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The good news is that people can and do recover.

About mental illness

About one in five Australians will experience difficulties with their mental health at some stage of their lives. One in 200 people will experience psychosis.

‘Mental illness’ is a general term that refers to a group of conditions, and includes schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety and depression. These conditions can significantly affect how a person feels, thinks, behaves, and interacts with other people, and they are diagnosed according to standardised criteria.

People living with a mental illness daily have to deal with issues of homelessness, poverty, isolation, poor physical health, unemployment, and stigmatisation.  Having a mental illness can significantly affect a person’s capacity to care for themselves and to continue in employment or education.

The good news is that people can and do recover.

The information about mental illness provided on this website is very general. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing mental health difficulties, you should contact your general practitioner (GP). Only a qualified medical practitioner or a clinical psychologist can make the appropriate diagnosis.

Alcohol and other drug use

The relationship between mental illness and alcohol and other drug use is very complex as these substances can impact on mental health in various ways... Read more »

Anxiety

It is not unusual to feel anxious or panicky when faced with a threatening or stressful situation. But when a person feels worry or panic so overwhelming they cannot live as they usually do, they may have an anxiety disorder... Read more »

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a severe mood disturbance. A person can swing from feeling very high, which is called manic or hypomanic, to very low, which may mean they become depressed... Read more »

Depression

Depression is a serious illness which is much more than feeling sad. A depressed person will have persistent feelings of being so low that they no longer enjoy the things they once did ... Read more »

Eating disorders

When a person becomes obsessed with food and their weight and is also unrealistic about their body image they may have an eating disorder. This is a serious illness and is most common among adolescent girls and young women but can affect... Read more »

Hearing voices

Hearing voices is a common human experience. Some people experinece voices as distrssing and overwhelming while others integrate voices as a normal part of their lives. In the former case, hearing voices can lead to a diagnosis of a mental illness. Read more »

Mental illness and intellectual disability

A person with an intellectual disability may have problems expressing their thoughts, putting together sentences, learning new skills, doing day to day tasks, making decisions, and remembering things... Read more »

Personality disorders

Everyone has a unique personality – it is what makes them who they are. However, when someone’s personality causes serious upheaval and distress, problems with relationships and perhaps self-harm... Read more »

Psychosis

When a person’s thoughts become so severely disrupted that they have trouble knowing what is real and what is not, they are said to be suffering from psychosis... Read more »

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe disturbance in thinking, behaviour and emotions. It is characterised by psychotic symptoms which vary from person to person ... Read more »

 
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