Understanding Mental Illness
As part of a national project to raise awareness about first-episode psychosis and support the needs of families affected by the illness, the Canadian Mental Health Association has developed this sibling resource guide – a guide intended to provide information and support to teens and young adults who have a brother or sister experiencing psychosis.
Prepared as part of the CMHA National’s project Youth and Mental Illness: Early Intervention, the purpose of this document is to provide an overview of early psychosis intervention concepts and recent findings. It is intended as a user-friendly introduction and does not attempt to provide a critical analysis of the conceptual and methodological complexities that are inherent to the field. Interested readers are advised to consult the referenced literature for more in-depth reading on various aspects of early psychosis intervention.
Basic information about the impact of ADD and ADHD on the child and the potential emotional, social and family problems that may result.
Depression does not affect only adults. The pressures of school and growing up can be overwhelming and difficult for children to cope with successfully. Depression in children can lead to loss of appetite, aches and pains, and lack of energy.
One of Canada’s most common illnesses is also the least understood. Everyone feels “blue” or sad from time to time. It’s a normal life experience. But when these emotions increase in intensity, persist for more than a few weeks, and start to interfere with a person’s life, it may signal depression. No amount of “cheering up” can make the depression go away; no amount of exercise, vitamins or vacation can make it disappear. That’s because depression is an illness, not a weakness.
In the “What is Psychosis?” section, we go into more detail about the causes and treatment of psychosis. In this section, we concentrate on the importance of identifying the early warning signs of a developing psychoses, getting an assessment and initiating treatment to reduce the impact of the episode.
Mood disorders are conditions that cause people to feel intense, prolonged emotions that negatively affect their mental well-being, physical health, relationships and behaviour. Almost 10 per cent of Canadians experience a mood disorder at some point in their lives. While we can all have brief episodes of “highs” and “lows”, we generally do not experience extreme, extended swings in our emotions. An internal sense of control tends to moderate big mood swings and stabilize our ups and downs.
Eating disorders can be difficult to detect. The media glamourization of so-called ideal bodies, coupled with the view that dieting is a normal activity, can obscure a person’s eating problems. It can be difficult for a person with an eating disorder to admit they have a problem. Knowing how to support someone with an eating disorder is also a challenge. Treatment is available – it can be a long process, but an eating disorder can be overcome. If you think that you, or someone you know, has an eating disorder, it is important to learn the facts. Gaining an understanding of these conditions is the first step in the journey to wellness.
Causes, symptoms, and treatment options for schizophrenia.
The death of someone close to us is one of life’s most stressful events. When the death is from suicide, family and friends must cope with sadness at the loss plus all their feelings of confusion and sometimes even anger. It takes time to heal and each of us responds differently. We may need help to cope with the changes in our lives. But in the end, coping effectively with bereavement is vital to our mental health.