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Diagnoses and Medications

The following offers some very general information about Mental Disorders located at For more specific information about diagnoses, prescribed medications, and counseling, please talk with your physician, and service provider(s).  

Mood Disorders:  
Depression: mental illness in which a person experiences deep, unshakable sadness and diminished interest in nearly all activities. The term depression is also used to describe the temporary sadness, loneliness, or blues that everyone feels from time to time. In contrast to normal sadness, severe depression, also called major depression, can dramatically impair a person's ability to function in social situations and at work/school. People with major depression often have feelings of despair, hopelessness, and worthlessness, as well as thoughts of committing suicide.  

Depression can take several other forms. In bipolar disorder, a person's mood swings back and forth between depression and mania. People with seasonal affective disorder typically suffer from depression only during autumn and winter, when there are fewer hours of daylight. In dysthymia, people feel depressed, have low self-esteem, and concentrate poorly most of the time—often for a period of years—but their symptoms are milder than in major depression. Some people with dysthymia experience occasional episodes of major depression. Mental health professionals use the term clinical depression to refer to any of the above forms of depression.  

Anxiety Disorders:
Anxiety is characterized by a number of both mental and physical symptoms, with no apparent explanation. Apprehension, fear of losing control, fear of going "crazy", fear of pending death or impending danger, and general uneasiness are among the most common mental symptoms. Common physical symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, chest / abdominal pain, nausea, increased heart rate, and diarrhea. Because there are so many physical symptoms, anxiety disorders may not be recognized and the symptoms only treated as physical disorders. Doctors and researchers believe that with both psychotherapy and medication over 80% of persons with anxiety disorders can be helped. Anxiety can also be one of the common symptoms of psychiatric disorders.  

Psychotic Disorders:
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness characterized by a variety of symptoms including but not limited to: bizarre behavior, disorganized thinking, disorganized speech, decreased emotional expressiveness, diminished or loss of contact with reality, diminished to total social withdrawal.  

Schizophrenia afflicts approximately one percent of the world's population, making it the most common psychosis. Schizophrenia is characterized by positive and negative symptoms. Fundamental symptoms include thought disturbance, withdrawal, and difficulties managing effect. Secondary symptoms include perception disorders such as hallucinations and grandiosity. Symptoms may also be nonschizophrenic in nature, including anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic symptoms.  

Commonly Prescribed Psychotropic Medications:

  • Antipsychotics: Zyprexa, Risperdal  
  • Anti-depressants: Clomipramine, Zoloft  
  • Anti-anxiety: Xanax, Valium  
  • Stimulants: Dexedrine, Ritalin


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