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Weight Control for Chronically Mentally Ill People Report


Various theories have been developed, and they attempt to describe causes for mental illness as well as recommend intervention measures. Critical Social Theory has to do with the liberation of people from known and unknown constraints that have a great impact on social interactions. It can be used to explain how economic, social, and political situations find their way into the field of health (Green 2012). A person’s environment has a role to play in his mental health. These sentiments are further advanced by another theory, the Ecological Systems Theory. The general idea is that there exist very strong links between environmental systems and an individual’s behavior throughout their lifespan. The effects are not peculiar to a certain stage of development, for example, adulthood, but cuts across all the levels. It lies heavily on culture and cultural values, and hence people doing rehabilitation could use the theory to remind the victims of what is expected of them, the stereotypes and biases even those that they conform to (Green 2012).

Lifespan issues

During the entire period of mental illness, this group of people goes through a lot of issues. The issues differ between individuals though there are those common to all. The habits change, and one is not even able to handle hygiene properly. They feel rejected and view any attempts to correct them as hatred. Their bodies change, and this increases their levels of depression, and at times suicide may become an option.


Crisis sets in when those affected by mental ill-health fail to cope with the situation. The level of coping varies from one individual to another. According to Hendricks, Cindy, and Jerome (2010), this may lead to abnormal reactions that trigger personality imbalances and, ultimately, crisis. This is a critical level where the affected become uncontrollable and violent. This has prompted programs to be formulated like the one dealing with the reduction of violent scenes between police and the mentally ill.


There is a high correlation between trauma and mental illness. In fact, the highest percentage of mental illness cases emanate from trauma. Trauma could result from life’s bad experiences like an accident, loss of a close person, or employment (O’Hare 2009). Lifetime traumatic experience has been known to cause schizophrenic spectrum and major mood disorders.


More often than not, diagnosis of mental illness is not done at the right time. Mental care experts recommend early detection so as to curb the illness in its early stages. This may not necessarily come from the victim as majority of them would not admit having a problem. It can be effectively handled by family members or close relatives who notices slight mental changes for instance forgetfulness.

Necessary individual, couple, group and family interventions and cultural considerations

The families of those with mental illness encounter a lot of experiences. The daily management of these victims calls for a lot of sacrifice. Personal hygiene, medication, food and shelter should all be taken into consideration. It generally leaves the care provider exhausted, stressed and angry (Kam, et al 2012). There is need to train these relatives so as to be able to endure and survive the care giving process while maintaining their own health.

Children whose parents have mental illnesses need care and support. They need to understand their parents’ condition as way of making it easier to adapt. These children are disadvantaged as compared to their peers since they portray poor development in behavior, social and academic domains (Fraser and Kenneth 2012). They also have a high chance of developing mental illness.

Normal development issues faced by the chronically mentally ill (physical, cognitive and socio-emotional behaviors)

A major problem associated with the chronically mentally ill is weight management and hence interventions in this area are necessary. Due to poor dietary habits and effects of symptoms management medications that are associated with weight gain, this group finds it hard to lose weight. As Galletly and Leslie (2009) puts, over weight is associated with many problems ranging from hypertension, stroke and diabetes to social implications such as self esteem.

The chronically ill have problems using their cognitive domains as they are usually impaired. Their levels of thinking and reasoning are greatly hampered and as such they have to rely on others to decide for them. Their socio-emotional behaviors are affected as the normal people view them as social misfits (Michael 2010). The mentally ill on the other hand feels unwanted and this increases depression which could result into violence. A mentally ill person may decide to become a nuisance as a way of protesting the imagined rejection.

Interventions for weight management in chronically mentally ill persons

This paper will attempt to identify and describe the interventions used in rehabilitation of the chronically mentally ill people in different environments. It is very important to come up with intervention programs for the patients as this helps them to effectively control the situation. If properly administered over a period of time it could reduce morbidity and mortality among such groups (Kate, et al 2012). These patients have obviously different symptoms and it may prove difficult to effectively use psychosocial intervention.

The intervention will employ the main ways of helping chronically mentally ill persons to manage weight. These could be prevention of caloric intake, drugs and behavioral changes. At an individual’s home, controlling the nature of food the patient eats may pose challenges as it inclines towards discrimination and makes the behavioral change being tried to lose meaning. The whole idea is to make the individual have independence pertaining to control of behavior. As such, prohibition of caloric intake would be possible only in institutionalized case like the one in point. Weight loss programs combined with drugs for the same purpose would yield good results.

The interventions should be formulated upon theoretical considerations, diet and practices to be learnt, acquisition of behavior management skills and follow ups to ensure the patients continue to practice the skills when the program is over (Beth 2012). The intervention program will run for six months scheduled at two hours per week. Body mass index (BMI) for each of the participants will be taken and will be progressively checked to monitor the changes.

The intervention sessions will have two phases: one for learning and skill acquisition while the other will dwell on debating the difficulties in applying the skills. Short lectures, group discussions, demonstrations and guided practice will form the interventions’ strategy. The participants will be given the opportunity to apply the newly acquired skills and give feedback. There will be simplification of learning materials and alliteration of information to ensure enhanced understanding.

The examples of diet foods will be those within reach for all. The participants will be furnished with lists of nutritious foods and encouraged to come up with meal plans as well. Physical activities learnt will be recommended to be carried out throughout the day. Self discipline will be achieved by encouraging positive behavior and motivating members with good results. After the six month period the BMI for the participants will be taken every two weeks during which time discussions will be held in a view to assess implementation of the skills learnt.

Works Cited

Beth Angell, et al. “Crisis Intervention Teams and People with Mental Illness: Exploring

The Factors That Influence the Use of Force.” Crime & Delinquency 58.1 (2012): 57-77. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Fraser, Eliza, and Kenneth I. Pakenham. “Evaluation Of A Resilience-Based

Intervention for Children of Parents with Mental Illness.” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 42.12 (2008): 1041-1050. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Galletly, Carol L., and Leslie E. Murray. “Managing Weight in Persons Living With Severe Mental Illness in Community Settings: A Review of Strategies Used In Community Interventions.” Issues In Mental Health Nursing 30.11 (2009): 660-668. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Green, B. L. “Applying Interdisciplinary Theory in the Care of Aboriginal Women’s Mental Health.” Journal Of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing 17.9 (2010): 797-803. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Hendricks, James E., Cindy Gillespie Hendricks, and Jerome B. McKean. Crisis Intervention: Contemporary Issues for On-Site Interveners. Charles C Thomas, 2010. EBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web.

Kam Hock, Chang, and Stephen Horrocks. “Lived Experiences of Family Caregivers Of Mentally Ill Relatives.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 53.4 (2006): 435-443. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Kate Lorig, et al. “The Health and Recovery Peer (HARP) Program: A Peer-Led Intervention to Improve Medical Self-Management for Persons with Serious Mental Illness.” Schizophrenia Research 118. (2010): 264-270. ScienceDirect. Web.

Michael J. Silverman, “Perceptions of Music Therapy Interventions from in patients With Severe Mental Illness: A Mixed-Methods Approach.” The Arts in Psychotherapy 37. (2010): 264-268. ScienceDirect. Web.

O’Hare, Thomas, and Margaret V. Sherrer. “Lifetime Traumatic Events and High-Risk Behaviors as Predictors of PTSD Symptoms in People with Severe Mental Illnesses.” Social Work Research 33.4 (2009): 209-218. Academic Search Premier. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Weight Control for Chronically Mentally Ill People." September 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/weight-control-for-chronically-mentally-ill-people/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Weight Control for Chronically Mentally Ill People'. 4 September.

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