Womens Health

Mental Health Diagnosis

By Frederick R. Jelovsek

Have you or someone you know ever had a panic attack over being alone, having to go to a public or social function or just plain being afraid of a certain situation? Have you ever had a major life trauma, accident, rape etc. and seemed to adjust after a short while just to have some emotional anxiety creep up later? You may wonder if this is a serious mental health problem or just a life event with which you have to cope. Many women don't necessarily want to see a psychiatrist to find out, but their primary care physicans aren't always aware of the many different mental health classifications that specialists have defined.

An excellent diagnostic web site, Internet Mental Health, has been created by Dr Phillip W. Long, a Canadian psychiatrist. On this site, http://www.mentalhealth.com, he gives the diagnostic criteria for almost 60 of the most common psychiatric disorders. In addition to the descriptive diagnostic criteria, self-diagnosis modules are available so you can answer questions to see if you have a specific diagnosis. Its important to know that you do or do not qualify for a mental health diagnosis. Many of these conditions benefit from treatment.

The following table illustrates just the anxiety, eating and mood disorders that are in the site:

Anxiety Disorders Panic Disorder
Agoraphobia (Generalized Phobia)
Social Phobia
Specific Phobia
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Acute Stress Disorder
Eating Disorders Anorexia Nervosa (self-imposed starvation)
Bulimia Nervosa (binge eating and dieting)
Mood Disorders Major Depressive Disorder (unipolar depression)
Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder
Cyclothymic Disorder










Estrogens or more specifically, the lack of them, can worsen some of these conditions. For example agoraphobia which is a fear of going out in public places, can be aggravated by low estrogen levels and improves with estrogen therapy.

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