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Mental Health, Chemical Imbalances in the Brain and the Behaviors

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Mental Health, Chemical imbalances in the brain and the behaviors

Martha Trevino

Intercultural Communication

Dr. Madero

Angelo State University

Mental health is a state of well-being of the mind. These people can justify their own potential in everyday stressor in life and are not able to adequately cope and adjust to these different issues that one may have in their lives. Many people think that a person is normally sane, that is, being in normal mental health standing or insane, being in severe mental health state of mind. There are major chemical imbalances in the brain that causes a person to act out of character. I have learned that people are not just created on two sides of the spectrum normal to critical state. The truth is that many people suffer from all kinds of mental illness and in between that are caused by the imbalances in the brain. In today’s society when they hear the word mental health causes assumptions such as “crazy person” being locked up in a psychiatric ward in a straight jacket. According to Fekete, “My functioning identity as "crazy" affected my efforts for community”. Being labeled with a diagnosis in mental health is nothing to be proud of because society has labeled it out of the social norm and instead of being hopeful to be on the right path to correct a mental illness it is frowned upon and rarely ever talked about because of the adverse judgment.

To put the common stereotype to rest, I chose to visit a local psychiatric hospital known as River Crest Hospital it is an eighty-bed hospital that specializes in mental health, substance abuse, and drug addiction for the treatment of care for children, adolescents and adults. I was really nervous to visit there I was scared of getting hurt from hearing all kinds of bad things about staff getting hurt. As I visited there, they showed me different units where the children and the adults reside. The children unit is known as the blue unit. And the adults have a green unit where active duty and prior military reside for treatment. They have a yellow unit where most adults face substance abuse and drug addiction, and they have a red unit where the extreme mental health cases are cared for. In this unit, patients are evaluated and are monitored every 5-15 minutes based on the safety of care that they need. I first visited the green unit known as the military unit and quickly learned that most of the patients there were not military or prior military. So I asked the staff why that is, and they said because when they don’t get enough active duty military and former military patients they fill the unit with patients that are appropriate to be on the green unit. And the requirements for that are determined by their psychiatrist.

What I learned is the whole hospital can be filled up with patients and causes people to be on the waiting list. A new admit may come in and if there is only a bed on the red side a very low functioning unit with all kinds of unique behaviors that can conflict another patients treatment. This happens when a high functioning patients is put on the red unit for let’s say depression and has to deal with other patients fighting each other and now the patients has fear added as another problem that he or she has to deal with. The green unit seems like the best unit to be on it was very peaceful, and they followed a unit schedule that provided them with times of groups and meal times. The yellow unit seemed to be very needy and dependent on receiving medications from the nurse. I witness a patient yelling at a nurse because the doctor discontinued his medication he was on.

I decided to talk to some of the patient’s and I quickly learned that some of them didn’t have a place to go upon discharge. So I feel that some patients abuse the system by saying that they are suicidal to be admitted and say the same thing when they are told that they are going to be discharged. I asked Rae Ann a charge nurse on duty about what I observed, and she agreed that it was sad that this was happening .What happens is a person that really needs to be admitted cant at times because River Crest Hospital is full, and that might be a person that gets turn down that really needs help. Rae Ann said, “That we treat every patient the same, and we don’t discriminate especially when they see us ten times for the year, and there has been no improvement with the patient” (Ann). River Crest Hospital educates each patient on how to get better with mental illness, but some patient’s mental status or capability is so severe a patient may not be able to understand what is going on.  

Dr. Mays a psychiatrist at River Crest informed me, “That these patients are medicated just like all other patients but they won’t be cured they will be stable enough to get out of trouble that they were in as long as they continue to take their medications on a regular basis” (Mays). I learned that people stop taking their meds after leaving River Crest because of money and transportation and remembering to fill their medication. A patient told me that they had depression so bad that all they wanted to do was sleep all day and when they remembered to take their medication it had been two days since they have been sleeping. So patients mean well but some of them need extra assistance to remind them to take their medication, but most of them do not have a good support system to be successful at battling their mental illness.        

Chemical imbalances in the brain can target certain areas in the brain that can have negative effects towards a person mental capability. This can cause mental illness like depression schizophrenia and bipolar. There are many other mental disorders these are just to name a few. Other factors that play a role in mental illness are genetics it runs in families, and the environment can play a role in the effects of mental illness. An example on how chemical imbalance affects a person that has a mental disorder is depression, your brain needs certain levels of serotonin and epinephrine to make us feel happy or content. If the brain lacks this, we might feel the reverse effect and feel sluggish, unmotivated, and sad not being interested in the things that used to make us happy.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in America. And most people don’t even realize that they are suffering from it. It is very important when you notice these changes in your life like our environment change or simply losing a loved one. It is crucial to seek help to fix the underlying cause of something we are unsure about. Seeking psychiatric help is the first step to recovery, and it might not be something we want to do or feel comfortable with. It is critical that if you can’t manage your daily life like you used to it wouldn’t hurt to see if a psychiatrist can get you back to the way things used to be.

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