Mental Health For Adults
If you’re worried about depression, anxiety or ADHD in yourself or someone you’re close to, I can help bring clarity, perspective and provide support.
What is depression?
Depression is considered to be a persistent disorder of mood where individuals may not feel bad all day but still describe a dismal outlook and a sense of gloom.
How common is it?
It is estimated that 1 in every 4 people experience significantly depressed mood at some time in their life.
Symptoms of depression can include:
Feeling sad or having a persistent low mood, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, loss of energy, feeling fatigued, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, feeling agitated, changes in appetite resulting in weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting, difficulty concentrating, feeling worthless or guilty and having thoughts of death or suicide.
What causes depression?
Depressive symptoms can be a complex interplay of stressors, life experiences, genetic factors, personality style, psychological including psychodynamic factors, interpersonal and social issues, medical conditions and neurochemical changes in the brain.
How is it treated?
The management of depressive symptoms involves a careful evaluation by your doctor to assess for medical conditions, review of lifestyle and interpersonal adaptation, use of appropriate medicine and support through a skilled therapist to aid in rapid recovery from the symptoms. The goal of managing depression should also include a plan to prevent/ reduce the risk of recurrence.
What are anxiety disorders?
Experiencing intermittent anxiety and distress is normal human experience. When anxiety symptoms are intense and prolonged for several weeks and start impacting on daily functioning it is more likely to indicate a disorder.
How common are they?
One in five people experience symptoms of anxiety disorders at some time in their life.
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
Feeling tense or keyed up, feeling fatigued, trouble sleeping, muscle tension, headaches, poor appetite, feeling panicky, difficulty concentrating, difficulty breathing or sweating due to anxiety and avoiding situations or social engagements. This can cause significant disruption in relationships and work.
What causes anxiety disorders?
Just like depression, anxiety disorders can be a complex interplay of stressors, life experiences, genetic factors, personality style, psychological including psychodynamic factors, interpersonal and social issues, medical conditions and neurochemical changes in the brain.
What is the treatment?
The management involves initially understanding the type of anxiety disorder, clarifying the perpetuating factors for the cycle of anxiety and avoidance, evaluating for medical conditions and an individually tailored plan involving a range of choices such as medicine, psychotherapy, lifestyle modification or a combination of different strategies.
Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
What is adult ADHD?
It is a pattern of behaviours involving significant difficulties with attention, increased activity and impulsivity which usually appear in childhood. Symptoms can persist with varying intensity into adulthood.
How common is it?
Around 3-6 in every 100 school-aged children may have ADHD symptoms. For about 1 in 7 children with ADHD, their ADHD will continue into adulthood.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD can include:
Feeling easily distracted, difficulty following instructions, interrupting others, difficulty following conversations, disorganised work / home environment, forgetful, feeling restless or edgy, having difficulty turning your thoughts off and doing things on the spur of the moment without thinking it through.
What causes ADHD?
There is some evidence for a genetic inheritance: one-third of those with ADHD have at least one parent with similar symptoms. There is also evidence for early adverse life experiences (both before and after birth) predisposing to ADHD symptoms.
What is the treatment?
Management requires a specialist psychiatrist assessment as a range of medical and psychiatric conditions can mimic ADHD symptoms. Treatment may involve psychotherapy techniques based on cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness and/ or the use of stimulant medications.
Other psychological illnesses
A range of other psychological illnesses such as obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar affective disorder, psychosis, substance use disorder can be addressed with effective psychiatric intervention.