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Getting help from a doctor if you're feeling down

Stressing out, feeling down, getting depressed or anxious - these are common experiences for young people. Rather than ignore these feelings and hope they go away, young people are encouraged to seek help. But what does that actually involve?
In this video, beyondblue looks at what it's like to get help from a doctor if you're feeling down. How do you get an appointment? How can a doctor help you with your mental health? How do you bring it up?

  • Author: youthbeyondblue
  • Upload Date: 11/5/2011

Created by youthbeyondblue

Stories on this Topic

Featured Story (text)

U need 2 ask

U need 2 ask


A work by Shanlee

My whole life I haven't had much money. My mum is a single mother and she has found it extremely hard to put food on the table. We have had to live very simply and have not really had many luxuries like the internet, phones, iPods, iPhone, things like that. On top of that my mum has had many emotional, and mental problems that we have had to deal with, without any support from our family, but we found help. I just want to encourage people to speak up and ask for help if they need it.

Click to read the text

A testimony that shows people there is hope. All they need to do is ask.

  • Author: Shanlee
  • Upload Date: 2011-07-19

I hope that my story will encourage people, n that it will help people to speak up.

Factsheet

Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

What is psychosis?

Image by exper sourced via Flickr CC licensePeople experiencing psychosis appear to have lost touch with everyone else's interpretation of what is going on around them. They experience an 'altered reality' and this can be very disturbing, but can also be a very special experience. The most common time of onset is in one's late teens to early twenties.

What are the symptoms of psychosis?

People experiencing psychosis usually experience what are called 'positive' symptoms. Positive symptoms are additional experiences or excessive behaviours that differ from what the person usually goes through, and what the general population considers typical. Some people have many of these positive symptoms, while others do not experience as many.

If you are experiencing positive symptoms, they might include:

  • Hallucinations - Hallucinations are totally unreal feelings - sensing something that is not actually there. The most common of these is 'hearing voices' or auditory hallucinations. Some people experiencing psychosis feel that they are being insulted, laughed at or talked about. This can be deeply disturbing, especially as the voices often speak in a human voice.
  • Delusions - Delusions are unreal beliefs - believing something that others can clearly see is untrue. Often people believe others are plotting against them, trying to kill them or hurt them, and that objects such as the TV or the newspapers are 'talking to them'.
  • Thinking disturbances - People experiencing psychosis or a psychotic illness often feel very confused and find their thoughts jumbled. Their speech may be disturbed as their thoughts jump from one topic to another.

What is a psychotic episode?

Psychosis usually occurs in 'episodes', which is a period where someone is displaying any of these symptoms. For some people a psychotic episode may develop quickly, while for others the progress is slow. Some people will only experience one or a small number of episodes in their life and these episodes can be as brief as a couple of days or weeks.

A psychotic episode may also be connected to other mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

What causes psychosis?

The cause of psychosis is not fully understood, although the onset of psychosis may be related to a number of factors:

  • Family history - Psychosis may have a biological link and if a family member experiences a psychotic episode others may be at higher risk.
  • Stressful event - Stressful events may trigger a psychotic episode, especially for those who suffer from a mental illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder.
  • Drugs - Taking drugs such as hallucinogens, amphetamines, and cannabis may trigger a psychotic episode. Usually they need to be taken in high amounts or over a long period of time, however if you have a family history of mental illness they should be avoided.

Getting Help

It is important to know that psychosis can be treated and help is available.

The most effective form of treatment is a combination of medication and therapeutic support. Medication will need to be prescribed by a doctor or psychiatrist and it is important that you seek therapeutic intervention. A psychologist, social worker or mental health nurse can also help manage your symptoms and help you to get on with your life. For more information on how these people can help you check out the Who can help you section.

To find a doctor or mental health professional see the beyond blue Directory of Medical and Allied Health Practitioners in Mental Health You may also want to ask friends or your local doctor if they can recommend anyone.

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2 Responses to “Psychosis & other Mental Illnesses”

  1. Chariti L says:

    I think that this is good information for people researching this topic.

  2. LUCIOUS says:

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