Commonly Treated Disorders
When patients arrive at Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital, they could be struggling with a number of different issues or disorders. While we perform mental health assessments that help our physicians and psychiatrists determine the illness and course of treatment, it’s crucial that patients and family are also familiar with some of the mental health disorders we commonly diagnose in our patients. Below you’ll find some brief overviews of increasingly common disorders that we treat. For more detailed information, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health for complete descriptions of each illness and their particular symptoms. We hope that you find what you need to get yourself or a loved one on the path to recovery.
All of us feel anxiety when placed in a stressful situation and it’s a normal feeling that helps you to cope. But some people worry excessively about everyday situations and this anxiety becomes a disabling disorder. A patient with an anxiety disorder experiences chronic anxiety and excessive worry, even when there is little to provoke it. Feelings of anxiety may also be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating and hot flashes.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness with recurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from one day to months. This mental illness causes unusual and dramatic shifts in mood, energy and ability to think clearly. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can harm a person’s life by damaging relationships or impacting work and school.
Two main features characterize people who live with bipolar disorder: intensity and oscillation (ups and downs). People living with bipolar disorder often experience two intense emotional states. These two states are known as mania and depression. A manic state can be identified by feelings of extreme irritability or euphoria, along with several other symptoms during the same week such as agitation, surges of energy, reduced need for sleep, talkativeness, pleasure-seeking and increased risk-taking behavior. On the other side, when an individual experiences symptoms of depression they feel deeply sad, hopeless and a loss of energy. Not everyone’s symptoms are the same and the severity of mania and depression can vary. Moods may follow an irregular pattern that differs from the typical ups and downs experienced by most people.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a severe mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image and behavior. It’s a disorder of emotional dysregulation that’s often misunderstood. This instability often disrupts family and work, long-term planning and the individual’s sense of self-identity. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), BPD is just as common, affecting between 1-2 percent of the general population.
The disorder is characterized by intense emotions, self-harming acts and stormy interpersonal relationships. The complex symptoms of the disorder often make patients challenging to treat and may evoke feelings of anger and frustration in professionals trying to help. The result is that many professionals are often unwilling to make the diagnosis or treat persons with these symptoms. These problems have been aggravated by the lack of appropriate insurance coverage for the extended psychosocial treatments that BPD usually requires. Nevertheless, there has been much progress and success in the past 25 years in the understanding of and specialized treatment for BPD. It is, in fact, a diagnosis that has a lot of hope for recovery.
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness. Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment, but even those with the most severe depression can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.
Many people experience obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors. Obsessive-compulsive disorder occurs when an individual experiences obsessions and compulsions for more than an hour each day, in a way that interferes with his or her life. OCD is often described as “a disease of doubt.” Sufferers experience “pathological doubt” because they are unable to distinguish between what is possible, what is probable and what is unlikely to happen.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Though it may seem like a relatively simple concept, trauma—a powerful experience that may have long-lasting effects—has not always been defined the same. Scientists continue to study experiences of trauma in hopes of finding better treatments. One particular type of trauma is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD can affect many different people, from survivors of rape and survivors of natural disasters to military service men and women. Roughly 10 percent of women and 5 percent of men are diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetimes and many others will experience some adverse effects from trauma at some point in their lives.
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. About 1 percent of Americans have this illness. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or speaking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.