According to statistics from the World Organizationhealth (WHO), mental disorders are present in one in eight people in the world. There are many types of these types of diseases, and almost all of them affect a person's ability to think, and also greatly affect the emotional state and behavior. For example, people with bipolar personality disorder are either in a state of depression or in a phase of mania all their lives - in the first case they cannot do anything, and in the second they commit too abrupt and risky actions. Usually, doctors are convinced of the presence of a particular mental health problem after scanning the patient's brain. However, researchers have recently found that the best way to diagnose mental illness is to assess physical health. If a person has serious problems with the heart or other organs, he probably has problems with the psyche.
How mental disorders affect the brain
If a person has problems with the psyche, it means that he has changes in the structure of the brain - this is a proven fact many times over.
For example, various changes in the brainseen in schizophrenia. Patients with this diagnosis have atypical thinking and behavior: they develop apathy, speech impairment occurs, and hallucinations and delusions appear. During periods of exacerbation of schizophrenia, patients can harm themselves and others.
Most people with schizophrenia do not havereduction in brain mass. However, the size of the striatum increases in them - accumulations of gray matter in the bowels of the forebrain hemispheres. It is believed that this area of the brain is responsible for regulating muscle tone, controls the functioning of internal organs, and also affects human behavior. It is believed that changes in the striatum lead to the development of Tourette's syndrome, in which a person has involuntary tics and a desire to loudly shout obscene words.
It is also known that many people with schizophrenia have abnormalities in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, as well as in the hippocampus. This part of the brain plays an important role in memory.
Scientists also know what changes in the brainoccur in bipolar personality disorder. The lives of people with this diagnosis are closely related to regular mood swings. In episodes of mania, they think and speak quickly, as a result of which they commit risky actions. And during periods of depression, they can not do anything and feel lethargic.
In 2017, scientists studied 2,447 imagesbrain of people with bipolar. It has been observed that they have a thin layer of gray matter - in healthy people it is thicker. This is one of the most important components of the human central nervous system, which contains the cell bodies of neurons. The deficiency of the substance was most pronounced in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex.
Changes in the structure and functioning of the braincan be found in almost every mental disorder. People with depression have impaired production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. In anxiety disorder, people do not produce enough gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is responsible for inhibition. Many more examples could be cited, but we will stop here.
See also: What is an anxiety disorder and how is it treated?
How to Diagnose Mental Illness
Recently published in the scientific journal Science Alertan article that the easiest way to diagnose mental disorders is not by scanning the brain, but simply by assessing the general state of health of a person. In a study of data from 175,000 people, it was found that people with mental illness suffer from more diseases than others. For example, they often have obesity and diabetes.
Observations show that people with schizophreniaabout three times more likely to develop diabetes. They are also twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease. During the analysis of the data, it was also noticed that people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety disorder had problems with the functioning of the liver and kidneys, as well as the immune system.
According to neuroscientist Andrew Zaleski, whatindicators of physical health can signal the presence of mental illness was an unexpected finding. There are several likely reasons why poor physical health is accompanied by serious mental illness. For example, a person's health may noticeably deteriorate due to the regular stress that all people with mental disorders usually experience. Also, the side effects of mood-stabilizing drugs can ruin your health.
The authors of the new scientific work emphasized that onAt this point, physical health cannot be used to diagnose mental disorders. However, the results of their study drew attention to the fact that people with schizophrenia, depression and other similar ailments often need more advanced treatment.
Want even more interesting articles? Check out our Zen channel and you will definitely find something to your liking!
At the end of the article, it is worth emphasizing that sometimesMental problems can be diagnosed by taking tests. On our website there is a selection of 5 real psychological tests that can be taken on the Internet - if after passing any problems were found, this is a good reason to see a doctor and start treatment.