How is it to live with a mental health condition
Whether it is diagnosed or not, living with a mental health problem makes like difficult.
A psychosis generally distorts the perception, can lead to delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech and behaviours, and can make someone live in their own reality which is not shared by those around them.
An anxiety of any sort, be it fear, panic or phobia can make someone entertain thoughts dominated by worry, as well as develop unpleasant physiological symptoms and engage in behaviours that reinforce that thinking pattern.
A depression is creating a low mood, sadness, lack of interest in activities, fatigue, insomnia, lack of appetite, poor concentration, feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts.
An addiction can make someone lose control and feel unable to stop misusing a substance or a behaviour despite the negative consequence that it brings in their lives and the lives of those around them.
An impulse-control or conduct disorder can make someone struggle to control their emotions and behaviours and respond with aggression and conflict to the societal norms and authority figures.
A personality disorder can make someone think and behave in rigid ways that are considered deviating from the cultural norms and can lead to distress and relational problems.
A form of OCD, including preoccupation with body image and hoarding are marked by significant and persistent distress and can make someone obsess with their ideas and thoughts and compulsive in the behaviours they perform in response to that obsession.
A bipolar disorder can make someone experience extreme mood swings, ranging from extreme highs usually called “mania” to extreme lows which we generally call “depression”.
A traumatic experience can leave someone with distressing memories of that event, with nightmares replaying the event, with intense distress when exposed to circumstances that resemble aspects of the traumatic event, with tiring efforts to avoid external reminders, with negative beliefs about self, others and the world, feeling fearful, angry, guilty and shameful or with an irritable, reckless or hypervigilant behaviour.
An eating disorder like avoidant eating, anorexia, bulimia or binge eating can make people develop an unhealthy relationship with food by either fearing to gain weight, avoiding eating or losing control in terms of intake, as well as purging, using laxatives, fasting or doing excessive exercise.
A sexual dysfunction can make someone unable to respond sexually or to experience sexual pleasure and can lead to erectile disorders, delayed ejaculation, female orgasmic disorder or pelvic pain disorder.
A paraphilic disorder can make people expose their genitals in public, focus their sexual drive on children, develop a fetish for non-living objects or focus on non-sexual parts of the body, as well as using bondage, sadism or masochism for sexual pleasure or engaging in sexually arousing cross-dressing.
A neurodevelopmental disorder can create development deficits in children that result in autism as a lack of social reciprocity, intelectual disability, communication disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity as well as learning difficulties.
A neurocognitive disorder can lead to cognitive decline and leave people struggling with dementia, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease that lead to memory, attention, learning, language and motor difficulties.