[accordion][accordion_toggle title=”What is Mental Illness?”]Mental illness is any disease or condition that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others and to his or her surroundings. Symptoms of mental illness can range from mild to severe and are different depending on the type of mental illness, a person with an untreated mental illness often is unable to cope with life’s daily routines and demands.[/accordion_toggle][accordion_toggle title=”What are the warning Signs of Mental Illnesses? “]Symptoms of mental disorders vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Some general symptoms that may suggest a mental disorder include:

In adults:

  • Confused thinking
  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability
  • Extreme highs and lows in mood
  • Excessive fear, worrying or anxiety
  • Frequent Anger Outbursts
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Delusions or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
  • Increasing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Denial of obvious problems
  • Many unexplained physical problems
  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Occupational Dysfunction


In older children and pre-teens:

  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical problems
  • Defying authority, skipping school, stealing or damaging property
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Long-lasting negative mood, often along with poor appetite and thoughts of death
  • Frequent outbursts of anger

[/accordion_toggle][accordion_toggle title=”What is addiction?”]Addiction is a chronic but treatable disease in which the physical and/or physiological dependence on a substance temporarily alters the chemicals in the brain. It is an uncontrollable habit of using alcohol or drugs or any other substance. The continued use of these substances becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships and health.[/accordion_toggle][accordion_toggle title=”What are the different kinds of Addiction?”]


This includes dependence on any of the following:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Prescription drugs


Although less well studied, many behaviours appear to have reinforcing properties, and may involve excesses related to:

  • Gambling
  • Food
  • Sex
  • The Internet
  • Video Games

[/accordion_toggle][accordion_toggle title=”What are the symptoms that would help identify that one is moving towards addiction?”]Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. Although each drug has its own unique manifestations these are some general indications that a person is using drugs:

Physical warning signs of drug abuse

  •         Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual.
  •         Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  •         Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits.
  •         Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  •         Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

Behavioural signs of drug abuse

  •         Drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
  •         Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
  •         Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviours.
  •         Sudden change in friends, favourite hangouts, and hobbies.
  •         Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities).

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse

  •         Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
  •         Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
  •         Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
  •         Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
  •         Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.

[/accordion_toggle][accordion_toggle title=”What can family and friends do to help?”]If you know someone who is having problems, don’t just think that they will snap out of it. Let them know that you care about them, and there are ways this can be treated. Notify a family member and get in touch with a mental health professional, a counselor or psychiatrist.[/accordion_toggle][/accordion]

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