Mental Health Conditions
A mental health condition describes/categorises various mental and behavioural patterns or changes that cause distress or interferes with one’s ability to function in daily life. Mental health disorders vary in their symptom profile and severity. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is a commonly used manual by mental health professionals and researchers to help classify and diagnose mental health conditions. The fifth edition of the DSM was published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 2013. We have used the diagnostic criteria set out in the DSM-5 when describing the conditions listed below.
Click on the cards below to learn more about any one of the specific mental ill health conditions listed.
This involves extreme fear or anxiety associated with certain situations and places and these situations are actively avoided.
Anorexia Nervosa is characterised by a low weight, fear of gaining weight, a powerful desire to be thin, and food restriction.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder involves binge eating but without subsequent purging episodes.
Bipolar disorder is characterised by periods of extremes of mood. There are a number of types of bipolar disorder, with the most prevalent being bipolar I and bipolar II.
Bulimia nervosa is characterised by eating large amounts of food in a short time period, followed often by purging behaviours.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
People with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) feel worried and anxious on most days and not just at specific times during high stress situations.
How problem gambling has been defined has changed over the years. Most recently has been the name change from gambling addiction to gambling disorder. Another shift has been the re-classification of problem gambling from an impulse control disorder, to an addictive disorder.
Insomnia refers to a disturbance in sleep. It might be a difficulty in getting to sleep (sleep initiation) or in staying asleep. Difficulties with sleep resulting in poor sleep quality can have an impact on feelings of fatigue, concentration and mood.
Major Depressive Disorder
We can all feel sad and low at times. For most people, experiencing these things is transient, and they are relatively mild. For someone who experiences depression these symptoms are severe in their intensity and last for at least two weeks – but usually are longer.
Panic disorder refers to the repeated experience of relatively brief, but distressing periods of extreme anxiety symptoms. These are referred to as panic attacks. Around 40% of people will experience a panic attack over their life time, however the occurrence of one attack is not frequent enough for it to be considered as panic disorder.
Peripartum Onset Depression
Women are at increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the first year after the baby is born. As 50% of postpartum depressive episodes actually begin before the baby’s birth, this prompted the name change (peripartum onset depression) to encompass it more broadly. The signs and symptoms are the same as those for depression.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emerges from having witnessed or experienced a traumatic event that threatened the persons life or safety or that of others. This could be a car accident, sexual assault, natural disasters such as bush fire or flood.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is defined by the presence of obsessions, compulsions or both. Obsessive thoughts are recurring OCD thoughts that are distressing and also lead to repetitive behaviours.
People with a specific phobia are aware that their fear is irrational (such as the fear of going to the dentist), but they feel they have little to no control over their reaction. This type of phobia can also be associated with panic attacks.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Feeling anxious in situations where we can be the focus of attention is understandable and normal. For those with social anxiety however, being in situations where they feel they are under the scrutiny of others causes extreme anxiety. The intensity of this fear results in the person avoiding situations where they will feel socially anxious.
Substance Use Disorders
In the latest DSM-5 (2013) edition, there has been a major change in how alcohol and other drug addictions are classified. The terms abuse and dependence have been removed and they are now all defined in terms of ‘use’ disorders.
© 2022 HealthZone