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Mental Health Topics - Browse A-Z

Our Mental Health Topics A-Z offers information on problems, issues and treatment options, including the latest news, upcoming events and free, downloadable self help guides on issues relating to well being and mental health.

If you are affected by mental health problems, there are a range of services that can offer support. See our  Service Directory for information about key organisations who can offer help and support with mental health issues.

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Addiction is not having control over doing, taking or using something, to the point that it may be harmful to you.

Ageing Well

Growing old is a natural process but it can produce a range of reactions in some people. It may be that you feel positive about it, you may have some anxiety, or you may have a mixture of different feelings.


Until recently agoraphobia was defined as a fear of open spaces. It now also includes several other related fears such as a fear of entering shops, fear of crowds and public places, or of travelling alone on trains, buses or aeroplanes.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease of the brain that causes dementia, gradually destroying a persons memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgements, communicate and carry out normal daily activities.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa means 'loss of appetite for nervous reasons'. However, this is misleading because people with anorexia nervosa may have a normal appetite, but drastically control their eating so as not to satisfy their appetite.


Everyone has temporary feelings of anxiety or worry from time to time. However, you may have an anxiety disorder if persistent worry and anxiety interferes with your life.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or hyperkinetic disorder is used to describe children who have three main kinds of problem.

Autism (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)

Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects how the brain functions. It affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people.

Baby Blues

After the birth of a baby about half of all mothers suffer a period of mild depression called the blues. This may last for a few hours or, at most, for a few days and then it disappears.


The death of someone we love can be a shattering experience. We face the painful and demanding task of coping with loss and separation.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, previously called manic depression, is a condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.

Bulimia Nervosa

Mental health is about how people think and feel. How we think and feel affects our overall health and well-being and quality of life.


A carer is anyone who looks after a relative or friend who needs support because of age, mental health problems, physical/learning disability or illness

Cognitive Impairment

Information on Mild Cognitive Impairment (memory problems) and Vascular Cognitive Impairment (memory, organisational skills and thinking problems due to blood not reaching part of the brian).


Dementia is the loss - usually gradual - of mental abilities such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning. It is not a disease, but a group of symptoms that may accompany some diseases or conditions affecting the brain.

Dementia (Frontotemporal)

This is a rarer form of dementia, although it is more common in the under 65 age group.

Dementia (Lewy Body Type)

Lewy Body Dementia is a form of dementia which has features of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It accounts for around 10% of dementia in older people.

Dementias (Other Types)

There are many other less common types of dementia. All share the core problems found in dementia but there may be symptoms which are more prominent than others dependent on the illness causing the dementia.

Dementia (Vascular Types / Due to Stokes)

This sub-type of dementia describes problems which have been caused by blood not reaching parts of the brain, for example due to damage to blood vessels or circulation in the brain.


Depression can be a serious illness. Health professionals tend to use the terms 'depression', 'depressive illness' or clinical depression to refer to something very different from the common experience of feeling miserable or fed up for a short period of time.

Diet and Mental Health

Most people are aware that a healthy diet is vital in order to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other common physical problems.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a common problem, yet they often go unnoticed, undiagnosed or untreated. Many myths surround eating disorders, the most popular being that they only affect young women and can be easily dealt with.


Insomnia is the disturbance of a normal sleep pattern e.g. when you cannot get to sleep or wake up after only a few hours sleep.

Learning Disabilities

A learning disability affects the way someone learns, communicates or does some everyday things. There are many different types of learning disabilities

Loss of your baby before birth

As many as one in four pregnancies miscarries, though the usual figure given is about one in six confirmed pregnancies.

Manic Depression

Someone diagnosed with manic depression may swing from moods of deep depression to periods of overactive, excited behaviour known as mania.


Many people think memory problems are a normal part of old age, but sometimes, especially if it is affecting your ability to cope at home or in company, they can be a sign of a medical condition.

Mental Illness

The term "mental health problem" is the most common term used to describe mental illness. One in Four people in Lanarkshire will have mental health care needs at some point in their life and 75% of us will know someone who has had a mental health problem.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition that affects 2% of the population. It is characterised by obsessive thoughts that cause anxiety.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a sudden rush of overwhelming fear that comes often without warning and without any obvious reason. Intense anxiety may develop between attacks because of their unpredictable nature.


Being paranoid means being suspicious without reason, and believing that others are trying to harm you in some way. Everyone can be mistrustful at times, particularly if life hasn't treated him or her well.


A phobia is a constant, extreme or irrational fear of an animal, object, place or situation that wouldn't normally worry the majority of people.

Post Natal Depression

Having a baby is a life changing experience. Pregnancy and the first year after the birth are periods that many parents find quite stressful.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological and physical condition that can be caused by extremely frightening or distressing events.

Pregnancy and Early Parenthood

Adjusting to life as a parent can be difficult. In fact, for many, having a baby is the most significant life-changing event they will ever experience

Pregnancy - Getting Help

Adjusting to life as a parent can be difficult. In fact, for many, having a baby is the most significant life-changing event they will ever experience.

Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder

There is some debate as to whether there is such a thing as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and it's important to rule out other mental health problems first.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collection of physical, psychological and emotional symptoms related to your menstrual cycle.

Promoting our own Mental Health

There are a number of things we can do to promote our own positive mental health and the mental health of others. This section contains a few ideas.


Psychosis is a mental condition when you are unable to distinguish between what is real, and what is imaginary.

Puerperal Psychosis

Postnatal illness is a term which covers three degrees of mental illness which can occur after the birth of a baby.

Schizo-Affective Disorder

Many people have never heard of schizo affective disorder. It's often confused with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, because the symptoms are similar to both


Schizophrenia is the most common major psychiatric disorder, with the prevalence (number cases in the country at any one time) of 3 per 1,000 in the UK.

Season Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression or mood disorder with a seasonal pattern. The most common form of SAD is also called winter depression or winter blues, because symptoms are worst in the winter months

Self Harm

Self-harm or self-injury is when somebody damages or injures their body on purpose. Self-injury is a way of expressing deep emotional feelings or problems that build up inside.

Sleep Problems

Sleep is a part of our every day life. Most of the time we take it for granted. If we do find that we can't sleep, it can be quite upsetting.

Smoking and Mental Illness

Most adults in the UK are aware of the physical health risks of smoking tobacco, but research shows that smoking also affects people’s mental health.


Stress can be defined as the way you feel when you're under too much pressure. Research suggests that a moderate amount of pressure can be positive, making us more alert, helping to keep us motivated, and making us perform better.


Suicide is the act of killing yourself intentionally. The suicide rate has been falling since 1991, but there are still more than 5,000 suicides in the UK each year

Tourette’s Syndrome

The full name of the condition is Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome, but it is usually called Tourette's Syndrome, or just TS. George Gilles de la Tourette was the doctor who first recognised the symptoms.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is about how people think and feel. How we think and feel affects our overall health and well-being and quality of life.

Where to go for help

If you are worried about your mental health or feel you require help or support, contact your GP.

Young People

If you are a young person who has had experience of mental illness or you care for someone who may have been unwell, you will probably sometimes feel confused and alone about the way it affects your life.

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