Common Conditions

ADD-ADHD

Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults
ADD can have a significant social impact on a person's life, affecting relationships in the family and on the job.
ADHD Drugs Safe, Experts Say
Parents of kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face a tough choice: whether to medicate their children or not.
Medications to Treat ADHD in Children
Children who have ADHD are often given medication as part of their treatment plan. The type of medication most often chosen is a psychostimulant.
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children
ADHD is a behavior disorder marked by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity.

Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder
A child with autism appears to live in his or her own world, showing little interest in others and a lack of social awareness.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Children with PDD have difficulty with language, communication, socialization, and motor behaviors. Autism is an example of a PDD.
Interacting with a Child Who Has Autism Spectrum Disorder
If you are a parent or grandparent of a child with an ASD, it can be heartbreaking if you feel like you just can't connect with him or her. But learning more about these disorders and what has helped others should help you and your relationship.

Bipolar Disorder

Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder
Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is a type of affective disorder that goes beyond the day's ordinary ups and downs. It is becoming an important health concern in this country.
Are You a Compulsive Shopper?
Compulsive shoppers generally are people prone toward low self-esteem, anxiety and depression, as well as fantasizing, perfectionism and lack of sufficient social contacts, one expert says.

Depression

Overview of Mood Disorders
Mood disorders refer to a category of mental health problems that include all types of depression and bipolar disorder. Mood disorders are sometimes called affective disorders.
Major Depression
You may have depression if you have a persistent sad or "empty" mood, or if you find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions.
When and How to Stop Antidepressant Medication
Deciding when and how to stop taking several popular antidepressants is something you should always discuss with your health care provider.
The Metabolic Syndrome: At Risk for Depression
People with more visceral fat or an apple-shaped body—two factors associated with the metabolic syndrome—are more likely to have depression.

Depression and Suicide

What You Must Know About Suicide
In many cases of suicide or attempted suicide, undiagnosed and untreated mental illness—especially depression—is to blame.
Depression and Suicide
More than 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder—most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.

Other Mood Disorders

Dysthymia
Dysthymia is a mood disorder similar to major depression. It has less severe symptoms than depression, but the symptoms linger for several years.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder, a type of mood disorder, can occur in late fall to early winter or late spring to early summer.

Eating Disorders

Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is an illness that resembles bulimia nervosa and is characterized by episodes of uncontrolled eating or bingeing. It differs from bulimia because its sufferers do not purge their bodies of the excess food.
Understanding Compulsive Overeating
The disorder may develop when others make repeated negative comments about a person's weight.
Eating Disorders in Men
Boys and men have eating disorders, too. Males make up 5 to 15 percent of patients with anorexia or bulimia and 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder.
Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa (or simply anorexia) is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and food.
Bulimia Nervosa in Adolescents
Bulimia nervosa is defined as uncontrolled episodes of overeating (bingeing) usually followed by self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, enemas, or medications in an attempt to control weight.
Understanding Eating Disorders
At least 8 million people in the U.S. are living with an eating disorder. The overwhelming majority – about 90 percent – are female.
Eating Disorders and Young Athletes
Playing competitive sports can boost self-esteem and teach teamwork and leadership lessons. But sometimes being on a team that focuses too heavily on performance—or appearance—may trigger an eating disorder.

Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss
Grief moves in and out of stages from disbelief and denial, to anger and guilt, to finding a source of comfort, to eventually adjusting to the loss.
When a Family Grieves
Learning about grief and how it affects your family can help you get through the difficult times together. It may even help your family grow stronger.
Helping Your Children Cope With Death
Children deal with death in many different ways, and not necessarily in the same manner as adults.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an unreasonable thought, fear, or worry that he or she tries to manage through a ritualized activity to reduce the anxiety.
Q and A: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Rituals such as hand washing, counting, checking or cleaning are often performed in hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these rituals, however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety. Left untreated, obsessions and the need to perform rituals can take over a person's life. OCD is often a chronic, relapsing illness.
Breaking the Habit: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
The symptoms of OCD vary widely from person to person. Without treatment, OCD can last for a lifetime.
Are You a Compulsive Shopper?
Compulsive shoppers generally are people prone toward low self-esteem, anxiety and depression, as well as fantasizing, perfectionism and lack of sufficient social contacts, one expert says.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress

How to Fight Stress-Related Diseases
No one can avoid all stress -- and a certain amount actually is good for you. But it's always best to keep unhealthy levels in check when possible.
Can Optimism Make a Difference in Your Life?
A growing number of scientific studies indicate that optimistic people tend to live longer and have better physical and mental health than pessimistic people.
How to Beat Serious Stress
When you're faced with a highly stressful event in your life, the strategies outlined here will help you cope.

Anxiety

Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is marked by chronic, repeated, and unexpected panic attacks—bouts of overwhelming fear of being in danger when there is no specific cause for the fear.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A person with generalized anxiety disorder often worries excessively about health, money, family, or work, and continually anticipates disaster.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a condition that often follows a terrifying physical or emotional event—causing the person who survived the event to have persistent, frightening thoughts and memories of the ordeal.
Healing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
People who feel they're unable to regain control of their lives because of their responses to the trauma may have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Phobias
A phobia is an uncontrollable, irrational, and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. The fear experienced by people with phobias can be so great that some go to extreme lengths to avoid the source of their fear.
Adjustment Disorders
Adjustment disorders are quite common in children and teens. They are characterized by an excessive reaction to stress.

Substance Abuse

About Substance Abuse

Stages of Substance Abuse
People who become addicted to drugs or alcohol typically go through predictable stages of abuse. Understanding these stages can help you recognize a problem and seek help before substance use becomes an addiction.
Understanding the Power of Addiction
When addicted, the drug user will do just about anything to obtain the drug.
Answers to Your Questions About Codependency
Codependency is an emotional and behavioral condition. It affects a person’s ability to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.
Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependence in Adolescents
Substances frequently abused by adolescents include alcohol, marijuana, and amphetamines. Some teens are at higher risk of developing substance-related disorders.

About Alcohol Abuse

Understanding Alcohol's Effects
The extent of alcohol's effect on the central nervous system depends upon how much is in your blood and how much blood you have.
Health Risks of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
It's important to understand how alcohol and drugs can affect your health and well being.
Alcoholism and Family History
Genetics can play a part in whether you have problems with alcohol. But many other factors also have an influence.

About Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Addiction
Three kinds of prescription drugs are potentially addictive: opioids, tranquilizers, and stimulants.

About Illegal Drug Abuse

The Facts About Marijuana
Knowing about marijuana can help you recognize its use in children and others and help a user seek treatment.
Understanding Cocaine and Crack
Cocaine use ranges from occasional to compulsive. There is no safe way to use the drug.
Primer: GHB, the Club Drug
On the street, GHB is used for is ability to produce a feeling of euphoria and hallucinations.
All About LSD
LSD, also called acid, is one of the most commonly used hallucinogens or psychedelic drugs.
What You Need to Know About Heroin
Until recently, heroin was not considered a problem among children of middle-class parents. But lately, it has been showing up in new places.
The Menace of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is related to the legal stimulant amphetamine, but has stronger effects.
Primer: What You Need to Know About Ecstasy
Ecstasy, or MDMA -- also called "Adam," "E," or "XTC" on the street -- is a synthetic, mind-altering drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties.