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Personal experience with mental illness and treatment - Essay Example

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A mental disorder, or a psychological disorder, is a behavior pattern that causes distress or disability in the individual, and anyone related to him, and is not a part of the individual’s normal development pattern, or his culture.
My own personal experience with one of…
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Personal experience with mental illness and treatment
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Mental Illness and Treatment A mental disorder, or a psychological disorder, is a behavior pattern that causes distress or disability in the individual, and anyone related to him, and is not a part of the individual’s normal development pattern, or his culture.
Recognizing these behavior patterns are somewhat varied and the conditions of their identification changes over time and in between cultures.
My own personal experience with one of these disorders was faced with similar problems. The varied opinions of the people related to us, and the doctors, made it difficult to make a diagnoses. My youngest brother suffers from autism. He is only fourteen years old and was diagnosed very late. We always used to wonder why he was never the social sort, like the rest of the children his age and why he only played with a very select type of children.
As a young baby, he seldom played with any of us, and preferred to play with his toys. None of us thought anything of it. When he turned 3, and still didn’t utter a single word, our parents became concerned and consulted a few doctors and psychotherapists.
Initially my brother was misdiagnosed with Down’s syndrome. A chromosomal disorder, in which individuals range from mild to profoundly mentally disabled. His speech therapy started when he was 3 years old with minimum results and no results whatsoever in trying to get him to socialize with other children.
Our parents thought the doctors were not doing their job properly and kept changing schools and doctors, speech therapists and other professionals. People who came in contact with my brother did not realize he had some sort of disability till they tried to interact with him. After which they tried to socialize but getting no response from my brother, left him alone.
We continued to treat him according to what the doctor initially diagnosed as Down’s syndrome, not understanding why he wouldn’t talk and why he wouldn’t socialize. It is characteristic of a Down’s syndrome child to be friendly, and have some form of speech, where as my brother had very limited, 2-3 word sentence speech and hardly any friends. He was most friendly with his nanny and both me and my elder sister, and managed to communicate with us. Mostly the speech therapy sessions were very discouraging and had no results to show. My brother refused to interact with the therapist and every kind of therapy he tried, ended in vain.
On a conference on autism and its types, I went through the symptoms of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and realized my brother did not have Down’s syndrome, but Autism. This explained all his primary behaviors, which were all characteristic of ASD, such as not having developed natural speech for daily communication, babbling, unusual gestures and consonants and gestures integrated with words. He didn’t share experiences and repeated others words, which were his vocabulary, hand flapping, making sounds and rocking his body when excited, he was very resistant to change and insisted his chairs and tables not be moved from their places. He didn’t like the daily pattern of his life, changed, like his meal times and his dressing rituals. He had limited interests and activities and liked to watch specific type of movies and didn’t like any sort of variations. And above all, he was prone to self injury. As his diagnoses was done very late, and by the time it was discovered that he is autistic, he was thirteen and very limited help can be given to him expect for psychotherapy with a special educator, who teaches him self help skills and how to do all the basic activities such as eating, washing, brushing etc.
His social skills have not improved and he still insists on communicating with only me, my elder sister and his nanny. No one else can understand what he’s trying to convey, this in turn frustrates him and causes him to throw tantrums. Had he been diagnosed earlier, he could’ve been trained to communicate effectively.
My personal experience with this disorder was quiet different from what I read in the text because, it was not diagnosed correctly, hence rendering all the screening tests virtually useless. If the initial screening had been correct, my brother would not have spent ten years, under going the wrong type of treatments. The doctors and psychotherapists and other professionals need to create tests which are effective in performing a better screening. Read More
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