An ABC of Psychiatric Disorders

Listed below are just some of the psychiatric disorders that people experience.  We hope this information is of help in gaining an understanding of your condition.  It should only be taken as a guide and professional help should always be sought when making a diagnosis.


Abortion and Miscarriage


Having an abortion or miscarriage can be a very emotional experience for a woman and she may experience a number of symptoms.We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.

Addiction


Addiction is uncontrollable use of a substance or a habit and can include sex, gambling, exercise and eating. Addictive behaviour is counter-productive and makes bad situations worse.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


ADHD


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is often diagnosed in children but sometimes missed. We now know that not everyone recovers and some suffer symptoms continue on into adulthood.

Those affected have a problem maintaining attention without being distracted, problems controlling what they do or say because they are acting impulsively and can be restless and fidgety.

Quite often, people suspect they have the condition and there are a few tools available online to help you decide if you need to see a specialist. Psychiatrists use the same basis but go into a lot more detail in order to make the diagnosis, based on your account, that of any informants and any school reports.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Alcoholism


Drinking large quantities of alcohol regularly means a risk of becoming alcohol dependent. This means one can become addicted to alcohol and cannot live without it.

A person may find they are drinking more and more, thinking of having a drink when they wake up in the morning and planning their day around the next drink. The person’s tolerance for alcohol may increase meaning that they will need to drink more to feel the effects.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Anorexia Nervosa


Anorexia nervosa usually starts in childhood or teens although people can develop it at a later age. Females are more prone but males get it too. People lose weight and there is a vicious circle where they lose the ability to think properly due to insufficient brain nutrition, have an intense fear of becoming fat and see themselves as fat even when they are clearly underweight. Sufferers may restrict food intake and exercise excessively as well as taking laxatives or making themselves sick (see also bulimia).
We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.

Anxiety


Anxiety is felt by each of us at some time in our lives; it is a normal biological reaction to stress. It can be temporary and have a mild effect or can last a long time and be quite severe, affecting your everyday life.
We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s Syndrome


Autistic Spectrum Disorder covers a range of pervasive developmental disorders. Common characteristics include problems forming relationships, inability to understand social rules and body language, communication issues. Hand and eye coordination may also be a problem.
We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.

Avoidant Personality Disorder


Avoidant Personality Disorder is like having extreme social anxiety. Patients feel inferior, feel inadequate and have low self-confidence. They may try to avoid social situations or contact with people in a work environment and others may see them as loners.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Binge Eating


Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person feels compelled to consume large amounts of food feeling unable to stop. Food is typically consumed over a short period of time. People eat when they are not hungry, unable to stop. Binges are often planned and the binge eater will purchase special foods ready for their binging session.
People binge eating usually do so in private so others do not see that they cannot control their eating. They will then suffer feelings of guilt or disgust for what they have done.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar Disorder, also called manic depression is a disorder characterised by sustained periods of low mood lasting for many weeks at some point and at another point in time, long periods of elated mood.
Mood swings over short periods are almost always not caused by this condition and careful assessment is needed. These episodes are generally separated by stable times.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Body Dysmorphic Disorder


People with this disorder are worried about their body image and believe they have body defects. Sometimes, they seek cosmetic surgery to rectify perceived problems.
The person may feel disgusted by one or more parts of their body and this generally causes them great distress. It is thought that a combination of psychological, biological and environmental factors cause the disorder. Generally, it starts in early adulthood.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Bulimia Nervosa


Bulimia Nervosa Bulimia is characterised by regular bouts of serious overeating, followed by deliberately vomiting to get rid of the food. Patients feel guilty for having eaten. This can cause serious physical problems to the body and can be fatal.
People who suffer from bulimia binge on food over short time periods, then follow this with episodes of dieting and self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse or diet pills. They may do this process many times during the day. Bulimia sufferers are scared of becoming fat. They tend to over judge themselves where their weight and body image are concerned and their behaviour may be characterised by high impulsivity.
Purging helps by preventing weight gain and temporarily relieving feelings of negativity, anxiety or depression. The vomiting is mostly done in private so it is often hard to know if someone is suffering from bulimia.

As with anorexia, bulimia tends to affect young women more than men but they do occasionally suffer from this too.
Bulimia can also be associated with drug abuse, engaging in sex with many partners and shoplifting.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Bullying


Bullying can happen at any time during your life, as a child and an adult. It is a form of aggressive behavior, teasing, harassment or actual assault. Verbal and psychological bullying can be as hurtful as physical violence. Sexual and racial harassment are also serious forms of bullying.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is also known as Myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME. Myalgia means muscle pain and encephalomyelitis means inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. However, whether this latter is actually the mechanism is less than clear hence the preferred term CFS.
The condition affects thousands of people of all ages. For many people, the symptoms improve over time but this is not always the case.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Compulsive Shopping or Overspending


Compulsive shopping is where one’s behaviour becomes habitual. People may spend in secret, hiding items that are delivered or purchased from family members. Debt is often not acknowledged and overspending gets out of hand and frequently causes arguments.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.



Dementia


Dementia is a condition which mainly affects the elderly but can be found in younger people. It is a progressive illness which affects memory, personality and intellect and in the vast majority of cases, there is no cure. The type which people know best is Alzheimer’s. This is the one where there is no fully understood cause.

In multi-infarct dementia, a series of ‘mini-strokes’ in the brain can cause ‘step-wise’ deterioration and although it cannot be reversed, treatment of the underlying circulatory problem can at least slow down the rate of deterioration. There are also a number of very rare conditions, which is why it is so important to get expert advice. In addition, there is “pseudo-dementia” which occurs classically where an elderly person becomes very depressed and ‘shuts off’ from the outside world. This can often be diagnosed on the basis that a degree of depression preceded the dementia-like-symptoms and can often be completely reversed.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Dependence on Prescription Medication


Sometimes, people taking prescribed drugs can become dependent and addicted to using them. Symptoms that are associated with prescription medication dependency include back pain, headaches, problems sleeping, bowel problems and anxiety.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Dependent Personality Disorder


In Dependent Personality Disorder, people depend on others to make decisions for them and to meet their physical and emotional needs. They have a fear of being abandoned or separated from important people in their lives. They seek assurance and advice from others, will be clingy and feel they cannot live without that person. Criticism and self-doubt, along with pessimism and constantly putting themselves down, are other symptoms.
Individuals may avoid situations of responsibility and making decisions would make them anxious. They would fear their own judgement and own abilities, leaving decisions to others.
We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.

Depression

Everyone is familiar with the ups and downs of daily life, but we generally recover quite quickly from these low points in our lives. However, with depression, these feelings just get worse and start to impact on everyday life. Symptoms associated with depression include:

• Very frequent feelings of sadness
• Under or over sleeping
• Agitation or slowing of movements and thought
• Lack of concentration and indecisiveness
• Not eating properly and losing or putting on weight
• Getting no pleasure out of life or what you usually enjoy
• Losing interest in most aspects of life
• Irritability
• Feeling guilty about things
• Loss of confidence and low self-esteem
• Feeling negative about your life
• Feeling worthless
• Distancing yourself from others
• Thoughts of death or self-harming feelings or behaviour

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Drug Misuse and Dependency


If a person needs drugs to function in a normal manner, it is described as drug dependant. It is compulsive use of a substance, being unable to stop using it, even though they may wish to. The danger of using the drugs is overtaken by the need for the drug.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Drug Induced Psychosis


Drug induced psychosis is where psychosis results from substance use. The word psychosis is a term that describes hallucinations and/or delusions and these are a direct result of the use of a substance.

Symptoms can sometimes be hard to distinguish from schizophrenia or other psychotic illnesses and sometimes, it is simply a matter of being treated in the same way but waiting to see if things improve after about 10 days.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.





Gender Identity Issues


Gender dysphoria or core gender identity refers to the gender with which a person will identify themselves. Most of us feel comfortable with our identity, but if this is not the case it can be extremely stressful and distressing.
We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions and, if appropriate, refer you on to a national service.

Grief


Grief can be one of the most psychologically distressing experiences a person ever has to face. Losing someone you care about means you may be struggling with emotions and it’s as though the pain you are feeling will never go away. Sometimes, you just need help to cope with grief or loss.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.




Insomnia


Insomnia means literally not being able to sleep. However, the term includes a whole range of difficulties associated with sleep. For most people, having a bad night’s sleep is not the end of the world but some people seem to ‘need their sleep’ more than others. The body usually adapts to a single bad night by making up for it on the next and subsequent nights. However, if poor sleep becomes a habit, it can get pretty distressing for the person concerned and taking a pill to ‘sort it out’ seems quite tempting.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.





Life Issues/Stress


At some point in our life, we face problems with simple day to day issues that become major, emotional problems to us. Generally, we are able to cope well with everyday events but on occasions, we get knocked off balance and find we are no longer able to cope with our problems. Small issues become much bigger than they are and we are totally overwhelmed.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.



Menopause


Depression, mood swings, anxiety or stress may all be symptoms of menopausal problems. Sometimes, hormone replacement therapy alone is insufficient. We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.

Midlife Crisis


Midlife is the natural process of maturing that happens between the ages of 40 to 60. However, for some it can cause problems and be an uncomfortable time and we need to seek assistance.

We can help with a variety of psychological interventions.




Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety problem where someone has become obsessed with certain thoughts or ideas and finds them hard to avoid, such thoughts then become obsessions. This can evolve into them feeling compelled to do certain things repeatedly. People may find their lives are dominated by compulsive actions such as hand washing or combing their hair 100 times per day every day and having to recheck they have turned off the cooker at home many times before leaving the house.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.



Panic Disorder


Not everyone who has a panic attack will develop panic disorder, yet many suffering symptoms of panic disorder believe they are having a heart attack or suffering from a life threatening illness. They can occur in children as well as adults. Panic in young people is distressing, as they may not be able to understand what is happening which causes more distress.

Sufferers often feel fine one moment then out of control the next. Panic attacks produce real physical symptoms from pounding heart, fainting to sweating. This can be a frightening experience and sufferers start to dread the next attack and feel unable to cope.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Paranoia


Paranoia is a condition where people feel that others are trying to harm them or are watching them. These fears are described as paranoid when exaggerated and not based on fact.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Phobias


A phobia is an irrational and persistent fear an object or situation. It is a sense of endangerment, fear or harm. Agoraphobia and Social Phobia are both generalised phobias which are often connected and can lead to isolation. They differ from specific phobias – fear if an object, such as a spider, in that they are made up of a ‘cluster’ of phobias and often involve panic attacks.

People with agoraphobia fear leaving their own home or a small, familiar safe place, fear of crowds, or public places. Patients may also have other specific phobias such as social embarrassment, open spaces or some trauma related to being outside.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Post Natal Depression


Post natal depression is a condition which sometimes occurs soon after having a baby. Sometimes, after having a baby, women experience a period of low moods, called ‘baby blues’. However, women experiencing this are more at risk of developing post natal depression.

The mother is sometimes frightened and has irrational thoughts about motherhood and about caring for her baby.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Premenstrual Syndrome


Premenstrual syndrome is a group of emotional and physical symptoms related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Symptoms affect some women more than others but generally stop once bleeding starts.

The exact cause of premenstrual syndrome (PMS/PMT) (premenstrual tension as it is also called) is not known. Changes in hormone levels seem to be a factor; normal changes in hormone levels are responsible for some of the symptoms most commonly associated with the monthly cycle, such as headaches, bloating and breast tenderness.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Psychotic Depression


Sufferers of psychotic depression have symptoms of both depression and psychosis. Symptoms include:

• Loss of contact with reality
• Hallucinations
• Delusions
• Difficulty falling asleep
• Waking during the night
• Suicidal feelings
• Depressed most of the time
• Significant weight loss or gain
• An inability to concentrate

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.





Schizoid Personality Disorder


Schizoid personality disorder is characterised by introverted behaviour, someone with a longstanding pattern of detachment from social relationships, who prefers to be on their own. People with this disorder may often have problems expressing their emotions when communicating with others.

They may lack a desire for intimacy and avoid intimate relationships. Consequently, their sexual experiences are limited.

These people may have difficulty expressing anger and do not tend to look for attention. They would be in jobs needing very little social interaction. They apparently lack direction in their lives and have difficulty responding appropriately when important events occur to them. Because of their lack of social skills, they often seem distant and have few friendships.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia is a psychotic illness which persists of many years. It is characterised by hallucinations, delusions and disorders of thought and perception. It requires a multidisciplinary approach to care and treatment because the sufferer often loses important life skills. Sometimes hospital admissions are necessary.

We are able to help in many different ways. Our association with the inpatient and day hospital services of Cardinal Clinic enables us to treat you throughout your journey of recovery. Our nurses can support you at home and our team of psychiatrists and psychologists are able to provide modern evidence-based treatment.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


The main symptoms are low mood and lack of interest in life. This condition is now recognised as a common disorder. In most cases, the disorder is worse in winter and seems to improve by spring.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Self-esteem


Self–esteem is how you think and feel about yourself and how you value yourself. This may be positive or negative, as beliefs can change through life as a result of circumstances. The more positive feelings you have about yourself, the higher your self-esteem is; the more negative feelings you have, the lower your self-esteem is.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Self-harm


People who self-harm can be misunderstood and mistreated. Self-harm is a way sufferers express their feelings of deep distress. Although people don’t often know why they choose to self-harm it is a means of communicating what they cannot put into words. Sufferers usually feel better once they have self-harmed, until the next time they feel the need. People feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to deal with their feelings so turn to self-harming.

Self-harm can be a coping mechanism to escape from emotional turmoil. Most self-harmers are not suicidal but some suicides resulting from self-harm may be accidental.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Sexual Addiction


Sexual addiction is a progressive intimacy disorder characterised by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. As with other addictions, its negative impact on the sufferer and their family gets worse as the addiction progresses. People addicted to sex sometimes get a sense of euphoria from it. The sexual experience is not about intimacy but about avoiding unpleasant feelings.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.


Suicidal Thoughts and Actions


Causes for this can be complex, possibly part of an illness or personality problem but also sometimes due to the problems we face in life. People sometimes do not know which way to turn for help, but we can help you.

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.






Work and Career Problems


Employment problems, often with the added stress of issues such as bullying, are a leading cause of stress, poor health and broken relationships and can lead to a number of symptoms, both psychological and physiological including:

We can help with a variety of psychiatric and psychological interventions.