260 Maple Court, Suite 228, Ventura, CA [email protected] 805-791-9700

How Can I Deal with Agoraphobia?

Do you ever experience fear when you are in a specific place or situation? Does such place or situation make you feel trapped, helpless, or even embarrassed?

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which an individual may do all that they can to avoid a certain place or situation because it causes them to panic and gives them a sense of feeling helpless, or they feel embarrassed, and/or trapped. For example, individuals may fear using public transportation, being in opened or closed spaces, being in a crowd, or even stand in line. Such fear may be caused by the fact that there may not be an easy way to avoid the situation if they do get an anxiety or panic attack and as a result, such individuals often don’t feel safe in public spaces.

What are some of the symptoms of Agoraphobia?

  • Individuals are scared to be leave home alone
  • Individuals tend to be fearful of crowds or waiting in line
  • Individuals tend to avoid and are fearful of enclosed spaces (i.e. elevators, small stores, or movie theaters)
  • Individuals also tend to avoid open spaces and may be afraid of them (i.e. parking lots, malls, or bridges)
  • Individuals tend to be afraid of public transportation (i.e. buses, planes, or trains)

When experiencing such fears, individuals may:

  • Have feelings of feeling hot or cold
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or feel that they might faint
  • Their heart begins to pound at a fast rate
  • Have trouble swallowing
  • Sweat, tremble or shake

What causes Agoraphobia?

Although there is not one known cause, it is believed that genetics, health conditions, an individuals temperament, environmental stress, and learning experiences may all play a role in the development of such disorder.

What are some of the risk factors that can trigger the development of Agoraphobia?

  • Existence of panic disorder or other phobias
  • Having an excessive fear or avoidance when responding to panic attacks
  • Experiencing stressful life events (i.e. abuse or death of a loved one)

How is Agoraphobia treated?

  • Psychotherapy
    • The most effective form to treat Agoraphobia is believed to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which teaches an individual some strategies on how to better tolerate their anxiety, it teaches them how to recognize the factors that may trigger their attacks, and how to cope with them
  • Medication
    • Anti-depressants may be used to treat such disorder, and in some cases, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed

What can I do to help myself deal with Agoraphobia?

  • Stick to your treatment plan
    • Stay consistent with the treatment plan that has been prescribed to you whether it is therapy or medication. Ask questions and check in on a regular basis with your therapist and/or primary healthcare provider
  • Challenge yourself and try not to avoid those situations or places that cause you fear
  • Learn calming skills
    • Work with your therapist so that you can find different ways to distract your mind from that that causes you anxiety (i.e. yoga, meditation, or massages)
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs, including caffeine
  • Practice self-care
    • Stay active
    • Eat healthy
    • Get enough sleep
  • Join a support group
    • Connect and learn from those that may be experiencing similar situations as you are

Rumination Disorder

What is Rumination Disorder?

Rumination Disorder is considered to be one of the many eating disorders that have been and can be diagnosed. An individual with Rumination Disorder is repeatedly and unintentionally, spiting up undigested (or partially digest) food from the stomach. Individuals tend to either rechew the food, swallow it again, or simply spit it out however, it is easy for them to do so because the food hasn’t been digested. Therefore, individuals tend to report that the food still tastes normal and not acidic like vomit. Furthermore, such actions occur every day and typically at every meal within 30 minutes of consuming the food.

What are the symptoms of Rumination Disorder?


  • A repeated behavior of rechewing the food for at least 1 month
  • Behavior is not due to other associated gastrointestinal or medical conditions
  • Behavior does not occur exclusively in the course of anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or another type of eating disorder


  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath & tooth decay
  • Raw & chapped lips
  • Children constantly have indigestion or stomach aches
  • Constantly rechewing their rood
  • Constantly regurgitation of the food
  • Straining and arching the back
  • Tightening of the abdominal muscles
  • May hold their head back

IMPORANT NOTE: The symptoms for both adults and children can be very similar however, it is believed that adults are more likely to spit out their food wile children will more likely rechew it and swallow it again.

What causes Rumination Disorder?

Although the exact cause is not known, researchers believe that the following may be linked to its development:

  • Physical illness of severe stress
  • A way of getting attention
  • In children, the neglect or relationship between themselves and their primary caregiver

What are some risk factors that may trigger the development of Rumination Disorder?

Although it can affect anybody, individuals who experience the following may be at a higher risk:

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Having an acute or mental illness
  • If individual experiences a psychiatric disturbance
  • If an individual is undergoing a major surgery
  • Undergoing a stressful experience

How is Rumination Disorder treated?

  • Breathing exercises
  • Habit reversal
    • Individuals learn how to recognize the signs of when such behaviors will happen and then learn diaphragmatic breathing techniques to prevent them
  • Attempting to reduce the amount of stress and distractions during a meal
  • Psychotherapy

What can I do for myself to help cope with Rumination Disorder?

  • Educate yourself on the subject
  • Seek professional help
  • Educate your loved ones

Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome

What is Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome?

Do you or your child suddenly blink repeatedly? Have sudden tics?

Tourette’s Syndrome is a disorder where there is a problem with an individuals nervous system that causes an individual to make sudden movements or sounds such as tics or constant blinking. However, the individual cannot control such movements, and, in some instances, they may also blur out words that they do not mean to say.

Furthermore, it is believed that about 100,000 Americans suffer from such disorder however, its is much more common in boys (3 or 4 times more likely) and often begins in childhood between the ages of 2 and 15 (the average age is 6).

What causes Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome?

Researchers believe that such disorder may be linked to different parts of the brain such as the basal ganglia, which helps control an individuals body movement. However, researchers don’t know what may cause these problems in the brain, but to believe that genes may play a significant role.

What are the symptoms of Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome?

Although the main symptoms are tics, there are two types of them:

  • Motor Tics
    • Simple Tics- sudden, brief, and repetitive tics that involve a limited number of muscle groups
      • Mouth twitching
      • Shoulder shrugging
      • Making faces
      • Blinking
      • Arm or head jerking
      • Nose twitching
    • Complex Tics- coordinated patterns of movements involve several muscle groups
      • Touching or smelling objects
      • Bending or twisting
      • Hopping
      • Repeating observed movements
      • Suddenly stepping in certain patterns
    • Vocal Tics
      • Simple Tics
        • Coughing
        • Grunting
        • Barking or yelping
        • Constantly cleaning your throat
        • Sniffling
      • Complex Tics
        • Repeating what other individuals are saying
        • Repeating your own words or phrases
        • Making use of vulgar and/or swear words

It is important to note that tics can vary in type frequency and severity as well as worsen if an individual is stressed, tired, excited, anxious or ill. Furthermore, tics can occur at any time including during their sleep and can also change over time.

What complications can Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome arise?

  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Anger-management problems
  • Depression
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

How is Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome treated?

If tics are mild, many times they don’t need to be treated however, when they are, doctors often prescribe medication. Individuals may seek psychological help to help them cope and deal with the social issues that may arise because of the tics or other symptoms that they may cause. Also, habitat-reversal training can be effective for individuals in the sense that it allows an individual to identify when a tic is coming and then move a certain way to stop it.

What can I do for myself if I have Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome?

  • Seek social support (i.e. friends, family, and professional help)
  • Stay active (i.e. practice a sport or engage in volunteer activities)
  • Relax (i.e. read, listen to music, or meditate)
  • Educate yourself
  • Join a support group
    • Interacting with others that are also experiencing such disorder may allow you to gather more information about the disorder, gain coping tips, and improve your social support

Also, it is important to keep in mind that tics tend to reach their peak in the early teens and improve as you grow older.

What can I do for my child who has Tourette’s Disorder/Syndrome?

  • Be their advocate
    • Educate their teachers, school drivers, and all those who interact with them on a regular basis
  • Nurture your child’s self-esteem
    • Support their personal interests and friendships
  • When seeking professional help, don’t be afraid to ask questions


Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of many personality disorders in which an individual has an extreme need for attention and admiration. Such individuals tend to have trouble in their relationships and a lack of empathy for others. However, behind such characteristics there lies an individual with a fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism. In addition, individuals who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to be unhappy and quite disappointed when they don’t get the attention or the admiration that they think they deserve.

Also, it is important to note that although it affects both men and women, such disorder is more common in males and often begins in late teens or early adulthood.

What are the symptoms for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (may vary from one individual to another)?

  • Individuals tend to have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Individuals have a sense of entitlement and need a constant sense of admiration
  • Expect to be seen as superior, beliefs they are superior, and expect to only associate with people that they believe are at their level
  • Exaggerate their achievement and talents
  • Are constantly preoccupied with fantasies of success, brilliance, power, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Tend to look down upon those that they see as inferior
  • Expect special favors
  • Tend to take advantage of others in order to obtain what they want and/or desire
  • Have the inability to recognize the feelings and opinions of others
  • Tend to envy others as well as believe that others envy them
  • Tend to behave in an arrogant or haughty manner
  • Insist on having the best of everything
  • May become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Tend to feel easily slighted and have trouble with interpersonal problems
  • Tend to have trouble regulating their emotions and behavior
  • Tend to experience major problems when they have to deal with stress or change
  • Individual have a secret feeling of shame, vulnerability, and humiliation

What causes Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Although the exact cause is not known, researchers believe that the following factors may be linked to the development of such disorder:

  • Environment
  • Genetics
  • Neurobiology

What are some complications that may arise from Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

  • Difficulties in relationships
  • Problems at work, school, or even financially
  • Depression and anxiety
  • It can lead to alcohol and drug misuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior
  • Problems with an individual’s physical health

How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder treated?

  • Psychotherapy
    • Allows for an individual to learn different ways to better their relationships so that they are more intimate and enjoyable
    • Allows for an individual to understand their disorder better and the causes of their actions and/or emotions
  • Medications
    • There are no specific medications to treat such disorder however, if an individual expresses symptoms of anxiety or depression for example, they may be given antidepressants to help reduce the symptoms.

What can I do for myself to better cope with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

  • Keep an open mind
    • Focus on the rewards of the treatment that you are seeking
  • Stick to your treatment plan
  • Get professional help for other mental health problems that you may be experiencing such as alcohol or drug misuse
  • Stay focused on your goal
  • Educate yourself and loved ones about your disorder

Pica Disorder

What is Pica Disorder?

Pica Disorder is considered to be a type of Eating Disorder in which an individual has a persistent habit of eating non-food substances such as dirt, hair or pain that do not have a nutritional value for the individual. Additionally, it is believed that it affects between 4 to 26% of an institutionalized population and 1 in 5 children. In order for an individual to be diagnosed with Pica Disorder, the persistent eating of items that are not considered food, should have continued for at least one month. Furthermore, such disorder tends to develop at young age and it also tends to be more common in children.

What are the symptoms of Pica Disorder?

  • Craving inedible items
  • Iron deficiency
  • Zinc, magnesium and copper deficiency
  • Individuals have the tendency to put objects in their mouth
  • Individuals are constantly on the lookout for objects that they can eat
  • Individuals may have a hard time telling apart whether something is edible or not
  • Digestive distress
  • Constipation
  • Ulcerations
  • Nutrient defense
  • Bowl blockages

What causes Pica Disorder?

Although there is not one known cause, there are risk factors that are considered to influence the development of such disorder.

What are some risk factors that may trigger Pica Disorder?

  • An individual having other mental health disorders such as an Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Schizophrenia
  • Iron deficiency or malnutrition
  • Neglect
  • Lack of supervision
  • Pregnancy

What complications can Pica Disorder cause in an individual?

  • Some items (i.e. paint chips) can have toxic substances (i.e. lead) that can lead to poisoning, which in turn can increase individuals prevalence rate of developing learning disabilities and brain damage
  • Eating non-food objects can interfere with an individual eating healthy food
  • Some objects can cause constipation and others may cause tears in the lining of the esophagus or in the intestines
  • Co-existing developmental disabilities can cause difficulties in treatment

How is Pica Disorder treated?

  • Iron supplementation
  • Behavioral treatment

How can I help someone who has such disorder?

  • Take your time in understanding the eating disorder
  • Be open & truthful with the person
  • Be firm, but gentle
  • Educate yourself on the disorder, ask questions
  • If an individual is trusting you with such personal information, stay truthful to it

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

It is believed that about 2% of adults are affected with BPD. BPD is considered to be a serious mental illness in which an individual has an instability in moods, self-image, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. As a result, individuals have a hard time with their sense of identity, their family, work life, and maybe even their long-term planning. Also, because individuals with BPD tend to view things to the extreme and change their opinions of people fairly quickly, they can have intense and unstable relationships. For example, one day they may view a person as a friend, but the next day they will easily consider them an enemy or a traitor.

Interestingly, BPD tends to affect both males and females however, it is more common in females (75% of cases are among women).

What are the symptoms of BPD?

  • Individuals tend to express uncertainty as to how they view themselves
  • Mood swings
  • Tend to make intense efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • Intense and unstable relationships with loved ones
  • Impulsive and often engage in dangerous behaviors such as substance abuse and unsafe sex
  • Self-harming behavior such as cutting themselves
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide
  • Intense and highly changeable mood that may last hours or days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Tend to have difficulty in controlling their anger
  • Have a hard time trusting other individuals
  • Tend to have feeling of dissociation

What causes BPD?

Although the exact known cause is not yet clear, research suggests that the following may play a role:

  • Family history
    • Individuals who have a close relative such as a parent or sibling, are at higher risk of developing such disorder
  • Brain factors
  • Environmental, Cultural, and Social Factors
    • Individuals who may have experiences a traumatic event during childhood (i.e. abuse, abandonment, or adversity) are at a higher risk than those who haven’t
    • Individuals who have been exposed to hostile conflicts, unstable and invalidating relationships are also at a higher risk

It is important to note that not just because an individual may have experienced one of the above, means that they will develop BPD.

How is BPD treated?

  • Evidence-Based Treatment
  • Psychotherapy
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
      • Teaches the individual to control intense emotion
      • Allows for an individual to reduce self-destructive behaviors
      • Helps an individual improve their relationships
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
      • Allows an individual to identify and change core belief and behaviors that underlie inaccurate perceptions of themselves
    • Medications
      • Although they are not typically used as a primary treatment for BPD, psychiatrist may recommend medication to treat certain symptoms such as depression, mood swing, or other co-occurring mental disorders

How can I help my loved one cope with BPD or help myself?

  • Offer emotional support
  • Educate yourself and your loved ones about the mental disorder
  • Ask your primary caregiver about family therapy or encourage your loved one to ask their primary caregiver about family therapy
  • Seek professional help, but not the same one as your loved one

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

What is Developmental Coordination Disorder?

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a motor skill disorder that is believed to affect 5 to 6 percent of school-age children. Children who suffer from DCD have a delay in the development of motor skills or may have a hard time coordinating movements. As a result, such children are unable to perform common, everyday tasks. For example, they may have trouble tying their shoes, going down the stairs or are unable to engage in everyday school activities.

It is important to note however, that children who have been diagnosed with DCD do have normal or above average intellectual abilities. The difficulties that they may encounter in motor coordination can impact their emotional development, academic progress, or social integration.

What are the symptoms of DCD?

Although it may be more common for such disorder to appear later in childhood, it can appear soon after birth. For example, newborns may express having trouble when they are learning how to suck or swallow milk while toddlers may be slow to learn how to sit, crawl, roll over, walk, or talk.

However, as a child enters school, the following symptoms may become more noticeable:

  • Unsteady walk
  • They are constantly dropping objects
  • They are often running into other
  • Children are frequently tripping
  • Have a hard time going down the stairs
  • Children have a hard time kicking, catching, and throwing a ball
  • Have a hard time staying still
  • Have a hard time conducting self-care activities such as tying their shoes, handling a spoon, knives, or forks as well as putting on clothes
  • Children tend to have a hard time performing school activities such as coloring, using, scissors, or writing
  • Child may show lack of interest or avoid particular activities
  • May express low frustration tolerance

What causes DCD?

Although the exact known cause is not yet known, researchers believe that such disorder may be due to a delay in brain development. Additionally, DCD can often occur with other disorders such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or any disorder that may cause an intellectual disability.

How is DCD treated?

  • Long-term Program of Education
    • Physical education can help an individual develop coordination, balance, and improve the communication between an individuals body and their brain
  • Physical Therapy
    • Swimming and bicycling can offer better opportunities to build motor skills than team sports
    • Exercising daily is essential for an individual who had DCD
  • Occupational Therapy
    • Helps an individual master their daily activities
  • Social Skills Training

How can I help my child who has DCD?

  • Encourage the child to participate in activities of their interest, but that provide practice in motor activities
  • Introduce the child to new sports activities before they are exposed to them in a group setting
  • Encourage the child to wear clothing that is easy to put on and take off
  • Recognize and reinforce the child’s strengths

How can I help my student who has DCD?

  • Ensure that the child has a proper designated work area
  • Set realistic short-term goals
  • Make sure to give the child enough time to complete the designated fine motor activities (i.e. math, printing, art work, etc.)
  • The earlier you introduce the computers, the better
  • Use paper that matches the child’s handwriting difficulties
  • Consider using a variation of presentation methods
  • Break down physical activities

Trichotillomania Disorder

What is Trichotillomania Disorder?

Do you ever have the tendency to pull out your hair? Can’t control it?

Trichotillomania Disorder is a type of impulse disorder in which an individual cannot contain themselves from pulling out their hair (i.e. usually scalp, eyelashes, and eyebrows). Such individuals are aware that they are hurting themselves by doing such thing however, they cannot control their impulses and may even pull out their hair when they are stressed as a way to soothe themselves.

What are the symptoms of Trichotillomania Disorder (besides pulling their hair out)?

  • Individuals tend to feel tense before performing the action of hairpulling or when trying to resist such urge
  • After acting on the impulse of pulling their hair, individuals feel relieved, satisfied, or pleased
  • Due to the hair pulling, their work and/or social life is distressed
  • Bare patches when hair has been pulled out
  • Individuals may inspect the hair root, twirl the hair, pull the hair between the teeth, eat their hair, or chew their hair
  • Noticeable hair loss including shortened and/or thinned hair, bald areas
  • Preference for specific types of hair

It is important to note that individuals who pull out their hair also tend to pick their skin, bite their nails, or chew their lips. Furthermore, some individuals may pull their hair as a way to handle negative or uncomfortable feelings (i.e. stress, boredom, loneliness, frustration, fatigue, or anxiety) while others find such behavior quite satisfying and as a way to feel a sense of relief.

What causes Trichotillomania Disorder?

Although the exact cause if Trichotillomania Disorder is not known, some people who suffer from depression or anxiety tend to be diagnosed with it as well. Additionally, it has been linked to abnormalities in brain pathways such as emotional regulation, habit formation, impulse control, and movement.

What are some risk factors of Trichotillomania Disorder?

  • Family history
    • If an individual has a relative with such disorder, they may be more likely to develop it
  • Age
    • Such disorder tends to develop in early teens (between 10 and 13 years of age)
  • Other disorders
    • Individuals who suffer from other disorders such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, may be more likely to develop Trichotillomania
  • Stress

What complications can Trichotillomania Disorder cause?

  • Emotional distress
    • Individuals may feel shame, humiliated, or embarrassed
    • Individuals may experience low self-esteem, anxiety, alcohol or street drug use as well as depression
  • Individuals may have a hard time in social and/or work situations
    • Individuals may wear wigs or style their hair so that people cannot see their bald spots for example
  • Skin & hair damage
    • Can lead to scarring and infections for example
  • Hairballs
    • Over a period of time, consuming such hairballs can cause weight loss, intestinal obstruction, death, or vomiting

How is Trichotillomania Disorder treated?

  • Habitat Reversal Training
    • Main treatment
    • It replaces the bad habits with something that is less of a harm to the individual
    • Identifies the triggers
  • Medication
    • Antidepressants
    • Atypical antipsychotics

What complications can Trichotillomania Disorder lead to?

  • Infection
  • Skin damage
    • May lead to problems with self-esteem & body image
  • Permanent hair loss
    • May also lead to problems with self-esteem & body image

How can I help myself or someone I know cope with Trichotillomania?

  • Accept yourself (or loved one) and come to terms with such disorder
  • Be open about it
  • Be emotionally supportive
  • Educate yourself and loved ones
    • “Why don’t you just stop?”
    • “Stop covering your bald spots and maybe then you’ll see the damage.”
    • “You just need to learn how to relax.”


What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is believed to be the most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses. An individual who suffers from Schizophrenia suffers from distortions in the way they may think, act, express their emotions, in the way they perceive reality, and in the way that they may relate to others. Individuals often have a hard time functioning and controlling their life at work, at school, in society, and in relationships to say the least. Additionally, it is important to note that such disorder cannot be cured, but rather controlled.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is NOT a split of multiple personality disorder, it is a psychosis in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. Individuals with such disorder often lose touch with reality and it seems to them as if the world was a jungle of confusing thoughts, sounds, and images. Furthermore, individuals tend to undergo a psychotic episode, which is when an individual has a sudden change in personality and behavior while losing touch with reality.

What are the symptoms of Schizophrenia?

The most common symptoms of Schizophrenia can be grouped in the following categories:

  • Positive Symptoms- does not mean good, but rather obvious symptoms that are an exaggerated way of thinking or behaving
    • Delusions- strange beliefs that are not based on reality, but that the individual refuses to give up
    • Hallucinations- involve perceiving sensations that are not real including seeing things that may actually not be there, smelling things that aren’t there, and hearing voices to say the least
    • Catatonia- individual becomes physically fixed in one position for a long time
  • Disorganized Symptoms
    • Talking in sentences that do not make sense
    • Suddenly goes from one thought to the next
    • Moves slowly
    • Inability to make decisions
    • Writing excessively, but has not meaning
    • Tend to forget and lose things
    • Repeating movements and gestures (i.e. waling in circles)
    • Have a hard time understanding everyday sights, sounds, and feelings
  • Cognitive Symptoms
    • Poor executive functioning (i.e. cannot understand information that is being given)
    • Cannot stay concentrated
    • Difficulty with working memory (i.e. cannot use information learned right away)
  • Negative Symptoms- does not mean bad, but rather reflects on the absence of certain normal behaviors
    • Lack of emotion
    • Withdrawal from social activities (i.e. friends and family)
    • Reduced energy
    • Reduced speech
    • Does not have motivation
    • Loss of interest in life
    • Poor hygiene

What causes Schizophrenia?

Although the known cause is not yet known, it is a real illness with a biological basis. However, it has been linked to genetics, brain chemistry and circuits, brain abnormality, and environmental factors (i.e. viral infection, extensive exposure to toxins such as marijuana, or highly stressful situations).

It is important to note that anybody can be diagnosed with schizophrenia at any age however, it typically begins to appear in the teenage years or early 20s. Also, the prevalence rate is equal among men and women however, symptoms tend to appear earlier in men.

How is Schizophrenia treated?

Treatment does not cure Schizophrenia, but rather serves to control the symptoms and prevent a relapse (in some cases).

  • Medications- help relieve symptoms
    • Antipsychotics
  • Psychosocial Therapy- help with physiological, social, and occupational problems
    • Individuals learn how to manage their symptoms and identify early warning signs of relapse for example
  • Rehabilitation
    • Focuses on social skills and job training
  • Cognitive Remediation
    • Individual learns techniques to compensate for their problems with informational processing
  • Individual Psychotherapy
    • Helps person to better understand their illness and cope with it
  • Family Therapy
    • Allows families to better understand their loved one
  • Group Therapy/Support Groups
    • Mutual Support
  • Hospitalization
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

How can I help myself if I have Schizophrenia or someone I know?

  • Accept the illness and difficulties
  • Don’t fall into the idea that individuals with Schizophrenia cannot get better
  • Pay attention to your needs
  • Maintain a sense of humor
  • Remain hopeful
  • Become EDUCATED on the subject
  • Seek professional support as well as social support


Antisocial Personality Disorder

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder, also known as sociopathy, tend to show no regard for right and wrong and often ignore the feelings and rights of others. It is a mental illness that is considered a type of personality disorder. When individuals do something, even if they know it’s wrong, they do not show any signs of shame or guilt in response to their behavior. They have no sympathy to what their behaviors can bring to others. Additionally, individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate, and tend to treat others harshly with indifference.  Such individuals also tend to violate the law, which then results in them becoming criminals. Also, as a result, individuals tend to lack responsibility even when it comes to their family, work, or school.

Such disorder can lead to spouse abuse, child abuse, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, incarceration, suicidal or homicidal behaviors, it may develop other mental health disorders, homelessness, social and economic states, gang participation, and premature death.

It is important to note that such disorder is more prevalent in men than it is among women. In fact, research shows that as many as 47% of male inmates and 21% of female inmates have shown to suffer from such disorder.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Such disorder is not diagnosed until age 18 and not sooner. If diagnosed sooner, it is because the individual was diagnosed with Conduct Disorder as a child.

What are the symptoms?

  • Disregard right and wrong
  • Persistent lying
  • Act callous, cynical, and disrespectful towards other individuals
  • Make use of their wit or charm to manipulate others and get things their way and/or what they desire
  • Extremely opinionated and are arrogant, expressing a sense of superiority
  • Have constant problems with the law
  • Through intimidation and dishonesty, they tend to violate the rights of others
  • Lack of empathy and remorse towards others
  • Unnecessary risk-taking behavior and engage in irresponsible activities
  • Involved in poor and abusive relationships
  • Do not learn from troubling consequences
  • Being consistently irresponsible (i.e. do not fulfill job expectations or responsibilities, financially irresponsible)
  • Instability in job and home life
  • As a child, the individual was diagnosed with Conduct Disorder

What causes Antisocial Personality Disorder?

The exact cause is not yet known however, it is believed that genetic predisposition may play a role as well as changes in the way the brain functions. Also, individuals who have a parent with Antisocial Personality Disorder or are alcoholic, are believed to be at an increased risk.

What may trigger the risk of increasing the likelihood of developing Antisocial Personality Disorder?

  • History of Conduct Disorder in childhood
  • Family history of Antisocial Disorder, other personality disorders as well as any other mental illness
  • History of abuse or neglect in childhood
  • There was an unstable, violent or chaotic family during the individuals’ childhood

How is Antisocial Personality Disorder treated?

In Antisocial Personality Disorder, individuals don’t tend to seek therapy and often, when they do, is because they have been forced to. However, when therapy is sought, individuals may engage in individual or group behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. Also, medications can be used to treat such disorder.

What can I do if I do have Antisocial Personality Disorder?

  • Educate yourself on the subject
  • Seek professional help, talk to your healthcare provider