What Is Mental Illness?

There are countless reasons to feel unwell, but here you can learn about why mental illness is different and what can be done about it.

Depression

Experiencing mood swings is natural. However, it becomes a problem when the feeling of sadness persists for weeks and prevents you from focusing on your job, studies, or your social life. Depression can last for weeks, months or even a lifetime depending on the severity of your condition. Depression is likely to be multifactorial illness. Genes may play a big role in its causation, as is stress and trauma. On average more than 1 in 5 people will suffer from depression at some point in their life. Depression, just like a physical illness, can be treated. It is common to experience a poor response to one or two medication trials, this may cause feelings of frustration and helplessness. However, by consulting with a psychiatrist will help you understand the reasons behind the lack of treatment response and will explore your treatment options. Psychiatrists here at Mindoc, treat depression using medications called anti-depressants or medication-free options such as psychotherapy or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS is a novel and effective treatment for depression especially for those who did not have good response to medications or to those who could not tolerate medication side effects. Our collaboration with TMS Australia has made it convenient for our patients as all these proven treatments are now available in one clinic.

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety in general is an adaptive human response to stress or uncertainty. You may be suffering from an anxiety disorder if you find that your anxiety gets out of control and starts to affect your life. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in Australia and New Zealand. Around 1 in 3 of us will have an anxiety disorder at some point in our lives. Having an anxiety disorder can be distressing as it restricts your life, limits your activities and forces you to remain reclusive. However, there are effective treatments available and effective ways to prevent anxiety. Consulting a Psychiatrist may help your to identify the type of anxiety you may be having and its possible reasons , triggers and maintaining factors including physical health reasons. Psychiatrist may also help you to work out a treatment plan using medicines and psychotherapy.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that is characterised by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to compulsive behaviours. People that suffer from OCD have uncontrolled obsessions – unwanted thoughts about, for example, dirt and disease, terrible things happening, sex, violence, or religious themes and compulsions – overwhelming urges to do activities such as cleaning, checking, counting or praying. The obsessive thoughts can be quite overwhelming, while compulsions can take up hours of a person’s day. It can affect anyone of any age, and usually starts in childhood. 1 in 100 Australians and New Zealanders will have OCD at some point in their life. The exact cause of OCD is unknown. There is some evidence that OCD runs in families and is sometimes co-morbid with neurological conditions such as epilepsy and Tic disorder. People with OCD will often hide their illness from others. Our psychiatrists here at Mindoc, will be able to take you through the effective treatments available for this condition. You should seek help if you are worried about yourself or a loved one.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is an extreme variant of  normal fluctuations in mood. It is a disorder that is associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. There can be more than one cause for bipolar disorder such as genes, stress and use of illicit substances. Around 1 in every 100 people will have bipolar disorder (I or II) during their life. Bipolar  disorder is a lifelong condition, although, with the right treatment the symptoms can be well controlled. Your psychiatrist may help you with diagnosing the condition and giving recommendations for treatment of  manic or depressive phase of illness. The psychiatrist may also assist you with making decisions about  prophylactic treatment or  discontinuation of medication.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects how the brain works. It usually manifests as thoughts or experiences that are out of keeping with reality. As a result, individuals are likely to develop strange experiences such as hallucinations and form very strange beliefs, called delusions. Since this is usually associated with an altered perception of reality, some individuals may not understand the abnormal nature of these experiences. This lack of insight is sometimes compared to Anosognosia which is seen in some neurological conditions . The exact cause of Schizophrenia disorder is not known. However, a combination of genetics, environment and altered brain chemistry or structure may play a role. It affects 1 in every 500 Australians. Your psychiatrist may help you with its diagnosis and treatment so that you can lead a healthy life.