Front Range Functional Medicine

Mental Health Conditions

Mental health conditions

Mental health conditions cause disturbances in a person’s thought and behavior. These problems may lead to the inability to cope with even the simplest challenges in life.

Currently, there are more than 200 classifications that fall under the umbrella of mental illness. These disorders may be caused or contributed to by a number of things including: environmental stressors, biochemical imbalances, inflammation, gastrointestinal imbalances (the gut brain axis) physical/emotional/sexual abuse, genetic predisposition, traumatic brain injury, or a mixture of these.

■ Depression

General feelings of sadness or lack of energy are normal for everyone. However, in clinical depression the symptoms persist and are severe enough to cause interference in one’s ability to function in day to day life. Symptoms may include:
1. Unexplained sadness
2. Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
3. Changes in appetite, i.e. weight loss or gain
4. Sleeping too little or too much
5. Loss of energy or increased fatigue
6. Thoughts of death or suicide, etc.

■ Anxiety

This is the umbrella term for a number of conditions that result in feelings of nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Anxiety is normal to a certain extent; but when it happens frequently, without any identifiable trigger, and/or interferes with one’s ability to work it becomes significant. While anxiety affects our feelings and behaviors, it may also lead us to develop physical symptoms, like increased blood pressure.

■ Bipolar disorder

Formerly referred to as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a characterized by extreme mood swings that have both emotional highs (manias or hypomanias) and lows (depressions). These episodes may occur in alternating times during the year and may affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.