Author: Victorian Government Health Information

What are the Eating Disorders

What are eating disorders? Anorexia and bulimia are the two most serious eating disorders. Each illness involves a preoccupation with control over body weight, eating and food. People with anorexia are determined to control the amounts of food they eat. People with bulimia tend to feel out of control where food is concerned. Anorexia affects two out of every 100 teenage girls, although the illness can be experienced earlier and later in life. Most anorexia sufferers are female, but males also suffer from the disorder. Bulimia affects one in six females from the late teens. More females than males suffer from bulimia. Both illnesses can be overcome and it is important for the person to seek advice about either condition as early as possible. What are the symptoms of anorexia? Anorexia is characterised by: a loss of at least 15 per cent of body weight resulting from refusal to eat enough food, despite extreme hunger; a disturbance of perceptions of body image in that the person may regard themselves as fat, overestimating body size the thinner they become; an intense fear of becoming ‘fat’ and of losing control; a tendency to exercise obsessively; a preoccupation with the preparation of food; making lists of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. Usually, anorexia begins with a weight loss, either resulting from a physical illness or from dieting. Favourable comments cause the person to...

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Straight Facts About Depression

What is depression? The word ‘depression’ is often used to describe the feelings of sadness which all of us experience at some stage of our lives. It is also a term used to describe a form of mental illness called clinical depression. Because depression is so common, it is important to understand the difference between unhappiness or sadness in daily life and the symptoms of clinical depression. When faced with stress, such as the loss of a loved one, relationship breakdown or great disappointment or frustration, most people will feel unhappy or sad. These are emotional reactions which are...

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All About Schizophrenia

schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects one person in every hundred. Schizophrenia interferes with the mental functioning of a person and, in the long term, may cause changes to a person’s personality. First onset is usually in adolescence or early adulthood. It can develop in older people, but this is not nearly as common. Some people may experience only one or more brief episodes in their lives. For others, it may remain a recurrent or life-long condition. The onset of illness may be rapid, with acute symptoms developing over several weeks, or it may be slow, developing over...

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About Bipolar Mood Disorder

Bipolar mood disorder is the new name for what was called manic depressive illness. The new name is used as it better describes the extreme mood swings – from depression and sadness to elation and excitement – that people with this illness experience. People with bipolar mood disorder experience recurrent episodes of depressed and elated moods. Both can be mild to severe. The term ‘mania’ is used to describe the most severe state of extreme elation and overactivity. Some people with bipolar disorder do not experience depressive episodes-only the episodes of elation and excitement. What are the symptoms of...

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Straight Talk About Anxiety

What is anxiety? Anxiety is a term which describes a normal feeling people experience when faced with threat or danger, or when stressed. When people become anxious, they typically feel upset, uncomfortable and tense. Feelings of anxiety are caused by experiences of life, such as job loss, relationship breakdown, serious illness, major accident or the death of someone close. Feeling anxious is appropriate in these situations and usually we feel anxious for only a limited time. These feelings are not regarded as clinical anxiety, but are a part of everyday life. What are the anxiety disorders? The anxiety disorders...

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