Saliva sleuths: Spotting mental illness in your spit


BACKGROUND: A mental illness or mental disorder is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. (SOURCE: www.nami.org)

WHAT CAUSES MENTAL ILLNESS?: There are many factors, a person's genes or family history may play a role. Life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, may also matter. Biological factors can also be part of the cause. A traumatic brain injury can lead to a mental disorder. A mother's exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant may play a part. Other factors may increase a person's risk, such as use of illegal drugs or having a serious medical condition like cancer. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mentaldisorders.)

THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW: Mental illnesses are very common. In fact, they are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 25% of American adults (those ages 18 and older) and about 13% of American children (those ages 8 to 15) are diagnosed with a mental disorder during a given year. (SOURCE: www.medicinenet.com)

TREATMENT: A mental illness, like many chronic illnesses, requires ongoing treatment. Many mental conditions can be effectively treated with one or a combination of the following therapies:


·         Medication

·         Psychotherapy

·         Group therapy

·         Day treatment or partial hospital treatment

·         Specific therapies, such as cognitive-behavior therapy and behavior modification

            (SOURCE: www.medicinenet.com)

For More Information, Contact:


Laura G Leahy, MSN, PMH-CNS/FNP

APNSolutions, LLC

123 Egg Harbor Road, Suite 703 Tower Commons

Sewell, NJ. 08080