Depression

The feeling of immense pessimism, excessive melancholy, sorrow and grief... This mood should not be confused with enervation associated with daily events. Depressed person experiences an irrepressible sense of despair and dismay. S/he fails to take pleasure in life and eventually becomes more and more withdrawn. Weight gain or loss due to eating and sleeping disturbances may be observed. Alcohol and substance abuse is quite common. If untreated it may lead to suicidal acts. Depression is among the most common psychological disorders and can be treated with either psychotherapy and/or medicine. 

General Anxiety Disorder

In our daily life we are concerned about whole bunch of conditions regarding work, family problems, exams, and health. Actually most of the times these problems occur at manageable level and can be handled. General Anxiety Disorder, on the other hand is a condition in which person experiences a constant and extreme concern that is not suitable to the consequence. People with this disorder always jump to the worst outcome in every situation. This unpreventable anxiety is experienced almost every day for at least six months.  Even though the disorder may seem settled at times, it may kick in at any time. The person with anxiety disorder may also experience tiredness, bodily pains, trembles, attention disorder, insomnia and dizziness. It is a disorder that can be treated with proper psychotherapy methods and medication when necessary. 

Bipolar Disorder

People suffering Bipolar Disorder (also known as Manic Depressive Disorder) experience periods where they go between over exuberance and depression. The mood peaks during the over exuberance period (referred as "mania") and exaggerated enthusiasm occurs. Bipolar people assume they don’t need any sleep. They often engage in impulsive acts. They talk and spend excessively and feel uneasy. So to say, they are very "fast". During the depression period, which is the other extreme part, the common feeling is equivalent to falling down from a skyscraper. Unhappiness, insignificance, lack of self-confidence, guilt, regret are other associating feelings occuring in Bipolar Disorder and just like in depression the individual is very prone to suicidal thoughts and acts. Although it is suggested that genetics play a significant role in the formation of this disease, stressful and traumatic events are also strong leading factors. Medication may be required to treat this disorder together with psychotherapy. 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Individuals suffering with OCD have obsessive thoughts that affect their daily life to the extent that it limits their daily routine activities. Obsession can simply be defined as unwanted thoughts and urges which are uncontrollable. Individual experiencing these involuntary obsessions classifies them as non-logical and causes them to feel intense concern. Meanwhile, compulsion is a behavior or mental act that reduces or eliminates the concern caused by obsession. It is a hard to break vicious cycle. There are different types of obsessions and compulsions those differ according to the society and the culture one belongs to: cleaning compulsion against infection obsession, control compulsion against suspicion obsession, sexually explicit obsessions, religious-oriented obsessions, order and symmetry obsessions and compulsions, touching compulsions, counting compulsions, collection and storage compulsions, superstitions, lucky, unlucky numbers, and colors. Treatment of OCD is highly difficult his disease. The individual’s desire to get better is one of the key factors, together with medication and  Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy. Close family members are also included within the treatment process. 

Panik Disorder and Agoraphobia

Panic Disorder is characterized by occurence of unexpected anxiety attacks which differ in frequency and level of severity. An individual who experiences a panic attack feels as if s/he is about to die or go mad. The severity of the attack can reach to a peak in approximately 10 minutes and disappear about in half an hour leaving the person in extreme exhaustion. The most common symptoms of panic attacks are: Pain or compression in the chest, heart palpitations, immediate and excessive sweating, asphyxiation, dizziness and light–headedness, feeling numb, pins and needles at the extremes, shaking, losing control or the fear of going mad, thinking it’s a heart attack and fear of death. The individual experiencing the attack experiences such fear that s/he starts waiting for the next attack as soon as the first one is over and this expectation in return feeds the vicious cycle of the disease. After a while, the individual starts taking unnecessary precautions in order to prevent the speculated disaster. One of the most common results of this disorder is the parallel development of Agoraphobia. This is when individual tries to abstain from places and situations that could trigger his/her attacks, and s/he cannot stay alone. Cognitive Behavioral psychotherapy is an effective treatment tool of panic disorder. In extreme cases medication might be required. 

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Trauma is a situation caused by significant and effective wounding symptoms as a result of mental and physical aspects inflicted on the living. We may experience numerous traumatic incidents during our life, and we can overcome their impacts. However, in some cases this effect may continue and as a result the stress and anxiety caused by this trauma may continue for many years and may also affect quality of life in negative terms. The individual may experience flashbacks, as if s/he is reliving the trauma and may have nightmares about the incident, quality of sleep is disturbed and s/he experiences continuous anxiety and isolation. By avoiding situations related to the experienced trauma the person limits his/her professional and social life to a great extent. Some examples to major traumatic events are: Wars, natural disasters, sudden death of a loved one, accidents, domestic violence and harassment, torture, etc. Treatment success rates are high using methods that implement psychological and psychiatric interventions. 

Social Phobia

Socia Phobia can simply be defined as the situation in which individual experiences intense fear and anxiety in social conditions. It should not be mistaken for regular uneasiness experienced occasionally in crowded places in our daily life. Individuals suffering this phobia experience the fear of being mocked or stigmatized by others due to their mistakes. This fear may lead to an intense anxiety attack. Even though the individual knows this fear is irrelevant, s/he may engage in avoidant behaviors and therefore is limited in school, work, social life and interactions with others. It is very common for a social phobic person not to be able to eat or talk in front of others. Some of the physical symptoms accompanying te anxiety and apprehension are palpitations, blushing, acid indigestion and diarrhea. Social phobia can be cured and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective treatment.

Specific Phobias

In addition to social phobia and agoraphobia, phobia is an extreme or irrational fear towards a situation, incident or an object. The onset of this disorder is usually during adolescence. Phobias are not caused by just one reason. It is possible to develop a specific phobia due to genetical characteristics or experiencing of negative incidents and situations. This disorder does not have the same type of detrimental impact on the individual’s life as other disorders; therefore individuals frequently do not see it as a disorder, but simply iidentify it as a personal characteristic.  As a result, the number of individuals seeking help is limited. Phobias may seem like ordinary fears but it is quite common that the individual may strictly display certain avoidance behaviors in order not to confront the stimulant causing their phobia. For example, a person with extreme fear of flying may change his/her travel options in order to avoid flying, or in an elevator phobia case one may end up climbing hundreds of stairs. Most common phobias are fear of elevator, cats, dogs, blood, height, thunder, storms, vehicles, swallowing, flying, indoor areas, etc. When approached seriously phobias can be totally cured using psychotherapy and medication if necessary. 

Hypochondriasis

Hypochondriasis is a situaion in which the individual believes s/he has a serious and sometimes terminal illness even though this is not the case. A simple cough can be interpreted as a lethal lung cancer and constipation or diarrhea can be considered as symptoms of a serious bowel cancer. Hypochondriac individuals pay constant visits to doctors and hospitals. This pattern of behavior eventually results in a vicious cycle during which person becomes more anxious if they are not diagnosed with a certain disease. Hypochondriac individuals also tend to exhibit rigid and perfectionist characteristics. This disorder which may last months or even years may go through a phase where fears become totally dormant. Other underlying anxiety problems, witnessing a serious illness or a sudden death are some of the strong triggers. Hypochondriasis can be treated with compatible treatment combinations.

 

Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders are divided into two groups: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. There are no specific causes behind this disorder. Anorexia may generally be defined as an individual’s extreme desire to be unrealistically slim. The symptoms are to stop eating, to vomit after excessive eating, over-exercise, diuretic or laxative usage. An anorexic's perception regarding his/her body is severely distorted and s/he is never skinny enough. This misperception can result in death due to heart failure. Bulimia is when an individual engages in unstoppable eating episodes. Compared to anorexic patients bulimics have a normal or below-average weight. These disorders have an adverse effect on the functionality of numerous organs, some of which may result in the death of the individual. Onset is usually during adolescence. Depending on the severity of the symptoms eating disorders can be treated with psychotherapy alone or with the combination of psychotherapy and medication. As with many mental disorders, the collaboration between the patient and next to kin with the therapist and practitioners plays a significant role during treatment.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is when an individual has an obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of his/her appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it even though everything is normal and the suggested flaws cannot be perceived by others. Such individuals may go through unnecessary cosmetic surgeries only to realise that there is no significant difference. This realization results in their obsession becoming even more severely exaggerated. Caused by genetic transition and generally seen during adolescence, the individual suffering from this disorder will generally focus on flaws related to their skin, nose and hair. Since the individual suffering with this disorder is more inclined to hide his/her symptoms, it may take a long time to diagnose the Body Dysmorphic Disorder. But once identifed, treatment with Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy is possible and results are quite satisfying. Medication may be required in situations where the disease has progressed and become resistant.