5 Common Mental Disorders Explained

Mental disorders/illnesses are a range of mental health conditions that affect your mood, thinking, and behaviour. A mental health concern becomes a mental disorder when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. The following are descriptions of some common mental illnesses/disorders.

Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

This is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities or personalities are present in- and alternatively take control of- an individual. The individual also experiences extensive memory loss. Usually a primary personality carries the individual’s given name and is passive, dependent and depressed. When in control each personality may have its own distinct history, self-image and identity. The alters’ characteristics including name, reported age and gender, vocabulary and predominant mood usually contrast with those of the primary identity. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder which affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world. People with this disorder often have an altered perception of reality. They may see or hear things that don’t exist, speak in strange or confusing ways, and believe that people are trying to harm them or that they are being constantly watched. They may also withdraw from the outside world or act out in confusion or terror.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. Some of the problems faced by people with this disorder include difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. Children with ADHD may also have low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Symptoms for some may lessen with age but some people never completely outgrow their ADHD symptoms.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder which is a potentially disabling condition that can persist throughout an individual’s life. It is categorized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions such as cleaning, checking, counting and hoarding. The person who suffers from OCD becomes trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviours that are senseless and difficult but very difficult to overcome. Persistent fears that harm may come to ones self or a loved one, an unreasonable concern with becoming contaminated, or an excessive need to do things correctly or perfectly, are common.

Depression

It’s also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. Depression is mood disorder and it causes a persistent feeling of sadness/unhappiness and loss of interest. Symptoms include frustration or anger, insomnia or oversleeping, trouble thinking or making decisions and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Depression effects how an individual feels, thinks and behave and can lead to a number of emotional and physical problems. They may have trouble with day to day activities and may have suicidal thoughts.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from a mental disorder or illness please seek help immediately as many illnesses are curable with medicine and therapy. The important thing to remember is that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. And a lot of times the people we love are effected by our mental illness too and getting relationship counselling can really help both of you deal with it.

“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.”

-Julian Seifte

Don’t forget to share and comment about what you think.

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5 Most Common Dreams

Ever woken up in cold sweat or maybe with a smile on your face all because of a dream? We all have those weird random dreams that have us waking up not knowing what the hell just happened. The following are 5 most common dreams people have and their meaning.

Falling

Falling dreams are found to be the most common dreams experienced by people. Most people have this dream at least 5 times in their life. This dream is usually a red flag from our subconscious suggesting that you have lost control over something in your life or that something in your life is not going as planned. This dream is also a sign showing that you are stressed. If you have this dream you should probably try to figure out what you feel out of control about or what you are stressed out about and try to fix it.

Teeth Falling Out

No this dream doesn’t mean it’s time for you to go see a dentist. This dream could mean that you feel like you are losing something or have lost something precious in life. Another interpretation of this dream could be that you may have consciously or unconsciously said something that you shouldn’t have. This dream could be a sign that you regret saying something.

Being Chased

This is another very common dream. In these dreams you are probably being chased by an animal, an attacker, a monster or an unknown figure. It can stem from feelings of anxiety or stress in your waking life. This dream could also suggest that you feel guilty about a certain situation in your waking life and so are trying to avoid the situation by running away from it. This dream could also mean you are trying to avoid something such as responsibility or obligation.

Flying

Dreaming that you are flying could mean that you feel liberated from something that was weighing you down. It could also show how much control you have over your life depending upon how effectively or poorly you are flying. Most people who dream about flying tend to be strong-minded and ambitious.

Death/Dying

Death is often perceived negatively in the dream world. Symbolically it represents the end of something in order to start something new. If you dream that you are dead or dying it is often parallel to some drastic change going on in your life and could mean that you are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind. If you dream that someone else is dead suggests that the person who is dead or dying possesses a certain quality that you wish you had. Alternatively, this dream could indicate that whatever that person represents no longer has a part in your life anymore.

However, at the end of the day different dream symbols and events have different meanings to different individuals without reference to any universal meaning. Dreams are often related to the dreamers own psyche and personal history.

Do you have a recurring dream? Do you think the dreams mean something different? Don’t forget to comment and share.

The Cult Experience

Why is it that we consciously or unconsciously associate ourselves with certain groups while mocking or distancing ourselves from others? Nerds, geeks, jocks, we all somehow belong to a group or stereo type. But why are cults associated with negativity whereas joining a political or religious group would be perfectly normal? More importantly why or what drives someone to join a cult even though they know the aftermath could be catastrophic?

A cult is a group with a strong social identity that tends to be exclusive in nature led by a charismatic leader. Along the way there have been some very dangerous, violent and just plain creepy cults such as Branch Davidian whose behaviour was clearly extreme.

When we see members of cults we see them as creeps or freaks, however, what we don’t understand is that they too were perfectly “normal” once but have now been “brainwashed” into believing that only what their leader believes is true and that anyone who is not part of the cult is a potential threat.

One of the reasons why people join cults could be to find a place where they belong. Most people if not all tend to need to feel like they are a part of something. A place with people they can identify with. That would actually explain why cult members have such strong bonds towards their in-group (the group they belong to) while having such negative feelings towards their out-group (a related group they do not belong to).

Cult leaders typically tend to be charismatic and capable of coercive persuasion. This encourages strong in-group identification. Furthermore, according to obedience, we follow orders from an authority figure so even in a cult, cult members are more likely to blindly follow their leaders even if it means committing atrocities.

Another reason why people join cults could be due to dependency (the wish to be taken care of- to find a home, a parent). Teenagers and adults are not expected to usually behave this way but rather are expected to be autonomous. This covert dependency- the wish to have parents and the parallel wish to be admired, loved and sheltered by ones group- continues throughout life in everyone. This fantasy or dream can transform into a wise, strong and protective parent with whom we feel secure.

Have you ever been in a cult? Why do you think people join cults? What is the weirdest cult you’ve ever heard about or been in? Leave a comment below telling us what you think!