Addiction: Addiction is defined by a strong, uncontrollable need to take drugs, drink alcohol or carry out a particular activity such as gambling. It becomes the most important thing in a person’s life and leads to problems at home, work and school.
Attention Deficit Hyperacivity Disorder is leading to difficulties in concentrating, of impulsivity and motor hyperactivity. Affected individuals often have trouble to wait or to organise themselves sufficiently during every-day life, at school or work (for more details, also see.
Affective Disorders: People suffering from affective disorders undergo severe and long lasting changes in mood. These changes may appear as depression or mania. While symptoms of depression usually express themselves as sadness, hopelessness and a loss of interest in things formerly enjoyed, mania is usually hallmarked by a disproportionately enhanced mood. Finally, bipolar disorder, known in the past as manic depression, is a condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.
Anxiety Disorders: Key features here are specific (e.g. related to high, injections) or general anxiety symptoms. Especially generalised anxiety is able to affect you both, mentally and physically. Anxiety symptoms sustainably affect your every-day life and impair its quality (e.g. by avoidance behaviour.
Eating Disorders: Individuals suffering from eating disorders (e.g. Anorexia or Bulimia nervosa) mainly perceive their own body in a distorted way. The fixation on their own appearance, nutrition and body weight becomes an essential focus in their lives. While purging behaviour (e.g. self induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives) is applicable to both disorders, Bulimia nervosa is hallmarked by frequent and distinctive bingeing episodes.
Personality Disorders: Personality disorders are conditions in which an individual differs significantly from an average person, in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others. Changes in how a person feels and distorted beliefs about other people can lead to odd behaviour, which can be distressing and may upset others. Some of these conditions may arise from constitutional factors and social experiences in early developmental stages, whereas others will be acquired during later life.
Psychosis is a medical word used to describe mental health problems that stop the person from thinking clearly, telling the difference between reality and their imagination, and acting in a normal way. The two main symptoms of psychosis are:
- hallucinations – where a person hears, sees (and in some cases smells) things that are not really there; a common hallucination is when people hear voices in their head
- delusions – where a person believes things that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue; such as believing that your next door neighbour is secretly planning to kill you
- The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause an often severe disruption to perception, thinking, emotion and behaviour
Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms, including hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that do not exist), delusions (unusual beliefs not based on reality which often contradict the evidence), muddled thoughts based on the hallucinations or delusions, and changes in behaviour. Doctors often describe schizophrenia as a psychotic illness. This means sometimes a person may not be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality. Changes in thinking and behaviour are the most obvious signs of schizophrenia, but people can experience symptoms in different ways.
Tic Disorders: Tic disorders comprise involuntary movements (e.g. jerking of the head or jumping up and down and/or vocalisations, such as grunting, coughing or shouting out words). Contrary to transient tics before growing out, the symptoms remain or change in their form. A combination of chronic motor and vocal tics – which can be both simple and complex – is classified as Tourette’s Syndrome.