Chronic mental illness refers to a behavioral pattern in the individual and causes distress and disability that may not be part of normal development. There are no specific causes of mental illnesses and these have become much common.
The symptoms of chronic mental illness would include delusions or hallucinations, alcohol or substance abuse, excessive fears or worries, confused thinking etc. Since the mental illness can worsen without treatment it is best to seek the doctor’s advice, when there are certain symptoms. When the doctor suspects a mental illness, there might be different tests conducted such as physical examination, lab tests and psychological evaluation.
However, if a patient is hospitalized for long duration, there can be chances of hospital dependency. Hospital dependency in chronic mental illness patients arises from lack of self confidence, fear of social stigmatization and being in a setting that the patient feels comfortable in. That is why doctors should be on a lookout for hospital dependency in chronic mental illness patients and treat it accordingly.
The treatment for chronic mental illness may be given at home or at the hospitals. Most of the times psychiatric medications are an effective treatment for such patients, apart from that psychotherapy may also be used to treat mental illness. Though psychotherapy may help treat the patient in a few months, serious illness may take longer.
Generally hospitalization of chronic mental illness patient is recommended only when the patient can become dangerous to oneself or the others. But whether the patient is hospitalized or not, the key to a proper and early treatment of chronic mental illness is through regular medical care. It is very important for the patients to take their medications regularly. Apart from this, eating a proper diet and getting proper sleep may also be helpful. Another important to thing to remember about patients with chronic mental illness is that they should not let themselves get isolated and they should continue with their normal activities, which ever are permissible within their illness.
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