Microsoft word - newsletter_jan2007_v5.doc

What can you do?
mental illnesses, can affect anyone, including Pay special attention to the behavior and mood people with developmental disabilities. In of individuals who have a family history of mental fact, there is a special term for those who have illness, and those who are going through stressful been diagnosed with both a developmental life events. Encourage anyone who has a family disability and a mental health condition– this member with mental health problems to be honest term is dual diagnosis. Estimates show that with their doctors about their family history. This will help the doctor monitor the individual for any diagnosed with or have symptoms of a mental Mental health conditions are treatable!
health condition and need psychiatric care. Unfortunately, these individuals often have conditions, many people are able to reduce trouble receiving the care they need. Doctors troublesome symptoms and live their lives as they and others may wrongly think that changes in want. You can help individuals get the treatment they need by talking to the person’s doctor if you developmental disability, rather than a mental notice changes in the way the person is acting, feeling, or thinking. If the doctor diagnoses the What are mental health conditions?
person with a mental health condition, he or she Mental health conditions are diseases of may prescribe treatment such as counseling or the brain. The brain’s job is to organize our thinking, feeling, and behavior. So, when someone has a mental health condition, he or she will probably exhibit unusual thinking, Mental Illness
Examples of Signs and Symptoms
Example Diagnoses
Who is at risk?
condition, but some people are more likely than others to experience this type of disease: Has long-term feelings of sadness, or goes diagnosed with a mental health condition. sadness. Diminished interest or pleasure Some mental health conditions run in families. People going through stressful life events, (false beliefs that are strongly held despite such as the death of a loved one, changing jobs or schools, or moving. Mental health FACT FOCUS: Responding to Signs of Mental Health Conditions
If you notice an individual you support behaving in a way that might be a sign of a mental health condition, you should call their health care professional. When you call, be ready to report: • Any changes in behavior that you have noticed • Any stressors in the individual’s life that may be the cause of the behavior change Changes in sleep patterns—excessive
sleep, constant fatigue; little or no sleep; interrupted sleep. • Changes in appetite—lack of appetite;
Excessive worry—excessive talk about
particular daily events; repetitive behavior rituals to ensure or prevent an event. • Excessive anger—threats or hostility to
others, including strangers; agitation or irritability; extreme or inappropriate anger. Recognizing Behavioral Signs
Excessive happiness—extreme elation for
of Mental Health Conditions
Excessive sadness—depressed mood that
is not related to loss or grief; loss of Many people can find it difficult to talk interest in pleasurable activities; talking about their thoughts and feelings, especially when these thoughts and feelings are very • Hearing voices—stares at a fixed point
and appears to be involved in conversation; People with developmental disabilities may find it especially challenging to express • Seeing things that are not there—seems
to be fighting something invisible; covers symptoms of mental illness, such as extreme • Change in cleanliness habits—refuses to
not realize that these thoughts and feelings could be symptoms of a mental illness. They • Cuts or bruises—accidental or purposeful
may not have the ability to explain what they are going through or to ask for help. For these reasons, it is important that you, as a direct service professional, are on the behavior are normal responses to events in lookout for changes in behavior that might life. However, if they go on for long periods of time, are affecting relationships, a person’s job, or the person’s health and safety, you should call the person’s health care provider. Psychotropic Medications: Common Side Effects The medications that people take for mental illnesses are called psychotropic medications. There are different types of psychotropic medications to treat different mental illnesses. Before a person’s doctor prescribes a psychotropic medication, you should let the doctor know the other medications that the individual is taking. The doctor will know which medications can work together and which cannot. Medication
Condition Treated
Side Effects
Sleepiness, dizziness, agitation, dry mouth Insomnia, loss of appetite, mood changes Check out for more information that can help individuals with developmental disabilities live healthier and happier lives! The site is translated into Spanish and Tagalog! …Just log on and tell us what you think….


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