Dementia cannot be cured?… Misconceptions and the truth about mental illness

Recovery is possible with consistent treatment according to the diagnosis of a specialist.

man undergoing psychiatric treatment
Mental illnesses can also be cured with the help of a specialist and consistent treatment. (Photo = Clip Art Korea)

The number of mentally ill patients is increasing every year. Experts analyze that “this is because society is becoming more complex and competition is intensifying, leading to increased stress.” There are many myths about mental illness. But most of them are wrong or misunderstood. Based on the data of the Korean Medical Association, I learned about mental illness.

Is depression a disease caused by a weak mind?

Depression can affect anyone. Great men like Lincoln and Churchill have also experienced depression at some point in their lives. Some people who have overcome depression say it has matured them and given them new goals in life. It is also worth remembering that depression is a disease that is easily treatable.

Is dementia an incurable disease?

Among those who suspect dementia, there are many cases of forgetfulness, depression, or anxiety disorders. If you suffer from depression, you may suspect dementia due to symptoms such as increased anxiety and decreased concentration.

Therefore, it is important to visit a psychiatrist to get a comprehensive assessment of memory and daily living skills. Even if dementia is diagnosed, 5-10% of cases can be cured depending on the cause. Even in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a typical type of dementia, the progression of dementia can be slowed down with medication, such as cognitive enhancers.

Is the department of psychiatry only for people with mental illness?

The Department of Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with the higher mental functions of the brain and the internal psychological problems of a person, such as problems with emotions, thinking, cognition, sleep and appetite. Insomnia, overeating, anorexia, anxiety, depression, interpersonal difficulties and memory problems are often used to solve various problems.

Do mental problems in children and adolescents go away on their own over time?

Problems that begin in childhood and adolescence, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression, often have an emotional and social impact on adulthood. Psychiatric problems do not resolve over time, and parental efforts alone will not improve the situation without an accurate understanding of the child’s symptoms. Rather, since the condition may worsen or develop into other problems, it is desirable to seek help through accurate diagnosis and treatment, or advice and education from a specialist.

Does taking psychiatric drugs make you drowsy or have a headache?

Taking psychiatric drugs does not mean you will have a headache or dementia. Rather, if psychiatric problems persist, deterioration in brain function may follow. Most psychiatric medications improve and protect brain function. Among the medications used in the past, there have been cases where people have looked overwhelmed by the side effects when taking high doses, but these symptoms mostly improved after stopping the drug.

Are drugs a temporary treatment?

Medications used for depression and ADHD promote the long-term development of the brain’s neural networks by regulating the neurotransmitters that control emotions and concentration in the brain. So instead of seeing it as effective only when taking medication, it should be understood that it plays a role in treating brain function in the long term.

Do you have to take psychiatric drugs for the rest of your life because they are addictive?

Drug addiction is only one part of the drugs used in psychiatry. There is no dependence on antidepressants or drugs used in children and adolescents. Drug therapy consists of an acute phase and a maintenance phase. After maintenance treatment, the reduction or withdrawal of the drug according to the plan is carried out as prescribed by the doctor.

In the case of sleeping pills, as a rule, long-term use can lead to tolerance and decrease in effect, but does not cause addiction. In other words, if you stop taking sleeping pills, the inability to sleep is not due to addiction, but because insomnia, which was the reason you started taking sleeping pills, persists.

Does drinking alcohol help with insomnia?

Alcohol can help you sleep to some extent. Alcohol is broken down in the liver into alcohol and its metabolite acetaldehyde, which tends to interfere with sleep. Even if you try to fall asleep quickly after drinking alcohol, it may be difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep, and even if some time passes after drinking alcohol, your sleep will be disturbed. Excessive alcohol consumption will never benefit our body, so relying on alcohol just because you have insomnia is the wrong way to go.

Is suicide unpreventable?

Most people who attempt suicide (the last resort) communicate their suicidal thoughts or their emotional state to others through warning signs. Warning signs include direct indications of suicide, decreased or increased appetite, insomnia, and may also manifest as extreme mood swings or unusual behavior.

The best way to find out about suicidal intent is to ask them directly. Talking honestly about suicide can reduce your risk of suicide. Even if they refuse, if you convince them well and help them get professional psychiatric treatment, suicide can be fairly prevented.

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