Mental Illness Information

Please be aware that these are only brief overviews of the disorders/illnesses and should by no means be used as a diagnostic tool. Please seek medical advice if you are concerned about your or someone elses health.

Anxiety Disorders

Facts

  • 25% of the population will at sometime in their lives, suffer from an anxiety disorder ranging from specific phobias to more debilitating disorders.
  • Most common age of onset is late adolescence - mid thirties.
  • Anxiety disorders affect women somewhat more than men.
  • Anxiety disorders are the most treatable of all mental illnesses.
  • Depression often accompanies anxiety disorders.
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is reported to be 80-90% effective.
  • Alcohol and drugs are often used to self-medicate for anxiety and panic.
  • Unresolved, on-going high stress levels put all individuals at risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Read more »

Eating Disorders

Facts

  • Girls and women make up 90-95% of those struggling with anorexia and bulimia, and the remaining 5-10% being comprised of boys and men.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • 70% of normal weight adolescent girls feel fat and are engaged in negative eating behaviours to lose weight.
  • Children as young as six years of age have developed negative attitudes about large bodies.
  • 52% of girls begin dieting before age 14. Read more »

Mood Disorders

Facts

  • Fewer than one in three experiencing depression seek treatment.
  • Major depression can develop at any age or stage of life.
  • Depression has soared over the last two decades, especially among adults.
  • Young children, teenagers, men and women of every age and every social, racial, ethnic group can develop depression.
  • Women are 2-3 times more likely than men to develop a depressive disorder.
  • Rates for men and women are highest between the ages 25-44 years. The average age at onset is the mid-twenties.
  • Like many other illnesses, major depression can strike out of the blue without apparent reason. Read more »

Personality Disorders

Whether you're sociable, reserved, funny or forthright, everyone who knows you would likely list the same traits when describing your personality. These characteristics are the combined product of your heredity and early life experience, and they are fixed by the time you reach adulthood.

People with personality disorders have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, which often limit their ability to function in relationships and at work. Depending on the disorder, their personalities are generally described in more-negative terms: dramatic, clingy, antisocial or obsessive.

Among the 10 conditions that are considered personality disorders, some have very little in common. Doctors typically group the personality disorders that have shared characteristics into one of three clusters: Read more »

Psychosis

Definition 

Psychosis is a symptom or feature of mental illness typically characterized by radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality.

Description

Someone experiencing psychosis will usually have impaired reality testing; that is, they are unable to distinguish personal subjective experiences from the reality of the external world. They experience hallucinations and/or delusions that they believe are real, and may behave and communicate in an inappropriate and incoherent fashion. Psychosis may appear as a symptom of a number of mental disorders, including mood and personality disorders. It is also the defining feature of schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, and the psychotic disorders (i.e., brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition, and substance-induced psychotic disorder). Read more »