THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE AND IS NOT MEANT TO TAKE THE PLACE OF VISITING A DOCTOR OR COUNSELOR.
Many people know that they feel bad but don’t know how to tell others about it. Here is some information that may help you. Depression is a feeling of deep sadness that lasts more than a few days. People who are depressed often:
- Cry easily
- Feel worthless or guilty or hopeless
- Feel like their energy has been sucked out of them
- Have changes in their eating or sleeping habits
- Worry about things all the time
- Find that nothing is fun anymore, even the things that they used to like
- May have thoughts about life not being worth living or thoughts about killing themselves. For more information about depression, please visit:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/depression.html
Many women feel depressed after their baby is born. Mood swings and some depression are normal because of hormone changes, not getting enough sleep, and the huge responsibility of caring for a new little person. If the depression lasts longer than several days or seems very severe, talk to your doctor right away, especially if you notice symptoms like the ones listed above for depression.
Some moms even have thoughts of hurting their babies. This does NOT mean they are terrible mothers. It may mean there have been chemical and hormone changes that can be treated so they should tell their doctor right away.
For more information about post partum depression, please visit:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/postpartumdepression.html
While it’s normal to worry about things, some people worry so much that it’s hard to get through the day. People with severe anxiety often:
- Worry all day long
- Obsess about little details and can’t let it go
- Stay awake hours at night worrying about problems
- Often have physical changes in their bodies including headaches, stomach aches, muscle tension, sweating, heart beating very fast, dizziness
- May be very afraid of certain things like being in an elevator or closed space, driving over bridges, being in a crowd or around people at all, leaving the house
- Have flashbacks about bad things that have happened to them
If you feel this way it’s important to let your counselor or doctor know right away.
For more information about anxiety, please visit:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/anxiety.html
Bipolar disorder may be hard to recognize because the symptoms resemble so many other things. People with bipolar disorder often:
- Have extreme changes in their moods. They may feel extremely happy and on top of the world with lots of energy and not needing much sleep followed by terrible lows with no energy and wanting to sleep all day. Some people do not have “happy” highs. During their high energy times they are very edgy and irritable.
- May talk very fast and look like they are high on drugs
- Their thoughts may speed up so much that they jump from one subject to another so fast that no one can understand them
- During highs adults may spend or charge huge amounts of money or want to have sex all the time
Remember that having mood swings is normal and most times is not a sign of bipolar disorder. Talk to your doctor if you think your mood swings are extreme. If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder there are medicines that can help control these mood changes.
For more information about bipolar disorder, please visit: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/bipolardisorder.html
Schizophrenia is caused by chemical changes in the brain that affect peoples’ thoughts. People with schizophrenia often:
- See and hear things that other people don’t. These are called hallucinations (Many other things can cause hallucinations. Some other causes may be drugs, severe depression, bipolar disorder, and certain medical conditions, so it’s very important to tell your doctor about hallucinations so they can help you figure out what may be wrong).
- May believe there is a plot to hurt or kill them
- May hear special messages from the TV or radio or think that someone has implanted a chip or transmitter in their brain
- May believe that they or others are possessed by demons or Satan
Talk to your doctor if you or your child has these symptoms. CBH can help you with a referral to a professional who is trained to help you get the right treatment.
For more information about schizophrenia, please visit:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/schizophrenia.html
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is sometimes called Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is usually noticed by the time the child starts kindergarten. If the child starts to show these symptoms when they’re teenagers, something else may be the cause. Children with ADHD often:
- Are impulsive and act without thinking
- Have trouble paying attention and staying focused on one thing
- May get distracted by other sights and sounds in the room so much that they can’t do their school work
- Seem to space out and daydream a lot and frequently lose things
- May be very “hyper” and full of so much energy they can’t sit still. They may bounce on furniture and constantly fiddle with things
Children with ADD/ADHD may have the above behaviors without the hyperactivity. Since they usually do not have behavior problems in school their ADD/ADHD may not be noticed as a problem.
It is important to get a behavioral evaluation before starting your child on medicine since so many other things can cause these behaviors. It’s also possible that the child is just naturally full of energy and curious.
For more information about ADD/ADHD, please visit the following websites:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/attentiondeficithyperactivitydisorder.html
Most people eat too much or too little at different times for lots of reasons. Stress, holidays, moods, or even the weather can affect how a person eats. For some people concerns about weight, eating, and how they see their bodies can take over their lives. This may be a symptom of an eating disorder.
It’s important to know that an eating disorder is a medical condition and can be treated. People with eating disorders often hide it and deny to themselves and others that there is a problem or find it hard to ask for help. This behavior doesn’t usually go away on its own though. If not treated, eating disorders can cause serious health problems including heart and kidney problems, and even death.
People who have this disorder see themselves as overweight even if they are very thin or underweight. Often they’re obsessed about food but eat very little and weigh themselves often. Some signs of this disorder are:
- Wanting to keep losing weight even though they’re already very thin
- Being very afraid of gaining weight or getting fat to the point of obsessing about it
- Believing they look fat in the mirror even when they’re underweight
- Eating very tiny portions (for example, four grapes for lunch)
- Exercising for hours or vomiting or the use of laxatives and water pills to control weight
People with this disorder often eat a large amount of food (for example, eating an entire bag of cookies in one sitting), in secret, and then “purge” by vomiting or using laxatives or water pills. They are often very ashamed of their binge eating and their purging and try to hide it from everyone, even their doctor. Some signs of this disorder are:
- Eating a lot of food even when not hungry and continuing to eat after feeling full
- Hiding the amount of eating and eating alone
- Feeling guilty and ashamed after binging
- Vomiting or using laxatives, enemas or water pills to try to get rid of the extra food