Mental Health Theoretical Concepts - part1

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Maslows/6 Indicators of MH/Levels of Anxiety
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Maslows Hierarchy

An individual's quest for for self-actualization; the lower levels require fulfillment before higher needs can be met.

5 Levels


1st Level of Maslows

Physiological Needs

  • Basic fundamental needs - food, water, air, sleep
  • exercise, elimination, shelter, and sexual expression

2nd Level of Maslows

Safety and Security

  • Avoiding harm,
  • maintaining comfort, order, structure, physical safety
  • Freedom from fear an protection

3rd Level of Maslows

Love and Belonging

  • Needs for giving and receiving affection
  • Companionship, satisfactory interpersonal relationships,
  • Identification with a group

4th Level of Maslows

Self Esteem of Others

  • Individual seeks self-respect and respect from others
  • Works to achieve success and recognition in work
  • Desires prestige from accomplishment

5th Level of Maslows


  • Individual possesses a feeling of self-fulfillment and realization of his or her highest potential.

Jahoda - Six Indicators of a reflection of Mental Health

1. Positive Attitude Toward Self

  • Objective view of self, knowledge and acceptance of strengths and limitations
  • Feels a strong sense of personal identity and security within environment.


2. Growth, Development, Ability to Achieve Self-Actualization

  • Dependent on whether individual successfully achieves tasks associated with each level of development (Eriksons)
  • Successful achievement in each level gains motivation to advance to highest potential


3. Integration

  • Focuses maintaining a balance among life processes
  • Integration= ability to adaptively respond to environment and the development of life philosophy
  • Maintain anxiety at a manageable level


4. Autonomy

  • Ability to perform independently and self-directedly
  • Individual Makes choices and accepts responsibility for outcomes


5. Perception

  • An individual's accurate perception of reality
  • Capacity for empathy and social sensitivity - respect and concern for the wants and needs of others
  • Includes perception of environment without distortion


6. Environmental Mastery

  • Achievement of satisfactory role in a group, society, or environment
  • He/She is able to love and accept the love of others
  • When faced with life situations - able to strategize, make decisions, change, adjust, and adapt

Mild Anxiety

Perceptual Field, Learning, Physical Symptoms, Emotional Symptoms

  • Perceptual Field: Heightened perception (i.e. noises seem louder, details are clearer), increased awareness & alertness.
  • Learning: Learning is enhanced
  • Physical symptoms: restlessness, irritability
  • Emotional symptoms: increased motivation, may remain superficial with others, rarely experienced as distressed.

Moderate Anxiety

Perceptual Field, Learning, Physical Symptoms, Emotional Symptoms

  • Perceptual Field: Decreased perceptual field, alertness to environment (someone talking may not be heard, not notice part of the room)
  • Learning: Still occurs but not at optimum capacity, decreased attention span and concentration
  • Physical Symptoms: Increased - restlessness, HR, RR, perspiration, muscular tension, speech rate, volume & pitch, GI discomfort
  • Emotional Symptoms: Discontent feeling, slight impairment interpersonal relationships as individual focuses on self and need to relieve discomfort

Severe Anxiety

Perceptual Field, Learning, Physical Symptoms, Emotional Symptoms

  • Perceptual Field: Greatly diminished - fixation on a single detail may occur, perceiving extraneous
  • Learning: Extremely limited attention span,inability to concentrate or problem-solve, effective learning can't occur
  • Physical Symptoms: Headaches, dizziness, nausea, trembling, insomnia, palpitations, tachycardia, hyperventilation, urinary frequency, diarrhea
  • Emotional Symptoms: Feelings of dread, loathing, horror, total focus on self and intense desire to relieve anxiety.

Panic Anxiety

Perceptual Field, Learning, Physical Symptoms, Emotional Symptoms

  • Perceptual Field: Unable to focus on one detail, misperceptions of the environment (detail may be out of proportion/elaborated)
  • Learning: Can't occur; inability to comprehend even simple directions; inability to concentrate.
  • Physical Symptoms: Dilate pupils, labored breathing, severe trembling, sleeplessness, palpitations, diaphoresis, pallor, muscular in-coordination, immobility, incoherence or inability to verbalize
  • Emotional Symptoms: Sense of impending doom, terror, bizarre behavior - shouting, screaming, running wildly, clinging, hallucinations, delusions, extreme withdrawals.

Define Anxiety

A diffuse apprehension that is vague in nature and is associated with feelings of uncertainty and helplessness.


Mild Anxiety -

Coping Mechanisms

  • Sleeping Yawning Daydreaming
  • Eating Drinking Physical Exercise
  • Smoking Laughing Crying
  • Cursing Pacing Nail Baiting
  • Foot Swinging Finger Tapping Fidgeting
  • Talking with someone

Neurosis Definition

Psychiatric disturbances, characterized by excessive anxiety that is expressed directly altered through defense mechanisms.

  • Appears as an obsession, compulsion, phobia, or sexual dysfunction.


Severe mental disorder expressed by gross impairment in reality testing

  • Appears as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech or catatonic (abnormal behavior) behavior.