Mental Health

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is commonly associated with, and was first ascribed to, war veterans suffering from ‘shell shock’ and ‘combat fatigue’. It is a serious and often debilitating medical condition that can occur in anyone who has experienced a traumatic event themselves or have witnessed or heard of a traumatic event involving someone they are close to.

Most people have experienced a terrifying or traumatic event at some point in their lives. Initially, they may have difficulty coping with the trauma but usually, with time, emotions related to the traumatic event tend to decrease. Gradually feeling better, they tend to get on with life.
However, some people struggle to escape the experience, remaining anxious and severely distressed for an extended period to the extent that it may impact their ability to function in everyday life. If this is the case, they may have a medical condition known as PTSD.

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Schizophrenia is a severe, complex and debilitating mental illness that affects many aspects of everyday functioning, including changes in how people function socially, intellectually and in their day-to-day, real-world activities where changes are often noticed before the first episode of illness. 

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Panic Attack

A panic attack is a sudden overwhelming wave of fear that results in severe physical and emotional reactions. These can range from difficulty breathing or chest pain that feels like a heart attack to feelings of unreality – like you are losing control or going crazy.
Peaking within minutes a panic attack usually lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, rarely more than an hour, and then subsides.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – OCD

Have you ever heard someone casually refer to themselves as OCD because they like to do things in a precise and orderly way? ‘OCD’ is often misunderstood and the term is misused as a synonym for uptight, fussy, hard to please, overly neat, or too precise.

However, OCD is a serious anxiety disorder characterised by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and ritual behaviours that sufferers feel the need to repeat over and over (compulsions).
Unlike someone who is particular about personal hygiene or safety and security, a person with OCD may repeatedly wash their hands on a daily basis until they are raw. Likewise, they might spend so much time checking and rechecking if their front door is locked that they may be late for work regularly.

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Depression or major depressive disorder (MDD) is a broad term used to describe a large number of disorders characterised by a depressed mood and a loss of interest in usual activities. 

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A man viewing the world through a bipolar disorder (BD) cutout


In essence, it is a severe lifelong mood disorder causing alternating episodes of “highs” [elevated mood or mania] and “lows” [depressed mood]. 1, 2

Furthermore, there are two types of Bipolar disorder. Bipolar 1 disorder affects men and women equally, while bipolar 2 is more common in women. 2

BIPOLAR 1 DISORDER: One or more episodes of mania with or without major depressive episodes.
BIPOLAR 2 DISORDER: One or more episodes of hypomania (less elevated mood) as well as at least one major depressive episode. It also presents with shorter bouts of depression than bipolar
Additionally, anxiety, substance use/dependence, and personality disorders are common to both.

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Young lady with messy hair as a symbol of anxiety disorder

Anxiety Disorder

A sufferer typically experiences the following:

Relentless and exaggerated anxiety in the absence of valid concerns, which can obviously be debilitating.
Is prone to always expect the worst.
Blows things out of proportion.
Grapples with all-consuming fear and dread to the point of it eventually interfering with their ability to live a normal life.

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The cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder remains largely unknown. However, research suggests that there is a neurobiological reason for the condition. That is to say, related to the structure, neurotransmitters and the functioning of certain areas of the brain.

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