• Life isn't about finding yourself...

    it's about creating yourself

  • One can spend their life wondering...

    'what's wrong with me?' or they can simply be.

For Families and Teens

Mental disorders (also referred to as mental illnesses) are disturbances of brain function characterized by difficulties in thinking, mood, behaviour, perception, physical functioning and/or signalling mechanisms that help us decide what to do day by day (or some combination there of). They are diagnosed  using internationally recognized criteria and always lead to signficant impairments in day-to-day living (work, home, social).

Mental illnesses are common, at any point in time approximately 20 per cent of the population suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. Mental disorders are the second leading cause of disability after heart disease. Despite this significant number of individuals globally impacted by mental illness, it still seems the subject is talked about behind closed doors. The best way to change this discussion is through education of yourself and others about mental health and mental disorders.

Families, loved ones, friends and the patient themselves are all impacted by mental illness, whether it is through waiting for a diagnosis, operating day-to-day, or receiving treatment. A strong support network is important for all individuals involved. The stresses and strains will impact your family similar to any other disease or illness and should be treated the same, with love and unconditional support.

 

What Causes Mental Illness?

In the last decade we have made remarkable scientific discoveries in beginning to understand how the brain functions. While we are still unclear about the exact causes of most mental illnesses, we do know that mental illnesses arise as a result of complex interaction between genes and the environment.  We do know that mental disorders are not caused by the usual unexpected stresses of everyday life. The stresses of everyday life can cause a number of negative emotions that can be understood as distress or demoralization. It is important not to confuse normal distress with a mental disorder.

This website will provide you with some background information but to make a diagnosis a trained health professional (such as a family doctor or psychiatrist) must be consulted. The health professional may conduct interviews, behavioural evaluations, psychological testing and rule out medical causes. They will match the findings from their analysis with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and provide a diagnosis. From this diagnosis, treatment options will be provided and the family, patient and health professional will determine which approach best fits the needs of the individual in question.