Warning

WARNING !!!

This book contains:

  • SEX
  • DRUGS
  • VERY BAD LANGUAGE
  • LIFE
  • DEATH
  • REALITY
  • and may contain TRACES OF NUTS

MENTAL ILLNESS

One in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness.
Most mental illnesses can be effectively treated.
Mental illnesses can be separated into 2 main categories: psychotic and non-psychotic.

Psychotic Illnesses
Include bipolar mood disorder and schizophrenia and affect the brain causing changes in thinking, emotion & behaviour.

Bipolar Mood Disorder (Manic Depressive Illness)
Bipolar affects 2% of the Australian population (6% in USA).
People with bipolar mood disorder experience extreme mood swings – from depression and sadness to elation and excitement. The mood swings tend to recur, can vary from mild to severe, and can be of different duration.
Early recognition and effective early treatment is vital to the future well-being of people with bipolar mood disorder.

Depression – the main mood disturbance for most people with bipolar disorder including:

    • loss of interest and pleasure in activities enjoyed before
    • overwhelming sadness
    • withdrawing from friends and avoiding social activities
    • ceasing self-care tasks like shopping and showering
    • changes to appetite and sleep patterns
    • lack of concentration, extreme tiredness, feelings of guilt or worthlessness
    • development of false beliefs (delusions) of persecution or guilt for some people

Harmful alcohol and other drug use often co-occurs with symptoms of depression.

Mania – the most severe state of extreme elation and overactivity including:

    • elevated mood – the person feels extremely high, elated, and full of energy. The experience is often described as feeling on top of the world and invincible
    • increased energy & over-activity
    • reduced need for sleep
    • irritability – the person may get angry and irritable with people who disagree or dismiss their sometimes unrealistic plans or ideas
    • rapid thinking & speech – thoughts are more rapid then usual. This can lead to the person speaking quickly and jumping from topis to topic
    • recklessness – this can be the result of the person’s reduced ability to foresee the consequences of their actions, such as spending large amounts of money buying items that are not really needed or a lack of social and sexual inhibitions
    • grandiose plans & beliefs – it is common for people experiencing mania to believe they are unusually talented or gifted, or are kings, film stars or prime ministers for example. Often religious beliefs intensify or people believe they are an important religious figure
    • lack of insight and consequences – people experiencing mania may not recognise that their behaviour is inappropriate, although they may understand that other people see their ideas and actions as inappropriate, reckless, or irrational

Causes – combination of: genetics, biochemistry, stress & the seasons.

Schizophrenia
People with schizophrenia suffer from problems with their thought processes. These lead to hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking, and unusual speech & behaviour.

Non-Psychotic Illnesses
Include phobias, anxiety, some forms of depression, eating disorders, physical symptoms involving tiredness or pain, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

(Sourced from ‘The National Mental Health Strategy’ Department of Health & Ageing)