Mental Health Issues That May Require the Help of a Skilled Professional

  • Dealing with the various challenges that interfere with interpersonal relationships and/or employment.  The effects of these challenges might include:   depression, anxiety, grief, stress, substance abuse and phobias.  These effects range from mild to severe.
  • Families experiencing challenges resulting from marital conflicts, divorce, blended families or various life stages and transitions.
  • Special issues for school age children such as learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, developmental delays, gifted children and behavioral difficulties.
  • Trauma resulting from verbal, physical or sexual abuse is handled in strict confidentiality.
  • Life transition challenges resulting in anger, depression and anxiety.
  • Addictive and compulsive disorders which require specialized treatment:  i.e. alcohol, drug, eating disorders, sexual addictions or dependency needs.

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You Are Not Alone

If you think that someone you love has a mental illness, you are not alone.  More than 20% of adult Americans experience some form of mental illness during the course of a year.   2.8% of the population in a year (about 5 million adult Americans in 1990) suffer from severe mental disorders--disorders with psychotic symptoms such as bipolar disorder, schizo-affective disorder and schizophrenia.

Mental illness makes it hard for people to cope with their emotions or think clearly.   It can cause them to behave in unusual or inappropriate ways.  It can bring untold suffering to families.

A first step to mental wellness is recognizing there's a problem and realizing your family can get help.

Mental Illness Is A Medical Illness

Like diabetes or muscular dystrophy, mental illness is no one's "fault."  It appears to be caused by imbalances of chemicals in the brain.  Stress, heredity, medical illness, and physical injury to the brain are also thought to be factors in causing mental disorders. Ordinarily, people can handle the problems and stresses of daily living by themselves.  Sometimes, during extremely stressful situations, like the loss of a loved one, they may seek professional assistance to help them cope.  If someone you love has a mental illness, you may need to seek professional assistance to help your family cope.

Warnings Signs That Indicate You May Need to Ask for Professional Help

  • Tension, anxiety or fear that is almost constant and seems out of proportion to the situation.
  • Depression, loss of confidence, withdrawing from friends and activities, or hopelessness that doesn't go away.
  • Changes in mood or behavior that are abrupt and that are radical departures from usual patterns.
  • Complaints, such as headaches or nausea, that seem to have no explainable physical cause.

Remember that you and/or your family don't have to go it alone.  There are treatments and counselors available to help you or your loved one.

Different Types of Mental Illness Include

  • ANXIETY DISORDERS - Everyone feels anxious at some time or other. Anxiety often occurs during the early stages of schizophrenia, and it often occurs in mood disorders.  However, anxiety is the central symptom on a group of disorders called anxiety disorders.
  • PERSONALITY DISORDERS - An inflexible pattern of thinking and behavior that deviates markedly from what's expected can indicate a personality disorder. Dysfunctional perceptions, emotions and control of impulses cause poor social and occupational adjustment.  Personality disorders usually begin when people are teenagers or young adults.
  • SCHIZOPHRENIC DISORDERS - Schizophrenia usually begins when people are teenagers or young adults, but it can begin later on.  Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months in order for schizophrenia to be diagnosed.  The symptoms of schizophrenia are generally categorized with positive or negative symptoms.
  • MOOD DISORDERS - Depression, mania and bipolar disorder are called mood disorders.

How to Get Help

George S. Thompson is a licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Texas with 30 years of experience helping Houston-area residents cope with mental illness and other life problems. Call 713-395-1555 Ext. 2651 today and schedule your first consultation. Get the caring, professional help that you and your loved ones need.

Read about treatment options and how your family can help a loved one suffering from mental illness.