When an individual becomes emotionally or psychologically dependant on a certain substance, activity or behaviour to the point where it can be harmful to them. Despite the risk, an individual will continue the activity or behaviour as a means of trying to escape their problems / emotional issues. Just some examples of what an individual can be addicted to are alcohol; smoking; drugs; gambling; exercise; shopping; self harming.
Anger is a normal reaction but if unmanageable / uncontrollable then it can lead to an individual being verbally or physically aggressive. This can impact negatively on personal relationships, friendships and professional relationships. Overwhelming feelings of anger can also affect the individual’s ability to think and function, sometimes leading to impulsive behaviours.
Anxiety is the body’s natural and normal response to being under pressure; faced with a potential threat; or when in danger. For some individuals, this anxiety is present everyday affecting their ability to effectively function; work; socialise; and continue with day to day life. As part of anxiety, an individual can experience symptoms of an increased heart rate; of; palpitations; panic attacks; sleeplessness; muscle tension; and in some cases digestive problems.
We all have times when we are feeling sad, low or flat for a few days however when depressed these feelings can last for weeks, months or longer periods of time. The individual can find themselves being surrounded by a fog of upsetting thoughts and feelings which will impact on their moods; behaviours; sleeping; eating; energy levels; and the individual will often find it difficult to find a way out of this “darkness”.
An individual dealing with an eating disorder can focus obsessively on their weight, shape, or food intake, resulting in unhealthy and harmful eating habits and behaviours e.g. dieting, bingeing, purging. In most cases, an eating disorder involves the individual controlling their intake of food to manage distressing thoughts and feelings.
Relationship / marriage Problems
Any emotionally healthy relationship / marriage requires commitment, dedication and hard work. However at times a relationship / marriage can be put under strain due to variety of issues (e.g. demanding partner; controlling partner; betrayal; different long term goals etc) creating symptoms of stress; anxiety and depression within an individual.
An individual may experience a sudden or extreme change in mood resulting in disruptive, erratic or impulsive behaviours which can impact negatively on personal relationships; work life; or day to day functioning.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
An upsetting and intrusive thought, image, urge that repeatedly enters an individual’s mind causing feelings of unease, worry or anxiety. This results in an individual carrying out a certain behaviour or act to temporarily relieve these unpleasant feelings. Some examples of OCD can be an individual constantly cleaning and tidying; washing hands; checking windows and doors; locking doors; certain rituals before sleeping; or doing things a certain way for fear of something bad happening.
An individual has an overwhelming, irrational, intense and exaggerated fear of a certain situation, activity, event or person. The individual will go to extreme lengths and excessive behaviours to avoid the feared subject causing a lot of emotional distress and disruption within day to day life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This is a psychological and physical condition that is caused by a very stressful, frightening or distressing event. An individual with PTSD will relive the traumatic event through nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and images impacting on our sleeping; eating; activity; ability to concentrate; and effectively function on a day to day basis.
An individual will intentionally damage or injure their body as a way of dealing with overwhelming feelings, upsetting memories, or distressing experiences. By hurting themselves an individual feels that they are able to release or relieve themselves of the unbearable tension they may be experiencing. Examples of self harm are cutting yourself; burning skin; scratching yourself; pulling hair; inserting objects into skin; over-eating; under-eating; or overly exercising.
Upsetting thoughts and feelings can result in stress, anxiety and depression leading to interrupted or disturbed sleep patterns. An individual may find that they are unable to sleep; fall asleep but cannot remain asleep; or wake up a few hours earlier than normal and then find it difficult to go back to sleep.
Social anxiety is an intense, persistent and overwhelming fear of social situations or a certain social situation. The fear may be of being judged by others; being looked at by others; saying something wrong; or behaving in a way which may cause an individual to feel humiliated or embarrassed. This can result in an individual not being able to socialise and in some cases impacting on self esteem / self confidence.
A little bit of stress is a good thing often helping us to work under pressure and achieve our goals. Too much stress however can lead to physical, mental and emotional problems affecting the way we think, feel and behave.