Some Mental Health Conditions We Work With

Some Mental Health Conditions We Work With

Depression

Depression is described as being an illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts, that effect the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself and the way one thinks about things.
Depression ranges from a low mood to severe clinical depression and can be triggered by upsetting life experiences. A low mood can be experienced as a feeling of heaviness within the body, sluggish levels of energy and feelings of sadness. 
 
Depression does not necessarily have any obvious causes or triggers. The individual suffering with depression can frequently be unable to identify the cause or trigger why they are depressed which in turn can cause them to feel guilty about being depressed which in turn compounds the depression and leaves the individual with a severe case of self- worthlessness.
 
When a person has five or more of the following symptoms, including feelings of sadness or loss of interest or pleasure, or if these symptoms interfere with a person’s life, s/he may have major (clinical) depression and should see a health care professional.
 
  • Feeling sad, crying a lot
  • Major changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Irritability, anger
  • Worry, anxiety
  • Pessimism, indifference, feeling like nothing will ever go right
  • Loss of energy, constant exhaustion
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or hopelessness
  • Not able to concentrate or make decisions
  • Not able to enjoy things once enjoyed, not wanting to socialize
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Schizophrenia

Is a long term serious mental health condition that is often mis-understood, it causes many different psychological symptoms and is described as being a psychotic illness. When an individual experiences a psychotic episode they may not be able to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Schizophrenia can cause the individual to have hallucinations, delusions and muddled thoughts and frequent changes in behaviour.

There is no gender boundaries as men and women are equally affected. Men can develop symptoms between the ages of 15 to 30 and in women, schizophrenia usually develops later between 25 and 30.

Schizophrenia is often misunderstood, and many people have misguided misconceptions about it.
The most common being: 

  • People with schizophrenia have split or dual personality.
  • People with schizophrenia may hear voices in their head that control their actions.
  • People with schizophrenia are often very violent.

The media often inaccurately report the symptoms and specifics of the illness. They have created the impression that individuals with schizophrenia are unpredictable and worse still dangerous, when 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with schizophrenia never hurt themselves or others. The media only tend to report incidents in the most negative and exceptional cases.

Schizophrenia can have a devastating effect upon family and friends, as they themselves feel 
guilt, anxiety and hopelessness due to the inability to help their loved ones.

 

Dual-Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis is the term used when a person has a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) Schizophrenia, Schizo-affective Disorder, Personality Disorder and a problem with alcohol or drugs. A person who has a dual diagnosis has two separate illnesses, and each illness needs its own support plan.
 
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Schizo-affective Disorder

The Individual may have times when they struggle to look after themselves, and when doctors consider that they lack insight into their behaviour or how they are feeling. Individuals may be quite well between episodes. These are experiences called hallucinations and delusions, some other symptoms are:

 
  • Psychotic symptoms, similar to schizophrenia
  • Mood symptoms
  • Thoughts becoming very disorganised
  • Feeling very confused and frightened
  • Feeling angry and depressed, or excited and elated
 
You may:
  • Feel very excited and enthusiastic about life
  • Be angry or irritable, especially if someone contradicts or questions you
  • Be very talkative
  • Make plans that are quite unrealistic
  • Get very little sleep – this may make the mania worse
  • Lose judgement
  • Be extravagant with money
  • Start risky business ventures
  • Have risky sexual encounters
 
‘Depressive type’ – episodes when your mood is dominated by depression.
 
You may feel:
  • Sad, lonely, tired and unable to take any pleasure in life
  • You want to sleep a great deal, but this may make you feel worse
  • Emptiness and despair
  • Unable to relate to other people
  • Very gloomy
  • Suicidal

 

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