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At Hopewoods we understand how difficult getting a mental health diagnosis can be and how tough it is to both comprehend and process your mental health on your own.
About Getting a Mental Health Diagnosis
This section contains an overview about specific mental health diagnoses. Hopefully these can illuminate your current circumstances and help you understand better what you may be going through mentally.
Please keep in mind that these diagnoses may not be exactly what you are going through, however they should help you realize when and if you need help from professional clinicians.
If you do feel that you may be experiencing any of the symptoms contained in this overview, or that your current mental health situation may be aligned with the conditions as described, it’s well worth consulting your situation fully with our staff. We provide detailed and comprehensive counselling and psychotherapy services and even free resources to Asian and Chinese communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
More About Mental Health Disorders
WeConnect is all about connecting Asian and Chinese Canadians with the mental health resources they need to improve their lives. We help people become aware of their mental health and teach them to build and maintain stronger relationships with friends, family, partners, society, and themselves.
This is a class of disorders that usually begin in infancy or childhood, often before beginning grade school. They affect the development of the nervous system, which leads to slightly different brain function which may affect emotion, learning ability, self-control, and memory. The effects tend to last a lifetime. Examples: autism spectrum disorder, ADD/ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and learning disorders in children and youth such as dyslexia.
These are disorders affecting how you feel emotionally, your level of sadness and happiness, and they can interrupt your ability to function day-to-day, causing difficulty with thinking, memory, eating, and sleeping. Examples: major depressive disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Anxiety is an emotion described by the expectation of future danger or catastrophe, along with extreme worrying. It can include behaviour intended to avoid situations that cause anxiety. It is a common reaction to stress and stressful situations such as financial difficulties and family and relationship conflicts.
Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders affecting nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives, as well as treatable with a number of effective therapies available. Examples: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.
These disorders involve obsessions or preoccupations and repetitive thoughts and actions. Obsessions are described as unwanted intrusive thoughts, urges, images, or impulses, such as the need for cleanliness, concerns over germs, the fear of doing something blasphemous or causing harm to others, and a need for symmetry or to do things “the right way.”
Those with obsessions often perform compulsive behaviours to reduce fears associated with their obsessions, known as “rituals,” which are repeated actions or thought patterns intended to rid troublesome obsessions. Compulsions like excessive washing or cleaning, checking behaviour (repeatedly looking to see if the oven is turned off), repeating behaviours (switching a light switch 15 times), mental rituals (repeating phrases or numbers), and organizing possessions in a set pattern (colour-coordinating items of clothing).
Other disorders of this nature are characterized by preoccupations and by repetitive behaviours or mental acts in response to those preoccupations. Then there’s chronic body-focused repetitive behaviour (hair pulling, skin picking) and repeated attempts to decrease or stop the behaviors. Examples: obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding disorder, and hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania).
These are adjustment disorders where a person has problems coping during or after a stressful life event. Trauma is often the result of a tremendous amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope or absorb the emotions involved with that experience.
A traumatic event may involve one experience or repeated events or experiences over time, with traumatizing, stressful events having a long-term impact on mental and physical health. Examples: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder.
Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnect and lack of continuity between thought, memory, surrounding, action, and identity. People with dissociative disorders escape reality in ways that are unintentional and unhealthy and cause issues with behaving in their everyday lives. Examples: dissociative identity disorder, dissociative amnesia.
This is a group of conditions in which the physical pain and symptoms a person feels major emotional distress and issues functioning are related to psychological factors.
There may or may not be another diagnosed medical condition associated with these symptoms, but the reaction to the symptoms is not normal, they cannot be traced to a specific physical cause. Examples: somatic symptom disorder, illness anxiety disorder, and factitious disorder.
These are disorders that impact nutrition and health. Though there are commonalities between feeding and eating disorders, both dissimilarities are characterized by a disordered relationship with food in some way.
Feeding disorders are often linked to children, while eating disorders are more commonly seen in teens and adults. Though despite the associations, either condition can be present at any age. Examples: avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder.
These disorders occur when your body’s internal clock doesn’t work properly or is out of sync with your surrounding environment, quality, timing, and amount of sleep, resulting in daytime distress and impairment in functioning. They occur often along with medical conditions or other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or cognitive disorders. Examples: insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, parasomnias.
The diagnosis was created to help people with gender dysphoria gain access to necessary healthcare and effective treatment, with the term focusing on discomfort as the problem, rather than identity.
Gender dysphoria is the feeling of discomfort or distress that may occur in people who identify differently from their assigned sex at birth or sex-related physical characteristics. Transgender and gender-diverse people may experience gender dysphoria at some point during their lives, with some feeling at ease with their bodies, with or without medical intervention.
These are a group of disorders that are linked by shifting difficulties in controlling aggressive behaviours, self-control, and impulses. The resulting behaviours or actions are considered a threat mainly to the safety of others and/or community norms.
Issues include fighting, destroying property, defiance, stealing, lying, and rule breaking. Examples: kleptomania, intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder.
Substance-use disorder includes issues associated with the excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and drugs, and can also include gambling disorder.
The key is recognizing when it is becoming a problem and to get help.
Personality disorders are a group of 10 mental health conditions which involve lasting, disruptive patterns of thinking, emotional instability, and unhealthy behaviour that causes problems in a person’s life and relationships.
Those with personality disorders don’t realize their thoughts and behaviours are problematical. Examples: borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder.
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So many can benefit from a little extra support with their mental health, whether you’re seeking help with an ongoing mental illness or challenge or looking for assistance in the short-term with a challenging situation. Free mental health resources can be of great help to:
No matter what your financial situation, everyone stands to benefit from support with their mental health. We offer resources for people struggling with a variety of challenges and mental health obstacles, including:
Counselling can help you take the first steps towards true mental wellness and will help you learn the skills you need to handle life’s difficult situations, make healthy decisions, and reach your goals.
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Our team of experienced counsellors is dedicated to providing you with a safe and supportive space to explore your thoughts and feelings.