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Here are some commonly described symptoms of the types of mental health problems we treat at OPTIMIND



Drug addiction (or substance use disorder) is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. This includes legal substances like alcohol and nicotine.

If you’re addicted to a substance you won’t be able to control your of it, despite the harm it causes to your health and life. Addiction can cause intense cravings for the substance, so even if you want to quit, you won’t be able to do it on your own.

Alcohol or drug addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences, including problems with mental and physical, personal relationships, employment, and even the law.



Feeling occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. But if you experience intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Examples of anxiety disorders include:

  • Repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks),
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia),
  • Specific phobias, and
  • Separation anxiety disorder.

A person can have more than one anxiety disorder. If anxiety results from a medical condition, medication may help.



Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

When you have a ‘high’ you feel euphoric and energized, but with the ‘low’ comes depression, sadness and feeling hopeless. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year or as often as several times a week.

Bipolar disorder is a disruptive, long-term condition, but can be kept in check by following a mental health treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder can be controlled with medications and counselling.



Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It’s also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression and affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

Depression can affect the way you go about your normal day-to-day activities, so you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. It’s more than just feeling a bit down or ‘blue’. It’s not a weakness and isn’t something you can ‘just snap out of’.

Many people experiencing depression feel better with medication, counselling or both.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is categorised by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviours (compulsions).

If you have OCD, you may or may not realise that your obsessions aren’t reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But this only serves to increase your distress and anxiety.

Eventually, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings.


Post Natal depression

Many women experience mood swings after the birth of a baby, sometimes known as the ‘baby blues’, but postnatal depression (PND) is different.

PND lasts more than a week or two and interferes with the mother’s ability to function on a daily basis, including the normal routines associated with caring for a baby.

It’s estimated that one in seven women experience PND with symptoms that include: strong depressive mood swings, anxiety, social withdrawal, irritability and loss of enjoyment in usual activities.

Postnatal disorders can interfere with the relationship between a mother and her baby after birth (bonding and attachment) and create strains upon the relationship between the parents of the baby.

Post natal depression (PND) can be treated which is why it’s important to tell your doctor or midwife about current symptoms of distress as well as any past history or medication use.



Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally that requires life long treatment.  It can result in some combination of delusions, hallucinations and extremely disordered thinking and behaviour.

Schizophrenia isn’t a split personality or multiple personality but refers to a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thinking.

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