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Mental Illness Does Not Discriminate: Celebrity Struggles Well-Documented

In recent years, many high profile actors, politicians and athletes have opted to take the step of disclosing their battles with mental disorders to the general public.

In doing so, these people have elevated public awareness of conditions such as bipolar disorders, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). In some cases, the decisions by these public figures to reveal their struggles have been the catalyst for everyday people to seek help for their own mental conditions.

Public Figures Reveal Mental Health Issues

After a stressful period in which she was caring for her cancer-stricken husband actor Michael Douglass, Catherine Zeta-Jones decided to check herself into a mental health treatment center. Zeta-Jones had reached a point where she was fluctuating between periods of joy and deep depression and knew she had to take additional action to address her condition. As a result of her decision to seek treatment, the famous actress discovered she had bipolar II disorder.

Not long ago, comedian and game show host Howie Mandel was officially diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and ADHD. After years of dealing with racing thoughts, an inability to sit still and obsessing over germs, Mandel decided to get help. After seeing improvements in his mental health with ADHD treatment and OCD treatment that included the use of psychotherapy and medication, Mandel is now a spokesman for these disorders and fights to diminish stigmas attached to them.

Mental health issues surrounding professional athletes have also come to the forefront. Reigning National League MVP Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds and boxer Mike Tyson both endured bouts of severe depression. Additionally, a Duke University study found that nearly half of all U.S. presidents have at some point battled mood disorders that include depression.

Mental illness is not something an individual should be embarrassed about or feel they have to keep secret. Numerous agencies and mental health centers offer treatment that allows individuals struggling with mental disorders to live normal and productive lives.

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Gaining Control of ADHD and Harnessing its Advantages

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can carry with it a variety of symptoms including hyperactivity, the inability to stay focused and impulsivity. Depending on the individual, these symptoms can manifest themselves in different ways.

ADHD is synonymous with the older term, “ADD,” and is commonly associated with children who have trouble paying attention and controlling their behavior. It is considered to be a mental disorder. Clinics and mental health centers across the country offer ADHD treatment to both children and adults.

More than 7.5 percent of school-aged children in the U.S. are said to be affected by ADHD, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study. If left untreated, roughly two out of three children will struggle with ADHD into adulthood and may end up suffering from depression or other mood disorders.

Treatment

Mental health treatment specialists will evaluate individuals suffering with ADHD on a case-by-case basis. Although some of the generally-accepted ADHD symptoms may exist such as inattentiveness, inability to complete tasks and extreme impatience and fidgetiness, each patient’s circumstances are unique.

A multi-faceted approach is usually employed in treating adults and children with ADHD. This can include antidepressant and stimulant medications as well as various forms of psychotherapy and behavior modification.

Learning to Harness ADHD

Despite some of the hardships experienced by those with ADHD, there are some potentially positive aspects. This is evidenced by the many achievers and famous people in our society with ADHD, such as Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison among many others, who believe it has benefited them in certain ways.

Many of these people attribute their energy and creativity to the symptoms associated with ADHD, in addition to their ability to apply great focus within the areas that interest them. They have turned the ADHD “weaknesses” into “strengths.”

Those with ADHD should take notice that not only can their disorder be controlled, but with focus and determination it is possible that they can use it to their advantage.

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Psychotherapy Can Offer Help and Hope

From stress-related issues to a more acute mental illness such as bipolar disorder, psychological problems are wide-ranging in their symptoms and severity levels.

When determining which treatment route that an individual struggling with mental health problems should take, the first step should be a psychiatric evaluation conducted by a mental health professional. Once the problem is pinpointed, usually some level of “talk therapy” will ensue.

Depending on the severity of the condition, a combination of psychotherapy and medication are often central to a patient’s treatment plan.

If medications are deemed necessary, a patient might have to try several different types before finding one that adequately treats and stabilizes their symptoms.

Research and case studies have proven that medications can be a vital component in improving a patient’s mental well-being. But the importance of an experienced therapist who can guide a patient toward an improved mental outlook cannot be overstated.

Why Psychotherapy?

For many of us, it is difficult to understand how the person who seemingly has it all —

looks, intelligence and some level of “success” — can be so anguished on the inside. There could be several reasons as to why this anguish has developed, such as a phobia, major traumatic experience or genetic predisposition to a mental illness.

How Treatment Helps

One benefit some individuals who have participated in psychotherapy treatment have experienced is an increased self-awareness of their mental health problems. By having an enhanced understanding of the reason or source of their mental anguish, patients are often able to better process their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

A good psychotherapist can lead a patient toward perspective and help them achieve a sense of peace in their lives by confronting the issues responsible for the fear, anxiety and self-doubt in question.