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Specialist Support Coordination

Understanding Mental Illness

Mental illness refers to a wide range of conditions affecting how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. It’s often called mental health disorders and impacts millions of people. However, many people don’t seek help because there’s a lot of shame and judgement attached to mental health problems. Recognizing the signs is crucial as it’s the first step towards getting the necessary support and turning things around.

Getting Help: Why It Matters

If you or someone you know is facing emotional challenges or mental health concerns, getting help is extremely important. Mental illness can affect your happiness and how you function in everyday life, including relationships, work, and school.

Even if someone isn’t mentally fit, it can also affect their physical health. Those dealing with mental illness often have a shorter life expectancy and are more prone to physical illnesses [1]. Around 8.6 million Australians between 16 and 85 have faced mental health issues at some point in their lives.

Recognizing Signs & Symptoms

Almost 2 in 5 people in Australia struggle with mental health. Knowing the basic signs and symptoms is the first step in recognizing when someone might need support.

  • Changes in Sleep or Appetite: Mental health problems can mess with your sleep and appetite patterns, causing changes like eating too much or too little, insomnia, or oversleeping.
  • Mood Swings: Persistent feelings of sadness, irritability, worthlessness, or sudden mood changes from high to low might signal depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Withdrawal: Losing interest in things you used to enjoy, avoiding socialising, or isolating oneself for long periods could indicate a problem.
  • Decline in Functioning: Struggling to handle tasks that were manageable before, like work or personal hygiene, may be a sign of mental health challenges affecting daily life.
  • Cognitive Problems: Confusion, racing thoughts, or disorganised thinking could indicate anxiety, mood disorders, or other conditions.
  • Feeling Disconnected: Feeling detached from reality or surroundings might be linked to various mental health disorders.
  • Anxiety: Experiencing excessive worry, restlessness, or a fast heartbeat without a clear reason could indicate anxiety disorders.
  • Unusual Behaviour: Actions that are out of character, like impulsive spending or hostility, might suggest mood disorders.

Different Mental Illnesses

You may be wondering “What is the hardest mental illness to live with?” Mental illnesses vary, impacting mood, thoughts, behaviour, or general functioning. Professionals categorise them into different types:

  • Mood Disorders (e.g., depression or bipolar disorder): These can disrupt daily life and last for weeks or months, affecting mood swings.
  • Anxiety Disorders: Extreme anxiety, phobias, or flashbacks fall under this category, leading to excessive worries or tension.
  • Personality Disorders: These deeply rooted patterns affect how a person relates to themselves and others.
  • Psychotic Disorders (e.g., schizophrenia): Distorted thinking and behavioural abnormalities cause detachment from reality.
  • Trauma-related disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder): Post-traumatic stress disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and attachment disorders are all considered trauma-related disorders. Conditions stemming from traumatic experiences.

Seeking Support & Helping Others

How can you support someone with mental illness? Seeking professional help is crucial for individuals showing signs of mental illness. Different approaches include:

  • Medications: Prescribed by psychiatrists to balance brain chemistry.
  • Psychotherapy: Talk therapy addressing thoughts, emotions, trauma, and behaviour.
  • Brain Stimulation Treatments: Non-invasive methods targeting specific areas of the brain.

Support Through the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plays a pivotal role in supporting Australians with mental illness. It acknowledges that mental health conditions can significantly impact one’s daily life and provides vital resources to aid recovery. The NDIS offers tailored support plans that can include therapies, medication management, and services designed to improve social participation and independence. This personalised approach ensures that individuals with mental illnesses receive not just medical care, but holistic support that fosters their overall well-being and integration into the community.

Psychosocial Recovery Coaching with Selective Support

When it comes to managing mental illness, psychosocial recovery coaching is a game-changer. At Selective Support, our specialised coaches work closely with individuals, empowering them to build resilience, regain control, and achieve their personal goals. Recovery coaches provide valuable guidance, helping to navigate complex mental health challenges and foster a sense of agency and self-determination.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, reaching out for help can be the first step towards a fulfilling and empowered life. Our experts are here to support you through every stage of your journey, offering the tools and understanding needed for meaningful recovery. Contact Selective Support today to learn how our psychosocial recovery coaching can make a difference in your life.