those meeting the criteria for serious mental illness] either have a severe disorder like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or a disorder and work impairment, or a disorder and report being suicidal.” By all accounts, serious mental illnesses include “schizophrenia-spectrum disorders,” “severe bipolar disorder,” and “severe major depression” as specifically and narrowly defined in DSM. People with those disorders comprise the bulk of those with serious mental illness. However, when other mental illnesses cause significant functional impairment and substantially limit major life activities they also count as a serious mental illness. NIMH: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, serious mental illness is relatively rare, affecting only 5% of the population over 18. Serious mental illness includes schizophrenia; the subset of major depression called “severe, major depression”; the subset of bipolar disorder classified as “severe” and a few other disorders. Read more at: https://mentalillnesspolicy.org/serious-mental-illness-not/
Serious mental illness (SMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. The burden of mental illnesses is particularly concentrated among those who experience disability due to SMI.
Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. AMI can vary in impact, ranging from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe impairment (e.g., individuals with serious mental illness as defined below). (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness#:~:text=Serious%20mental%20illness%20(SMI)%20is,or%20more%20major%20life%20activities)
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