Mental disorders are real diseases. They're painful, and lonely, and can lead to feelings of hopelessness. Learn about a few of the most common mental disorders below and find links to additional information and resources about each disorder.
If you are struggling or in pain, you don't have to suffer alone. Reach out for help. The Counseling Center has time to see you today.
You can also call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). or Text HELLO to 741741.
Addiction is a complex, serious, disease characterized by compulsive substance use even though the person knows the harmful consequences. People who are experiencing addiction focus so intently on using a certain substance (or more than one) that it consumes their life. It interferes with their relationships, school work, employment, sometimes even their ability to keep a roof over their head. The continue to use the substance even though they are fully aware that it causes huge problems. They just can't stop. However, there are effective treatments and people can recover from addiction and lead a happy, productive life.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by extreme fear and dread related to certain situations or objects. People who are experiencing anxiety have physical reactions to these situations which can include a rapid heartbeat and sweating. While everyone experiences fear and dread on occasion, it can become an anxiety disorder when someone cannot control the way they respond to a situation or has to alter the way they live their life in order to avoid the inappropriate response to the situation or object.
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. People who have it go through unusual mood changes. They go from very happy, "up," and active to very sad and hopeless, "down," and inactive, and then back again. They often have normal moods in between. The up feeling is called mania. The down feeling is depression.
Depression is a serious medical illness--it is a disorder of the brain. It's different from being sad or feeling "blue" for a few days, it is persistent and interferes with daily life. Depression can look like sadness, but it also looks like losing interest in favorite activities, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, tiredness, headaches, and even aches and pains. Depression can also look like feeling hopeless, anxious, guilty or irritable, or having thoughts of suicide or death.
Eating disorders DO NOT have a "look". You don't have to be emaciated to have an eating disorder, or female, or white. In fact most people diagnosed with eating disorders AREN'T emaciated, white, teenage girls. Eating disorders are very serious, and involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors involving food. The most common eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Bulimia (but there are also others).
Uncontrollable, repeated, thoughts (obsessions) are one of the hallmarks of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Frequently someone suffering from this disorder will engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in an effort to make the thoughts go away. Obsessions could include fear of germs or of being hurt (or a loved one being hurt) corresponding compulsions might include excessive hand washing, counting, or precisely organizing things. When OCD is left untreated, it can take over someone's life.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic illness that can result from experiencing a traumatic (scary, dangerous, shocking, etc.) event. Experiences that may result in PTSD include (but are not limited to) rape, natural disasters, physical abuse (and other kinds of abuse), car accidents, and war. Symptoms of PTSD include experiencing flashbacks (like your in the experience again), trouble sleeping or nightmares, angry outbursts, and having trouble thinking clearly. PTSD can make it challenging to live a full life and can affect both you and those around you.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HELLO to 741741
There are a number of warning signs that someone may be thinking about suicide. Don't ignore what you see, help is available.
If you or someone you know has talked about wanting to die or kill oneself, is looking for a way to kill oneself, or is feeling hopeless and as if they have no reason to live, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Text Line.
Other warning signs to watch for include feeling trapped or in unbearable pain, talking about being a burden to others, behaving recklessly, changes in sleep patterns, withdrawal from friends and family, and increased use of alcohol or drugs.
Help is available and suicide is preventable.
There are a million places online to find information about mental health and knowing who to trust can be hard. Here are a few sites and organizations where you can find trustworthy information.