What causes the movement on the adaptive maladaptive mental health continuum?

What causes the movement on the adaptive maladaptive mental health continuum? That is, what motivates people to exhibit maladaptive behaviors?

The average person sometimes reacts to situations that may harm their health and state of well-being. In life, every individual finds themselves in a situation that forces them to react in this manner up to a certain extent, but when this detrimental behavior is utilized to avoid a real or imagined negative situation, maladaptation happens continuously. According to Miller & Polack( 2018), adaptive behavior emanates from the need by the individual in context to meet and effectively resolve the challenges of their daily life irrespective of whether one likes to do that thing or not. Most importantly, one has to face the challenges that arise in their path while simultaneously looking for ways to cope with having to do things that one does not prefer. Subsequently, maladaptive behavior results when individuals fail to see a path to the future they desire. For example, a chronic illness with no cure or significant lifestyle changes can trigger self-destructive actions in the individual’s efforts to avoid the undesired state.

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How will you measure therapeutic success? Take into account the degree of maladaptation possible

            Measuring success in therapy for patients diagnosed with maladaptive behaviors like avoidance and self-destruction behavior remains a challenge as every client comes into therapy with their own distinct goals in mind and how best to realize them (Dindo et al., 2017). However, success, or what some may describe as progress, can be measured through objective or subjective goals. Irrespective of the set timelines, forms and questionnaires can help quantify some of these goals on a weekly or bi-weekly basis at the objective level. Subjective goals should also be measured by looking at the four main areas of improvement as indicated by the patient’s level of self-acceptance, self-knowledge, quality of relationships, and consideration for others.

Describe your thoughts/beliefs about Mental illness, Depression, Cutting, Anorexia, Hoarding, Anxiety, Rumination, Manipulation, Passive aggression, and Bullying

Avoidance is regarded as maladaptive if it harms mental or physical health or threatens either one or both of these health states. With time, the developed pattern of avoidance can trigger many mental health issues that include loss of appetite; hence anorexia, or even hoarding things that they do not need yet, could help others. Insomnia, low self-esteem, depression, violent anger outbursts, and changes in socialization also accompany these symptoms of maladaptation (Bergstrom & Meacham, 2016). The unattended mental health issues continue to build up, eventually leading to physical manifestations like weight loss and fatigue. The accompanying medical states commonly associated with stress avoidance are muscle aches, irritable bowel, headaches, ulcers, and hypertension. Additionally, overwhelming stress, anxiety, or even depression may force other individuals to result in self-destructive behavior like eating disorders, substance abuse, and self–harm. Others may display misplaced aggression and act as bullies.

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Are humans trustworthy? Are clients with mental illness trustworthy?

Generally speaking, most individuals are trustworthy, although some betray the trust bestowed on them. The core nature of a human being is not affected by the type of illness one has, but some patients with mental illnesses like paranoia and other mood disorders may have their value of trust distorted.

Are clients with mental illness generally self-centered and selfish, or do they have the ability to empathize and show concern for others? Take into account the degree of maladaptation.

Some mental illnesses may trigger aberrations in their patients, rendering them appear as selfish individuals who are self-centered and only care about what happens to them. Suffice it to say that just like the mentally ill patient displays some effect that is mood incongruent, deviations that portray the patient as enjoying the plight of those suffering should be taken for what it is deviation triggered by the illness that should be treated as such.

Can clients with mental illness change? Again, take into account the degree of maladaptation present

Change for the better is possible in every mentally ill patient provided the appropriate diagnosis or diagnoses of what ails the patient is made. The most effective therapeutic interventions are made through medications, non-medication interventions, psychotherapy, or a combination of all these methods.

Can clients with mental illness change? Again, take into account the degree of maladaptation present

In my considered opinion, the prevalence of mental disorders is high. According to John Hopkins Medicine (2022), about 26% or 1 in 4 American adults have a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. When one factors other health conditions like accidents, suicides, and homicides that emanate from undiagnosed mental health illness, the prevalence calls for prioritization of mental health as a public health crisis in the US and around the world.

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References

Bergstrom, C. T., & Meacham, F. (2016). Depression and anxiety: maladaptive byproducts of adaptive mechanisms. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health2016(1), 214-218.

Dindo, L., Van Liew, J. R., & Arch, J. J. (2017). Acceptance and commitment therapy: a transdiagnostic behavioral intervention for mental health and medical conditions. Neurotherapeutics14(3), 546-553.

John Hopkins Medicine (2022) Mental Health Disorder Statistics URL: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/mental-health-disorder-statistics Accessed Feb 18, 2022.

Miller, R. R., & Polack, C. W. (2018). Sources of maladaptive behavior in ‘normal organisms. Behavioral processes154, 4-12.

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