This page is designed to provide students and staff at Mount Aloysius College with information regarding mental illness.
ADD/ADHD, Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, are generally diagnosed in children who are unable to follow directions, stay on task, and focus. They are often restless and unable to attend to a task until its completion.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehensions accompanied by physiological arousal (sweating, elevated heart rate, etc.). Anxiety is disordered when it disrupts a person's life and activities. Anxiety disorders include: generalized anxiety disorders, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Formerly referred to as "manic-depression" bipolar disorder is a term used to describe a disorder characterized by episodes of depression and mania, although people who suffer from bipolar disorders can have period of stable mood. In extreme cases, sufferers can experience psychosis.
People who suffer from a borderline disorder are impulsive, unpredictable, and have intense unstable relationships. They tend to have an unstable self-image and exhibit wild mood swings. Borderline personalities often make desperate efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Gambling, substance abuse, recurrent suicidal threats and self-mutilation, and irresponsible spending are common behaviors.
Three major subcategories of depression are major depressive disorder, dysthymia, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Major depressive disorders are characterized by extended periods of sadness, lethargy, hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt. Dysthymic disorders are long lasting episodes of depression that is not severe enough to be considered a major depression ("feeling blue" for at least two years). SAD is a depression caused by lack of sunlight. Many people of particularly northern European or northern Asian descent experience some degree of SAD. In general, depression has one of the highest mortality rates of psychological disorders.
Domestic abuse includes any emotional or physical injury perpetrated in the context of a significant relationship, such as a marriage, parent-child, boyfriend-girlfriend, or roommate relationship. Domestic abuse perpetrators are both men and women. (Also see Roommate Issues)
All drugs, alcohol, prescription, over the counter, and illicit, can be abused. Abuse is the use of any drug for recreational or other non-medical purposes. Abusers often neglect relationships and responsiblities such as attending classes or work.
Both men and women suffer from eating disorders. These disorders are often misunderstood by the general public and the people who suffer from them. Symptoms include but are not limited to overeating or restricted eating - especially during times of stress, binging, pursing, feeling controlled by food, and low self-esteem. Eating disorders have one of the highet mortality rates for psychological disorders.
Some people find leaving home fairly easy, but others find it very difficult. Inability to focus on classes, lack of appetite, sleep disturbance, and sadness can all be signs of homesickness, which is more common than most students realize and is a normal part of growing up.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety disorder. People who suffer from OCD experience persistent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or feel compelled to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Often both symptoms are present, and at some point the person recognizes his or her thoughts or behaviors as unreasonable. Obsessions often involve safety or hygiene.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD affects people who have lived through traumatic life events, whether they be physical or emotional abuse, war, rape, or other highly stressful, life changing experiences. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, seemingly (to others) unreasonable fears.
Starting college is a stressful event for every student, many of whom have never had to share a room. Sharing a room with a stranger creates a unique set of challenges. Differences in tolerance for cleanliness, noise, visiting friends, interests, schedules, or virtually anything else can create friction, which is often difficult for otherwise stressed out new students to maneuver. (Also see Domestic Abuse)
Schizophrenia literally means "split mind" suggesting that the person's mind is "split" from reality. Schizophrenic symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and thought, flat or inappropriate emptions, strange motor disturbances, catatonia, inability to maintain relationships, paranoia, or feelings of grandeur.
Raising a child alone can be a difficult task for a single mother or father. Attending to the considerable needs of a child can be stressful and frustrating. Single parents often feel alone, unappreciated, and overwhelmed.
Test anxiety is a common form of performance anxiety experienced by most college students at least once during their academic career. When afflicted with test anxiety students feel nervous and apprehension before and during testing.
College is demanding. If students are to be successful, they must learn how to effectively manage their time. Balancing study, athletics, fun, sleep, eating, and a job requires work.