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Psychological & Mental Illness
Conditions

Mental illnesses may develop in different ways; influenced by biology, genetics, psychology, and environment. Therefore, it’s important that supporting people through mental illness considers all the factors involved. Dalton Associates provides support and treatment for the following common mental health challenges and mental illnesses, to help people overcome their challenges, and thrive.

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Conditions

Addiction Information

When life spins out of control, sometimes there is an urge to look outside of yourself for something to make it feel better because the challenges seem too overwhelming to face. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol or gambling, the “interventions” in which we choose to engage might make us feel better quickly, which can make it seem like our intervention is working. But sometimes these seemingly short-term solutions to life’s challenges make our lives spin even more out of control.

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Anger & Anger Management

Feeling angry, upset and irritable is a normal part of life. Most of the time it’s in response to something that we perceive as wrong or unfair. In its mildest form, we may feel annoyed at someone or a situation, such as when we’re stuck in traffic. In a stronger form, we may feel rage at an injustice done to us or a loved one.

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Anorexia Nervosa Information

Anorexia nervosa is a common eating disorder. People with anorexia restrict the amount of food they eat and/or exercise excessively to lose weight regardless of their actual weight. Their weight is closely tied to their emotions, self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence. They may also view control over their weight as a demonstration of self-control, and deny the harmful effects of significant weight loss.

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Anxiety Disorder Information

Worry and nervousness are feelings that we all experience from time to time. Your heart may beat faster, your face may flush, and you may have a sensation of “butterflies” in your stomach. This type of anxiety is healthy; it keeps us from entering or remaining in situations that are dangerous or threatening to our lives. This anxiety is also passing, and usually resolves itself once we’re out of the situation of danger.

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Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affecting a person’s social and functional skill development. Individuals with Asperger syndrome may find it challenging to function well in a normal school or work environment, and require a lot of support from parents and guardians during childhood and adolescence.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

We all have trouble paying attention at times. With so many things on our minds, it’s not uncommon for our minds to wander, or for us to be preoccupied with something else while doing another task. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), on the other hand, is a more pervasive condition. ADHD is a behavioural condition that makes concentration, controlling impulses, and daily tasks challenging.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that involves impairment in interpersonal interaction, communication, and, as a result, daily functioning. ASD usually presents within the first 3 years of life, during childhood development. It can present differently in different people depending on the level of severity in respect to their condition, developmental level, and age.

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Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder involves recurrent episodes of significant overeating over short periods of time. People with binge eating disorder may feel like they cannot control their eating, and may eat large amounts of food quite quickly even when they’re not hungry, possibly due to a need for comfort, or to cope with stress or emotional lowness.

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Bipolar Disorder

Like depression, Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that affects our mood. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of depression and periods of mania. Depression is is when you feel severe and persistent despair over a long period of time, affecting your mental and physical health, relationships, work and personal goals. Mania, on the other hand, gives people an unusually high mood (uncharacteristic for the individual experiencing mania).

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Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is more common than anorexia nervosa, and is often characterized by uncontrollable binge eating, followed by self-induced purging (by vomiting or using laxatives). Most people with bulimia are of normal weight, or close to normal weight for their height and age. For this reason, and the fact that most people with bulimia hide their binge eating and purging from others, it may be difficult to know if someone has bulimia.

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Depression Information

Sadness is a normal part of life. Everyone feels the “blues” every now and then. Most of the time, sadness comes on as a result of a situation that happens in our lives. Sadness is typically passing, and resolves itself with time. When you experience depression, you’re experiencing more than just passing sadness. Depression is when you feel severe despair over a long period of time. It affects all aspects of your life.

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Eating Disorders

In Western society, we are constantly surrounded by the notion that being physically thin is desireable. It is not uncommon for people to think or worry about their weight at times. However, a constant and excessive preoccupation with your weight can lead to physical and mental health issues. When someone has an eating disorder, their weight becomes their prime focus.

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Family Dysfunction

It is common for families to go through difficult times. There is no such thing as a “perfect” family, or one that never experiences any challenges. Families are complex systems made up of long-term, complex relationships. The loss of a loved one, health challenges, trauma, and financial difficulties can significantly impact family dynamics, relationships, routines, communication, and problem-solving abilities, which, left unattended, can lead to chronic family dysfunction.

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Gender Dysphoria

Grief & Bereavement

Over the course of our lives, we all experience grief as a result of a loss. Grief is a normal, and necessary, reaction to losses of all kinds (e.g. loss of a job, loss of finances, etc.), but usually the most troubling occurs when we experience the death of a loved one. After experiencing such loss, we may ask ourselves why this happened to us, or how we’re going to be able to make it through another day and move forward with our lives.

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Intellectual & Developmental Disorders

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities often experience challenges in their learning, communication and daily functioning. There is a lot of levels in the severity of intellectual and developmental disabilities, from mild (where individuals may require some support, but are generally independent) to profound (where individuals are mostly dependent on others for support).

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

We all have habits or routines that make us feel better, but that wouldn’t cause us distress if we couldn’t do them. For example, you might make the bed every morning before heading to school or work. It makes you feel better, tidies your space, and sets your day off well. Without that routine, however, you could still continue on with your day. When you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these habits and routines can profoundly impact your life.

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Many children and adolescents are oppositional and defiant at times. A little bit of this behaviour is normal and expected as they learn to recognize their boundaries. Typically, this behaviour can be curbed through different parenting strategies, such as defining boundaries and following-through on set consequences. However, sometimes the behaviour may indicate a deeper issue.

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Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

Human beings experience panic when they are in a situation of danger, triggering a normal “fight or flight” instinct to help them get out of a situation that is potentially threatening to their lives. A panic disorder is marked by repeated and unexpected panic attacks. People who are suffering from panic disorder typically fear they are going to experience more panic attacks, and as a result they avoid people, places, and situations that they have identified as potential triggers.

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Personality Disorder

Every person has a unique personality that is formed from genetics and life experiences. A personality disorder occurs when a person exhibits a distressing pattern of mood and behaviour that have a negative impact on themselves and other people in their life. The abnormal thoughts and behaviours inherent in a personality disorder can keep an individual from functioning fully in their lives.

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Phobias

Fear is a normal human response to a perceived danger or threat. It is an emotion that we all experience at times in our lives, and is something that can keep us cautious in situations of uncertainty. However, when you experience an overwhelming and pervasive fear of a particular situation or object, when that situation or object poses little actual danger or threat, you may be experiencing a phobia.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Everyone experiences frightening situations in their lives. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is different. PTSD is a pervasive mental illness that is typically brought on by the experience of, or witnessing of, trauma associated with death, threat of death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Traumatic events are typically unexpected, and you often feel powerless to stop or change the event.

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Postpartum Depression

It can be physically and emotionally challenging when you bring a new baby into your family. Sadness, stress, anxiety, mood swings, loneliness, tiredness, and weepiness (otherwise known as the “baby blues”) are common in women following the birth of a child. Baby blues typically goes away soon after birth all on its own. But sometimes you may experience more serious mental health challenges following the birth of your child.

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Relationship Issues

Every couple experiences issues in their relationship every once in awhile. No couple, no matter how well-suited, goes without times of struggle. Sometimes, couples are able to resolve their challenges and get back to enjoying life together. However, if concerns, challenges, and issues are left unresolved they can turn into marital dysfunction, which can lead to chronic conflict, blaming, separation, and ultimately, divorce.

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Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects a person’s ability to determine what is reality and what is not. These episodes are called “psychoses”, and can take the form of hallucinations (sensory experiences that go against reality; such as hearing people talking to you who are not there), and delusions (a strong belief that does not correspond with reality).

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as S.A.D., is a type of depression that begins in the late autumn and typically lasts until the beginning of spring. While it isn’t completely known what causes S.A.D., it is suspected that the lack of exposure to sunlight is a factor. With a lack of sunlight in the late autumn and winter months comes a lack of these important vitamins, and results in reduced mental wellness. There may also be a genetic factor to the development of S.A.D.

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Self Harm

Sometimes, thoughts, feelings and experiences can seem too overwhelming or difficult to handle. Loss, trauma, feelings of emptiness, or loss of control are all reasons why people may self-harm. People may cope with these experience by hurting themselves. For some, self-harm may turn emotional pain into physical pain, which can be easier to understand and resolve.

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Sleep Disorders

Everyone experiences problems sleeping every once in awhile. However, sometimes sleep disturbances are not quickly resolved. A lack of regular sleep can affect every aspect of your life, including your communication and relationships with others, your concentration, decision making, school or work responsibilities, and daily functioning. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can create significant emotional upheaval, including increased irritability, agitation, and anxiety.

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Stress

Traditionally, stress is our body’s reaction to a real or perceived threat. The stress prompts us to fight or flee, getting us out of immediate danger. However, in our Western society, stress is more of a daily occurrence that comes up for a variety of reasons, and are not typically things that can be fought against or from which we can run.

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Suicidal Ideation

Suicide continues to be a growing presence in our society. People who want to end their lives typically do so because they don’t feel they have any other choice. They feel desperation, an overwhelming, constant emotional pain, and a belief that their life has no worth. There are many causes for suicidal ideation, including our genes and biological make-up, environmental factors, childhood developmental issues, and trauma. Suicide claims that more lives than homicide and war every year.

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