From a little niggle to a huge worry which is preventing you from getting on with your life - find out more from the list below. Therapy can be effective with many mental health issues, but remember to visit your GP who may be able to to recommend the best way forward, whether this involves therapy, medical treatment, or both.
Sleep is as important to us as food, water and air and without sufficient good quality sleep, our health can soon deteriorate with drastic consequences. Sleep disorders may be exacerbated by the following:
- Too much caffeine
- Consumption of alcohol
- Heavy smoking
- Daytime napping
- Level of physical fitness
- Certain medications
Paraphrenia is a disorder similar to schizophrenia which occurs late in life. It is characterised by delusions and involves symptoms such as anxiety, aloofness, feelings of persecution, jealousy and identity crisis. If the delusions are not acted upon, individuals with paraphrenia may appear to function normally and will take care of themselves (grooming, etc) as well as any healthy individual.
A personality disorder is basically a set of traits that combine to negatively affect your life. They have a wide range of causes and some are easier to treat than others. The recognised personality disorders are Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal, Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive.
Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense anxiety or fear. This is often accompanied by stomach problems, shallowing breathing, sweating and stomach problems and less commonly bladder release. Often, these episodes come with no warning, and have no obvious triggers which can make the experience intensely frightening.
Eating Disorders are commonly described as an outward expression of internal emotional conflict or pain or a perceived loss of control of one's life.
A person who may feel that they are unable to control certain aspects of their life may resort to controlling their diet.
Depression is described as being on a continuum from 'low mood' to 'major depressive disorder'. Symptoms may be as follows:
- Insomnia, restlessness
- Lack of concentrations
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Ruminating - persistent negative thoughts
- Lack of appetite or eating too much
- Irritiability, short-temperedness
- A sense of life not being worth living
Substance-induced psychotic disorder is, as the name suggests, a psychosis brought on by the use of certain substances, such as alcohol, or cocaine. Symptoms are hallucinations, delusions or confused/inappropriate speech and behaviour.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder is identified by an individual suffering from perpetual worry or anxiety, and feelings of persistent distress, usually disproportionate to the issue at hand. The disorder may arise from a traumatic experience - the stress from which pervades a growing number of areas in the individual's life. In others, it may be a case of chronic uncertainty about one's environment caused by childhood trauma.
A shared psychotic disorder occurs when a person develops similar symptoms to someone they are in close proxmity with who is themselves, delusional.
Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms.
Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life. Anxiety generally becomes a problem when feelings of worry or fear begin to impact on someone's ability to function.
The symptoms of a delusional disorder involves the belief that certain situations, fears or events are actually happening, without there being any real evidence to support the belief. For example, those with a delusional disorder may believe they are being stalked, may be terminally ill, or be the victim of a consipiracy. These delusions persist for at least one month to be diagnosed as a disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).
People with brief psychotic disorder have sudden short periods of psychotic behaviour, which can often occur as the result of a traumatic experience. Symptoms will normally dissipate or disappear within a month. It is an acute reaction to a stressful event and is often associated with what we call a nervous breakdown, although this a general term which usually involves symptoms of a neurotic - and not a psychotic - nature.
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder.
It is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. There are many specific phobias and their causes are not always identifiable, but treatment can be very effective.
An invidual with schizophreniform disorder will have the symptoms of schizophrenia, but the duration of the condition has lasted more than one month, but less than the six months required for diagnosis as full-blown schizophenia.
People suffering from schizoaffective disorder have the symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
The symptoms can be helped through medication and, as with schizophrenia, the social and affective aspects of the disorders can be ameliorated with practical therapy such as CBT.
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe condition which affects about 1% of the population. It is known to affect men more than women (and 1.5 times more) and is characterised by problems in thought, behaviour and social functioning.