Mental illness and disorders

MindWise

Everyone’s health, both physical and mental, varies from time to time and may sometimes cause problems and mean that you experience different symptoms.

A symptom might be a pain or a difficulty with a bodily function - for example someone with a chest infection is likely to find that their breathing is affected causing them some discomfort, whilst someone with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations which may cause them anxiety and problems concentrating.

People with mental illnesses or disorders may experience a wide range of symptoms which can vary in their severity. For example, anxiety may be mild, or so severe that the person affected finds it impossible to concentrate on their work, watch TV, or perhaps will be unable to leave their home for months on end. Other examples of symptoms are difficulty sleeping, feeling hopelessness or guilt, or believing that other people are plotting against you - but as with anxiety, the extent to which different individuals are affected by these symptoms can vary enormously.

People with different illnesses or disorders will have different illness experiences, including;

  • the types of symptoms experienced
  • how daily life and ability to function 'normally' is affected
  • and what types of treatment may be effective.

Symptom clusters

Some people have groups or ‘clusters’ of symptoms which psychiatrists are able to recognise as indicating particular disorders, like schizophrenia or manic depression (otherwise known as bi-polar disorder). These two conditions both involve episodes of psychosis which can result in the person affected losing touch with reality because their thinking or mood has been disturbed. They may hear voices or see, taste or smell things which are not real, or develop strange beliefs, perhaps that they are being pursued by aliens or the mafia.

Or they might experience very high or low moods which have a strong effect on the way they behave. Some people will only ever experience a single ‘psychotic episode’, while others will have recurring periods of problems, perhaps at times of particular stress in their lives.

So, the types of symptoms you are experiencing are important in helping to diagnose the condition you have, and also in establishing the right treatment for a particular condition in order to give you the best chance of a successful recovery.

Useful resources

The directory of services provides information on organisations that can help improve mental health and emotional wellbeing or support people who need help with mental and emotional ill health.
These five directories list the names, numbers and web addresses (where applicable) of...
Inspire Workplaces (one of the new names for Carecall and EAP Consultants), is a leading...
The EA currently have 166 staff on our Mental Health First Aider network. The Mental...
Anxiety UK and the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) are working together to provide...
AMH New Life Counselling is a professionally accredited counselling service and part of...
The British Red Cross is helping people connect with their local communities, meet new...
This includes: Raising awareness of depression and Aware NI services at a wide range of...
AMH EveryBODY aims to promote greater understanding and awareness of eating disorders. We...
Our Calm Club Anxiety Relief Sessions allow you to benefit from an approach that provides...
Tailored activities to support positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. MensSana,...
The Community Care and Support Service is open to individuals over the age of 18 years...
The AWARE Mood Matters in the Workplace programme is a mental health awareness programme...
Free access to eBooks, audiobooks and eMagazines - available to download on your device...
A partnership, led by AMH, who worked with 8 leading charities to improve mental health...
Self-management programmes that teach skills to manage all aspects of living with a long...
Mindfulness is a form of meditation with its roots in Buddhism. It helps you develop...
This takes place with a psychologist usually in a clinical setting (e.g. hospital)...
Be Mindful is an online course that uses mindfulness techniques like meditation,...
Action Mental Health is one of the ChatPal Project Team Members working to develop and...
Our team of facilitators have extensive knowledge and experience in the field of Mental...
Advanced Diploma in Mental Health and Wellbeing Coaching This virtual training programme...
Positive Minds for Premature Parents supports families of premature babies to develop and...
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for the treatment and alleviation of a variety of...
We’ve gathered useful advice, information and help for young people aged 8-25 and those...
AMH Promote provides opportunities for adults with a learning disability to be socially...
This programme is a six week training programme for groups of adults and focuses on...
This idea is a walk in the park. It really is that simple, post a news item to see how...
We have a wealth of experience in delivering training and consultancy services to a wide...
Anxiety UK’s online support groups offer a safe space for people to share experiences,...
AWARE NI are expanding their self-help supports to include a new online support group...
This is a six-session programme using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) concepts – the...
At AMH New Horizons we support the recovery of adults experiencing mental ill health who...
Supporting veterans at risk of suicide across Northern Ireland. Exposure to line of duty...
A project for men aged 50+ to share skills, socialise and connect with their wider...
Counselling sessions can often last for longer than the standard 12 sessions offered with...
From books and magazines to local history resources, Libraries NI has a host of fabulous...
The OUR Generation project is a Peace IV funded project that provides a unique...
Bloom is a UK-wide programme which supports young people’s mental health resilience,...
First aid as we know it is the help given to an injured person before medical treatment...
Compassion focused therapy (CFT), developed by Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, is a...
Sourcing and supporting employment opportunities, training and/or voluntary placements...
AMH Works provides workplace mental and emotional well-being consultancy supported by a...
There are a number of health campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of...
Mood Matters for Adults is delivered to the general adult population, including those...
Back to Life, Back to Normality is a free 12-week mental health programme delivered by...
Moodpath: Depression and Anxiety is a written mood journal that uses progress reports and...
Personalised Exercise Plans
MoodMission helps you learn new and better ways of coping with low moods and anxiety...
Handle stress and anxiety on the go
Is anxiety getting in the way of your life? MindShift uses scientifically proven...
Guided meditations
Active 10 is a free and easy to use walking app that tracks your walking and shows you...
SuperBetter is a tool created by game designers to help you build resilience and get...
Fabulous! Is a motivational app that uses challenges to help build physically and...
What's Up? can help you cope with anxiety, stress and feelings of depression. It has...
Guided meditations
Clear Fear is an app developed for teenage mental health charity Stem4 which uses the...
Support to resist self-harm
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM) offers a range of self-help methods to help you...
It’s an easy to follow programme known the world over, and perfect for those new to...
Learn to manage negative thoughts and look at problems differently
Check your mood
Check if you are at risk of depression