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Eating Disorders - If you have an eating disorder, there are serious changes to the way you eat. For example, you may eat far less or overeat. You may be distressed or concerned about your body shape or weight. This section has information if you have an eating disorder or are worried that you do.
Eating disorders are illnesses that develop when problems with food or eating patterns spiral out of control.
Eating disorders often start during adolescence or early adulthood but you can get them in adulthood.
It is common to have another mental health condition alongside an eating disorder.
Eating disorders can lead to a wide range of physical health complications. This includes serious heart conditions and kidney failure which can be fatal. Medication, talking therapies and family therapy can all be effective treatments for eating disorders.
Anyone can develop an eating disorder regardless of age, sex, cultural or racial background. Females are more likely than males to develop an eating disorder, but it is thought that eating disorders in males are greatly under-diagnosed and should be acknowledged as a growing issue.
Personality disorders - Everyone has different ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. It is these thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make up our ‘personality’, and are often referred to as our traits. These tend to shape the way we view the world and the way we relate to others. By the time we are adults these will make us part of who we are.
You could think of your traits as sitting along a scale. For example, everyone may feel emotional, get jealous or want to be liked at times. However, it is when these traits start to cause problems that you may be diagnosed as having a personality disorder.
A personality disorder can affect how you cope with life, manage relationships and feel emotionally. You may find that your beliefs and ways of dealing with day-to-day life are different from others and that you find it difficult to change them. You may find your emotions confusing, exhausting and hard to control. This can end up being distressing for both yourself, and others. Because it is distressing, you may find that you develop other mental health problems like depression or anxiety. You may also do other things such as drink heavily, use drugs or self-harm to cope.
Research shows that personality disorders are fairly common. Around one in 20 people live with some form of personality disorder.
MENTAL WELLBEING - It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.
Some people call this awareness 'mindfulness', and you can take steps to develop it in your own life.
Good mental wellbeing means feeling good about life and yourself, and being able to get on with life in the way you want.
You may think about wellbeing in terms of what you have: your income, home or car, or your job. But evidence shows that what we do and the way we think have the biggest impact on wellbeing.
Becoming more aware of the present moment means noticing the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that you experience, as well as the thoughts and feelings that occur from one moment to the next.
Mindfulness, sometimes also called "present-centredness", can help us enjoy the world more and understand ourselves better.
Help I have Bipolar! Help I am Schizphrenic! Help I cant eat! Help I am so worried! Help I cant sleep!
Mental health issues are given names to help distinguish one group of symptoms from another
Schizophrenia - Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects the way you think. The symptoms of
the illness can have an effect on how you cope with day to day life.Positive symptoms include
experiencing things that are not real (hallucinations) and having unusual beliefs (delusions)
Negative symptoms include lack of motivation and becoming withdrawn. These symptoms are generally
more long-lasting.Many different factors seem to affect whether you develop schizophrenia.
Medication and therapy can help treat symptoms of schizophrenia.
Psychosis - You can experience psychosis for a wide variety of reasons. For example it can be due to
having a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It can also be caused by drug use,
brain injury or extreme stress. Psychosis is a medical term used to describe hearing or seeing things,
or holding unusual beliefs that other people do not share.
Common examples include hearing voices or believing that people are trying to do you harm.
Bipolar disorder - Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. It can cause your mood to swing from highs
(mania) to lows (depression).Symptoms of mania can be: increased energy, excitement, impulsive
behaviour, increased belief in your own powers and agitation. Symptoms of depression can be: lack of energy, feelings of worthlessness, low self esteem and suicidal thoughts.
You can also have psychotic symptoms if you have bipolar disorder.
Anxiety disorders - Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health problems. They make someone feel anxious all, or a lot of, the time, worried, panicked and fearful.
Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as a fast heartbeat, shaking and sweating.
There are different types of anxiety disorders.What treatment is best for you may depend on your symptoms and how severe they are.
How can I help destress myself?
The first step to tackling stress is to work out some of the things that might be causing it. Once you have found this out, it will probably be easier to decide how to deal with the situation. Focus on tackling the things you are able to change.
We have some suggestions for ways you can reduce your stress levels below.
Change your lifestyle - Limit your caffeine intake
Coffee, tea and chocolate contain caffeine. Caffeine may make stress worse in some people, so think about limiting these and having alternatives instead. This could just mean having one cup of tea in the morning, or you could try herbal tea instead. Reducing your caffeine intake might also help you to get better sleep.
Take regular exercise - Exercise is a great stress reliever. On top of that, you can make it a hobby, you can set goals and it can help you to stay healthy. There are lots of ways to exercise, and people enjoy different things.
Get enough sleep - Most of us know what it feels like to not be able to sleep and how frustrating this can be, and how it feels to wake up feeling like you haven't slept well. Sleep problems can have a big effect on us and make mental health problems a lot worse.
Get into a routine - go to bed and wake up at the same time,
Try reading before bed,
Don't watch the clock,
Make sure the conditions are right- temperature, light and noise might affect your sleep,
Don't watch TV or use a computer in the bedroom,
Don't drink caffeine in the evening.
Do something for yourself every day - It is important to do things because you want to, not because you have to. This could include reading a book, watching a film or eating something you enjoy (in moderation if it's not good for you!).
Try relaxation techniques - Relaxation can help you to: deal with stress, and prevent stress.
Common techniques that people use to relax include:
Manage your time and money -Write lists
Share tasks with others if you can
Take action - don't put things off
For complicated tasks, set steps and goals
If money is tight, this can cause stress. You might be able to reduce this by budgeting well.
Talk to someone-Get things off your chest by telling someone about the way you are feeling. Talking things through is a good way of easing conflicts with other people that might be causing you stress. You may feel more comfortable talking to someone you know, or you might prefer to give BefriendersKenya a call.