Mind MattersMental health conditions may be caused by genetics, brain chemistry and life changes. They alter the way we think, feel and behave and should be dealt with quickly. They are usually treated with a combination of mood stabilising medications and counselling. Illnesses include:
Depression: This may be triggered by an event or there may be no obvious reason for a sudden onset. Symptoms include loss of appetite, sleep problems, lowered mood and lack of energy.Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Heightened anxiety or panic that interferes with a person's day-to-day life. It causes insomnia, social anxiety, muscle tension, fatigue, restlessness and irritability.
Bipolar Disorder: Causes exaggerated behaviour due to moods swings from low (depression) to high (mania).
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Recurring unwanted and irrational thoughts causing repetitive behaviour and compulsions.
Schizophrenia: Hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking are often the most obvious signs.
Post-Natal Depression: After becoming a parent some women feel teary, exhausted, irritable and worthless, struggle to cope and can't sleep or relax.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): A depression that occurs in the winter months and appears to be triggered by lack of sunlight, which alters brain chemistry. It is often treated with specialised light boxes.
Where to Get HelpLifeline: 13 11 14
Your family doctor
The Australian Psychological Society referral service: 1800 333 479.
The Black Dog Institute: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/.
Beyond blue: http://www.beyondblue.org.au, 1300 22 4636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANE Australia: http://www.sane.org. Helpline: 1800 18 SANE (7263) 9-5 weekdays EST. A Free Infopack can be requested. From a mobile phone call 03 9682 5272 (charged at normal mobile rates).
Lantern 03 9093 5977 or email@example.com
E-Hub Self-Help Programs for Mental Health and Wellbeing: http://www.ehub.anu.edu.au/welcome.php