Many people are aware of their mental health problems and have been successfully treating it most of their lives, while others have been struggling and battling their symptoms with less success for years. There is also a high percentage of people who suffer unnecessarily with undiagnosed mental health problems, especially depression. Many symptoms become exacerbated during difficult circumstances that would otherwise be manageable. This can be a gift because it’s a big enough problem that you or your friends notice and you seek help either from your doctor for a medication or from a therapist, or both.

There are varying degrees of severity of depression and the other diagnostic disorders sometimes making both the diagnosis and treatment very challenging. Many disorders do not have a medication to treat it and none of these disorders are “curable” in the way we think of physical ailments. In many cases, therapy is an essential part of successful treatment.There is an entire diagnostic book dedicated to mental health disorders called the “DSM-IV”. It includes characteristics and symptoms, their presence, frequency and severity, which guides the therapist or doctor in arriving at diagnoses. There are many categories of disorders some which are inherited like schizophrenia and depression and others that are a result of environment (family, school, work, childhood) and life circumstances such as attachment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders. Addiction is usually a result of a combination of genetics and environment. Codependency is not a recognized disorder.