"The best way of supporting someone who is mentally unwell is simply by accepting them as they are, and allowing them to be who they are.

Sensitivity to other people's feelings
Understanding of mental illness
Presence - stay close, don't withdraw
Practical assistance and help
Open hearted - being empathetic
Respect for other - and their differences
Trusting of others, and of yourself

Brief Summaries

Anorexia nervosa:
((Anorexia nervosa is a life-threatening eating disorder defined by a refusal to maintain body weight within 15 percent of an individual's minimal normal weight))
  • Binge-purging
  • Cooking large amounts of food for others,
  • Hiding food away but not eating it.
  • Starving themselves.
  • Intense fear of gaining weight.
  • Low self image.
  • Amenorrhea: three or more periods not coming in a row.
  • Excessive pale body hair.
  • Nails and hair become brittle.
  • Skin may become dry and yellow.
  • They feel the cold a lot.
  • They think they are fat, even when they are skeletal.
    Occurs mainly around puberty, in girls, but has been known to deviate from the trend. Specially at risk are young women, actors, models, and athletes, ((those to whom image is important.))
    Many anorexics reduce their calorie intake to 1000 a day.
    People with anorexia develop strange eating habits such as cutting their food into tiny pieces, refusing to eat in front of others, eating only food of certain colours on certain days, or fixing elaborate meals for others that they themselves don't eat.

    Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD): inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

    Bipolar disorder/Manic Depression:
    Symptoms of Mania:
  • Either an abnormally happy mood or an abnormally unpleasant mood
  • Increased energy
  • Faster thinking than normal
  • Increased talking, more rapid speech than normal
  • Ambitious plans
  • Increased sexual interest and activity
  • Decreased need for sleep
    The other side of Bipolar is depression, and those symptoms are Here
    Mixed State: When symptoms of Mania and Depression occur at the same time. Symptoms often include:
  • Agitation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Significant change in appetite
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thinking.
    Rapid Cycling: When four or more episodes occur within a 12 month period. This occurs most often in women.
    Causes: It is believed to be a result of a Chemical Imbalance in certain parts of the Brain.

    Borderline personality disorder:
  • Marked mood swings with periods of intense depression, irritability, and/or anxiety lasting a few hours to a few days;
  • Inappropriate, intense, or uncontrolled anger;
  • Impulsiveness in spending, sex, substance use, shoplifting, reckless driving, or binge eating;
  • Recurring suicidal threats or self-injurious behavior;
  • Unstable, intense personal relationships with extreme, black and white views of people and experiences, sometimes alternating between "all good" idealization and "all bad" devaluation;
  • Marked, persistent uncertainty about self-image, long term goals, friendships, and values;
  • Chronic boredom or feelings of emptiness;
  • Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, either real or imagined.
    --> BPD may be accompanied by serious depressive illness, alcohol/drug abuse, or eating disorders.
    Treatment: A combination of psychotherapy and medication.

    Bulimia nervosa:
    To be diagnosed with bulimia, a person must have had, on average, a minimum of two binge-eating episodes a week for at least three months.
  • Scarring on the back of the hands ((due to pushing fingers down their throat to make themselves throw up.))
  • Depressive mood.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Sore throat.
  • Decreased sexual Interest
  • Swelling of the paraxoid glands ((near the cheeks))
  • Erosion of the enamel on teeth
  • Irregular periods.
    Binge Eating:
    Many bulemics feel a loss of control while binging.
    The definition of binge eating is eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time. But to Bulemics, often any amount of food is considered a binge, and is purged.
    The foods are most often sweet, and high in calories.
    This is often followed by:
    Purging Bahviours:
  • Self-induced vomiting.
  • The use of Laxatives or laxatives, diuretics, or enemas
    Non-Purging behaviours:
  • Fasting
  • Excessive exercize.

    Obsessive compulsive disorder:
    Obsessions: Irrational thoughts; impulses that the person repeatedly thinks about. Trying to avoid these thoughts causes great anxiety.
    Compulsions: Repetitive rituals ((such as handwashing)) that the person feels they must do or else something bad will happen.
    OCD occurs when a person experiences compulsions and obsessions for more than an hour a day, in ways that affect their life.
    -->OCD usually starts at an early age, and it is common for sufferers to hide their symptoms, rather than seek help. It is treatable, but not curable.

    Panic disorder:
    Panic Attack Symptoms:
  • Sweating
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Sensations of choking, or smothering
  • Racing heart
  • Fighting to breathe
  • Shaking
  • Chest pains
  • Feeling faint or numb
  • Nausea((Feeling sick))
  • Disorientation
  • Feelings of:dying, losing control, going crazy.
    Caused by:
  • A stressful event
  • Chemical Imbalance
  • Drugs/Alcohol
    --> The fear of more panic attacks can lead to a very limited life.
    Phobias((Irrational and involuntary fears of ordinary situations or things. people with phobias often have panic attacks when confronted with their phobia.))
    Specific (simple) phobia: A fear of specific situations or objects ie/ Traffic accidents, or Spiders.
    Social phobia: extreme fear of looking foolish or unacceptable in public.
    Agoraphobia: Intense fear of feeling trapped in a situation/public place, and of having a panic attack when confronted with it.

    Post-traumatic stress disorder: This is an anxiety disorder that can occur after witnessing, experiencing, or learning of a traumatic event such as rape or muder.
    Re-experience: The person relives the traumatic experience in their mind. Some experience a certainty that it will happen again,flashbacks, and hallucinations. others experience great distress at the sight of certain people or objects that remind them of the traumatic event.
    Avoidance: The person may persistently avoid anything that reminds them of the event, and this may effect their life greatly. Others show a lack of responsiveness, feelings of detachment, loss of interest in activities, and a feeling of hopelessness towards the future.
    Increased emotional arousal Symptoms may include increaded alertness, difficulty concentrating, inability to sleep, increased jumpiness or irritability.
    Behavior therapy focuses on learning relaxation and coping techniques.
    Cognitive therapy is therapy that helps people with PTSD take a close look at his or her thought patterns and learn to do less negative and nonproductive thinking.
    Group therapy is also helpful.

    Seasonal affective disorder:
    This disorder occurs when symptoms occur only in certain months/seasons, interspersed with months of normal behaviour.
    Symptoms of Winter Depression:((October/November - March/April)) oversleeping, carbohydrate craving, and weight gain, plus the normal symptoms of depression that you can find Here
    Symptoms of Summer Depression: insomnia, decreased appetite, weight loss, and agitation or anxiety.

    A brain disorder, that occurs episodically. A person with schizophrenia does not have a "split personality," and almost all people with schizophrenia are not dangerous or violent towards others when they are receiving treatment.
    ((all of these symptoms can be identified in other brain disorders, but a doctor usually makes a diagnosis after a careful assessment over six months.))
    --> Symptoms:((these are divided into "Postive -Having distinct symptoms that should not be there- , "Negative" -A lack of characteristics that should be there- , and "Disorganized Symptoms -Behaviour that does not make sense-))
    Positive: Hallucinations((hearing or seeing what isn't there)), Delusions((such as believing that others are plotting against them-Paranoia.))
    Negative: Lack of emotion, or inability to express that emotion. A lack of interest or motivation in activities and other parts of life.
    Disorganized: Confused thinking and speech, inability to communicate, have difficulty making sense of everyday sounds and sights.
    --> Caused By:
    schizophrenia seems to be caused by a combination of problems including genetic vulnerability and environmental factors that occur during a person's development.