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  • Lyndsey Sorah

Mental Health & Homelessness: Disorders & Challenges



Today we're going to take a moment to highlight some specific mental health disorders and the challenges they each present that could lead to homelessness or keep someone in a position to remain homeless.


Anxiety Disorders:


Anxiety Disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder. These disorders can create major disruptions in everyday life--symptoms of anxiety can hit at any moment or be triggered by the simplest event. Without proper medication or treatment, individuals suffering from these disorders can have difficult keeping a job because of the unpredictability of their symptoms.


Mood Disorders:


Mood Disorders include Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Mood Disorders that are not properly treated can lead to loss of job because the individual may present with a lack of motivation or energy, unstable emotions, or a lack of reliability. They can also be at risk for thoughts of suicide, which can cause them to give up trying to improve their situation.


Psychotic Disorders:


Psychotic Disorders include Schizophrenia, Delusional Disorder, Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder, and Disorder due to a Medical Condition. Psychotic Disorders are one of the most common issues keeping people in homelessness. Without medication, people suffering from Schizophrenia especially are unable to find and keep employment. A large number of homeless individuals who do not seek assistance suffer from schizophrenia and refuse medication. This makes it impossible for them to overcome their situation.


Personality Disorders:


Personality Disorders include Paranoid Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Dependent Personality Disorder. Personality Disorders involve long-term, unhealthy patterns of thought, and without professional help, can cause serious problems when it comes to maintaining relationships. This can include family, friends, and professional relationships. Many people suffering from personality disorders can still hold a job, but may create professional barriers for themselves. When difficulties come, they have often burned bridges with people who may have been able to help them.


Impulse Control Disorders:


Impulse Control Disorders include Drug and/or Alcohol Addiction, Eating Disorders, Gambling Addiction, and Extreme Compulsions. Individuals with untreated Impulse Control Disorders lack the control to avoid a behavior that is harmful or unhealthy. Left unchecked, these disorders can cause major disruptions in their lives, wrecking relationships and creating professional barriers. Because these disorders are often co-occurring with another mental disorder, they can cause additional challenges to the individual.


No matter the disorder, it is important to note that without professional help, the outcome could be very serious. Join us next week as we wrap up this series with some tips for awareness!

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