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Running head: CHALLENGES IN IDENTIFYING MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS 1 Challenges in Identifying Mental Health Disorders Stephanie McQuirt Argosy University
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CHALLENGES IN IDENTIFYING MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS 2 Challenges in Identifying Mental Health Disorders The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that almost 20% of adult Americans suffer from any mental health illness which does not include substance use disorders (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015). Millions of Americans are suffering from a disorder which affects their daily lives. Most, if not all, of these disorders require medication and/or counseling to maintain control. One must see a mental health professional in order to gain a diagnosis to determine a treatment plan. However, there are challenges in identifying which mental health disorder one suffers from. A few of these challenges are distinguishing when a behavior has crossed the threshold into an abnormal behavior, what is considered normal in society and the culture of the person who is being assessed, and whether or not the symptoms are situational or long-term. Fear and enjoyment are two experiences that every person experiences in his/her lifetime. Some people are afraid of the hidden dangers that are targeted towards their children, the potential for car accidents, and dread social interactions. However, there is a line between feeling fear and having a phobia. A phobia is defined as showing “strong and persistent fear that is triggered by the presence of a specific object or situation” (Butcher, Hooley, & Mineka, 2014, p. 166). The previous fears can be categorized as phobias if the individual experiences panic attacks at just the thought of a specific situation occurring or if they go out of their way to avoid them. If a parent chooses to keep their child in his/her sight at all times rather than encourage reasonable independence, their fear may have morphed into a phobia. It is normal to have a reasonable fear of a car accident since there are more than two million people injured in a car accident and more
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