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Common mental illnesses

An overview of common mental illnesses and their characteristics: Depression: -Also known as major-depressive disorder, depression is marked by intense…

By Lucy Gotell , in City , on October 25, 2007

An overview of common mental illnesses and their characteristics:

Depression:
-Also known as major-depressive disorder, depression is marked by intense and prolonged feelings of sadness, despair and guilt. Depression also interferes with an individual’s bodily functions and day-to-day activities such as sleeping and eating patterns.
-It is thought that depression may be hereditary to some extent, and is often treated through a combination of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy.

Anxiety Disorders:
-According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health issues and affect about 12 per cent of Canadians in a given year.
-There are several types of anxiety disorders:
-Panic Disorder causes people to experience panic that, in turn, cause physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
-People with a Social Phobia feel intensely self-conscious in social situations, and tend to avoid objects and situations that may incite their social fears.
-A third type of anxiety disorder is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, during which people suffer from persistent, unwelcome thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors that they cannot control.

Bipolar Disorder:
-This severe mental illness is characterized by recurring episodes of both intense elation and depression. These shifts in mood often cause sufferers to withdraw from relationships, work and school, and can eventually lead to suicide.
-The common treatment method for people with bipolar disorder is medication coupled with psychotherapy.
-Bipolar Disorder affects approximately 2.3 million Americans, or 1.2 per cent of the population.

Alcoholism:
-Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease characterized by an inability to control alcohol intake.
-Some manifestations of alcoholism are nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems, and neurological dysfunctions.
-Treatments for alcoholism include hospitalization and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

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