Mental disorders In Indonesia, people with mental disorders are identified as ‘crazy people’ or ‘ mentally ill ‘, and often experience unpleasant treatment, even being imprisoned. In fact, people with mental disorders can be taken to hospital for treatment.

There are many factors that can trigger mental disorders, ranging from suffering from certain illnesses to experiencing stress due to traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, losing a job, or being isolated for a long time.

Considering that many people have often experienced these traumatic events recently, it is not surprising that the COVID-19 pandemic is also often associated with the emergence of mental disorders in people.

If you need a COVID-19 test, click the link below so you can be directed to the nearest health facility:

  • Rapid Antibody Test
  • Antigen Swab (Rapid Antigen Test)
  • PCR

Causes of Mental Disorders

It is not yet known exactly what causes mental disorders. However, this condition is known to be related to biological and psychological factors, as will be explained below:

Biological factors or also called organic mental disorders

  • Disturbances in the function of nerve cells in the brain
  • Infections, for example due to Streptococcus bacteria
  • Congenital abnormalities or injury to the brain
  • Brain damage due to impact or accident
  • Lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during the birth process
  • History of mental disorders in parents or family
  • Long-term drug abuse, such as heroin and cocaine
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Psychological factors

  • Traumatic events, such as violence and sexual harassment
  • Losing parents or being wasted in childhood
  • Less able to get along with other people
  • Divorce or death of a partner
  • Feelings of low self-esteem, inadequacy, anger, or loneliness

Apart from the psychological factors mentioned above, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that being in a pandemic situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can also be a stress trigger which then makes a person more susceptible to mental disorders.

This stress can come from fear and worry about health, finances, or work, many of which have been affected by the pandemic.

Symptoms of Mental Disorders

Symptoms and signs of mental disorders depend on the type of mental disorder experienced. Sufferers can experience disturbances in emotions, thought patterns and behavior.

Some examples of symptoms and characteristics of mental disorders are:

  • Delusion or delusion , namely believing something that is not real or does not correspond to actual facts
  • Hallucinations , namely sensations when someone sees, hears, or feels something that is not actually real
  • Mood changes during certain periods
  • Feelings of sadness that last for weeks, even months
  • Feelings of excessive and continuous anxiety or fear, to the point of interfering with daily activities
  • Eating disorders , for example feeling afraid of gaining weight, tending to vomit food, or eating large amounts
  • Changes in sleep patterns, such as being sleepy and falling asleep easily, difficulty falling asleep, as well as breathing problems and restless legs during sleep
  • Nicotine or alcohol addiction, as well as drug abuse
  • Excessive anger to the point of going on a rampage and committing acts of violence
  • Unnatural behavior, such as shouting incoherently, talking and laughing alone, and leaving the house naked

Apart from symptoms related to psychology, people with mental disorders can also experience physical symptoms, for example headaches, back pain and stomach ulcers.

When to see a doctor

Immediately consult a mental health specialist ( psychiatrist ) if you experience the above symptoms, especially if several of these symptoms appear at the same time and interfere with your daily activities.

If people around you show symptoms of mental disorders, invite them to share and talk carefully about the symptoms they are experiencing. If possible, take him to see a psychiatrist.

Immediately go to the emergency room at a mental hospital if you have any signs of harming yourself or others, especially if you have suicidal thoughts. If this happens to someone around you, stay with them and call the emergency number.

Diagnosis of Mental Disorders

To determine the type of mental disorder the patient is suffering from, the psychiatrist will carry out a psychiatric medical examination by interviewing the patient or his family. Questions that will be asked include:

  • Symptoms experienced, including when the symptoms appeared and the impact on daily activities
  • History of mental illness in the patient and his family
  • Events experienced by the patient in the past that triggered trauma
  • Medicines and supplements that have been or are currently being consumed

To rule out the possibility of other diseases, the doctor will carry out a physical examination and supporting examinations. One of the supporting examinations carried out is a blood test.

Through blood tests, doctors can find out whether the patient’s symptoms are caused by thyroid disorders , alcohol addiction, or drug abuse.

Examples of Mental Disorders

After carrying out a number of examinations, the doctor can determine the type of mental disorder the patient is experiencing. Of the many types of mental disorders, some of the most common are:

1. Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes sufferers to constantly feel sad. In contrast to ordinary sadness which lasts for several days, feelings of sadness in depression can last for weeks or months.

2. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes complaints of hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior. Schizophrenia makes sufferers unable to differentiate between reality and their own thoughts.

3. Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are mental disorders that make sufferers feel excessively and continuously anxious or afraid when carrying out daily activities. Sufferers of anxiety disorders can experience panic attacks that last a long time and are difficult to control.

4. Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental disorder characterized by mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can feel very sad and hopeless in certain periods, then very happy in other periods.

5. Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders are changes in sleep patterns that disrupt the sufferer’s health and quality of life. Some examples of sleep disorders are difficulty falling asleep ( insomnia ), nightmares ( parasomnia ), or falling asleep very easily ( narcolepsy ).

Treatment of Mental Disorders

Treatment for mental disorders depends on the type of disorder experienced and its severity. Apart from cognitive behavioral therapy and medication, the doctor will also advise the patient to live a healthy lifestyle.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that aims to change the patient’s thought patterns and responses from negative to positive. This therapy is the main choice for treating mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, depression and schizophrenia.

In many cases, doctors will combine cognitive behavioral therapy and medication, so that treatment is more effective.


To relieve the symptoms experienced by patients and increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy, doctors can prescribe the following drugs:

  • Antidepressants , eg fluoxetine
  • Antipsychotics , such as aripiprazole
  • Anxiety relievers, for example alprazolam
  • Mood stabilizers , such as lithium

Lifestyle changes

Living a healthy lifestyle can improve the sleep quality of people with mental disorders who also experience sleep disorders, especially when combined with the treatment methods above. Some steps that can be taken are:

  • Reduce sugar intake in food
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Limit consumption of caffeinated drinks
  • Stop smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Manage stress well
  • Do exercise regularly
  • Eat a snack with some carbohydrates before bed
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day

If you experience a mental disorder that is severe enough, the sufferer needs to undergo treatment in a mental hospital . Likewise, if the sufferer cannot undergo independent treatment or a mental disorder causes the sufferer to take actions that endanger themselves and others.

Complications of Mental Disorders

Mental disorders can cause serious complications, both physical, emotional and behavioral. In fact, one mental disorder that is not treated can trigger other mental disorders. Some complications that can arise are:

  • Feelings of unhappiness in life
  • Conflict with family members
  • Difficulty establishing relationships with other people
  • Alienated from social life
  • Addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs
  • Desire to commit suicide and harm others
  • Entangled in legal and financial problems
  • Vulnerable to illness due to decreased immune system

Prevention of Mental Disorders

Not all mental disorders can be prevented. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of mental disorders, namely:

  • Actively participate in relationships and activities you enjoy
  • Share with friends and family when facing problems
  • Exercise regularly, eat regularly, and manage stress well
  • Set a regular sleep and wake-up schedule every day
  • Take part in exercises to calm the mind or relax, for
  • example meditation and yoga
  • Don’t smoke and don’t use drugs
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic drinks and caffeinated drinks
  • Take the medication prescribed by your doctor according to the dosage and instructions for use
  • Check with a doctor or psychologist to undergo an initial mental health screening , or if symptoms of mental disorders appear

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