Mental disorders

Mental disorders

Mental disorders or mental disorders are diseases that affect the emotions, thought patterns, and behavior of sufferers. As with physical illness, mental illness also has a cure.

In Indonesia, people with mental disorders are identified as 'crazy people' or 'mentally ill', and often experience unpleasant treatment, even in pasung. In fact, people with mental disorders can be taken to the hospital for treatment.

There are many factors that can trigger mental disorders, from suffering from certain illnesses to experiencing stress due to a traumatic event, such as losing a loved one, losing a job, or being isolated for a long time.

Considering that these traumatic events have often been experienced by many people lately, it is no wonder that the COVID-19 pandemic is also often associated with the emergence of mental disorders in a person.

If you need a COVID-19 check, click on the link below so you can be directed to the nearest health facility:

  • Antibody Rapid Test
  • Antigen Swab (Rapid Test Antigen)
  • PCR

Causes of Mental Disorders

It is not known exactly what causes mental disorders. However, this condition is known to be related to biological and psychological factors, as described below:

Biological factors or also called organic mental disorders

  • Disturbances in the function of nerve cells in the brain
  • Infections, eg due to Streptococcus bacteria
  • Congenital abnormalities or injuries to the brain
  • Brain damage due to impact or accident
  • Lack of oxygen in the baby's brain during labor
  • History of mental disorders in parents or family
  • Long-term abuse of drugs, such as heroin and cocaine
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Psychological factors

  • Traumatic events, such as violence and sexual harassment
  • Lost parents or wasted in childhood
  • Less able to get along with other people
  • Divorce or death by spouse
  • Feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, anger, or loneliness

In addition to the psychological factors mentioned above, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that being in a pandemic situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can also be a stress-triggering factor which then makes a person more susceptible to mental disorders.

Such stress can stem from fear and worry about health, finances, or work, which are heavily affected by the pandemic.

Symptoms of Mental Disorders

Symptoms and signs of mental disorders depend on the type of mental disorder experienced. Sufferers can experience disturbances in emotions, thought patterns, and behavior.

Some examples of symptoms and characteristics of mental disorders are:

  • Delusions or delusions , namely believing in something that is not real or not in accordance with the actual facts
  • Hallucinations , which are sensations when a person sees, hears, or feels something that is not actually real
  • Mood swings at certain periods
  • Feelings of sadness that last for weeks, even months
  • Feelings of anxiety or fear that are excessive and continuous, to the point of interfering with daily activities
  • Eating disorders , for example feeling afraid of gaining weight, tending to vomit food, or eating large amounts
  • Changes in sleep patterns, such as easy drowsiness and falling asleep, difficulty sleeping, and breathing problems and restless legs during sleep
  • Nicotine or alcohol addiction, and drug abuse
  • Excessive anger to the point of tantrums and acts of violence
  • Unnatural behavior, such as screaming incoherently, talking and laughing alone, and leaving the house naked

In addition to symptoms related to psychology, people with mental disorders can also experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, backaches, and heartburn.

When to go to the doctor

Immediately consult a mental health specialist ( psychiatrist ) if you experience the above symptoms, especially if some of these symptoms appear simultaneously and interfere with daily activities.

If people around you show symptoms of mental disorders, invite them to share and talk nicely about the symptoms they are experiencing. If possible, take him to see a psychiatrist.

Immediately go to the emergency room of a mental hospital if there are signs to hurt yourself or others, especially if you have a desire to commit suicide. If this happens to anyone around you, stay with them and call the emergency number.

Diagnosis of Mental Disorders

To determine the type of mental disorder suffered by the patient, the psychiatrist will conduct a psychiatric medical examination by interviewing the patient or his family. Questions to be asked include:

  • Symptoms experienced, including when the symptoms appeared and their impact on daily activities
  • History of mental illness in the patient and his family
  • Events experienced by the patient in the past that precipitated the trauma
  • Drugs and supplements that have been or are being taken

In order to rule out the possibility of other diseases, the doctor will carry out a physical examination and supporting examinations. One of the supporting examinations carried out is a blood test.

Through blood tests, doctors can find out whether the patient's symptoms are caused by thyroid disorders , alcohol addiction, or drug abuse.

Examples of Mental Disorders

After carrying out a number of examinations, the doctor can determine the type of mental disorder the patient is experiencing. Of the many types of mental disorders, some of the most common are:

1. Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes sufferers to constantly feel sad. Unlike ordinary sadness that lasts for a few days, feelings of sadness in depression can last for weeks or months.

2. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes hallucinations, delusions, and confusion in thinking and behaving. Schizophrenia makes sufferers unable to distinguish between reality and their own thoughts.

3. Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are mental disorders that make sufferers feel anxious or afraid excessively and continuously in carrying out daily activities. People with anxiety disorders can experience panic attacks that last a long time and are difficult to control.

4. Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental disorder characterized by mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can feel very sad and hopeless at times, then very happy at other times.

5. Sleep disorders

Sleep disturbances are changes in sleep patterns that interfere with the health and quality of life of sufferers. Some examples of sleep disorders are difficulty falling asleep ( insomnia ), nightmares ( parasomnias ), or falling asleep very easily ( narcolepsy ).

Mental Disorder Treatment

Treatment of mental disorders depends on the type of disorder experienced and its severity. In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy and medication, the doctor will also advise the patient to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that aims to change the patient's thought patterns and responses from negative to positive. This therapy is the main choice for dealing with mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, sleep disorders, depression, and schizophrenia.

In many cases, doctors will combine cognitive behavioral therapy and medication, to make treatment more effective.


To relieve the patient's symptoms and increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy, the doctor may prescribe the following medications:

  • antidepressants , eg fluoxetine
  • Antipsychotics , such as aripiprazole
  • Anxiety relievers, eg alprazolam
  • Mood stabilizers , such as lithium

Lifestyle changes

Living a healthy lifestyle can improve the sleep quality of people with mental disorders who also have sleep disorders, especially when combined with the above treatment methods. Some steps that can be taken are:

  • Reducing sugar intake in food
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Limit consumption of caffeinated drinks
  • Stop smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Manage stress well
  • Doing exercise regularly
  • Eat a snack with a small amount of carbohydrates before bed
  • Sleep and wake up at the same time every day

If you have a mental disorder that is severe enough, you need to undergo treatment in a mental hospital . Likewise, if the sufferer cannot undergo independent treatment or a mental disorder causes the sufferer to take actions that endanger themselves and others.

Mental Disorder Complications

Mental disorders can cause serious complications, both physically, emotionally, and behaviorally. In fact, one mental disorder that is not treated can trigger another mental disorder. Some of the complications that can arise are:

  • Unhappy feeling in life
  • Conflicts with family members
  • Difficulty connecting with other people
  • Isolated from social life
  • Addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs
  • Desire to commit suicide and harm others
  • Getting into legal and financial troubles
  • Vulnerable to illness due to decreased immune system

Mental Disorder Prevention                                   

Not all mental disorders can be prevented. However, there are several steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of mental disorders, namely:

  • Participate actively in the association and activities that are liked
  • Share with friends and family when facing problems
  • Exercise regularly, eat regularly, and manage stress well
  • Establish a regular sleep and wake schedule each day
  • Follow exercises to calm the mind or relaxation, for example by meditation and yoga
  • Don't smoke and don't use drugs
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks
  • Take the medicine prescribed by the doctor according to the dosage and instructions for use
  • Check with a doctor or psychologist to undergo an initial mental health screening , or if symptoms of mental disorders appear
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