This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 9.1a. List how someone may feel if they have: 1. Mental health conditions such as: Psychosis, Depression and Anxiety 2. Dementia 3. Learning Disabilities (Care Certificate, Standard 9: Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning diability)
As a care worker, it is important to understand the challenges that individuals with particular conditions may be facing and how they may be feeling so that you can work and communicate with them in an effective and compassionate way.
Even if you do not work directly with individuals with these conditions, it is important that you know about them so that you can understand the reasons that may be behind certain behaviours or so that you can recognise signs and symptoms that may need to be passed onto others.
Mental Health Conditions
Mental health conditions affect an individual’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. There are several different kinds of mental health conditions including mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders and PTSD as well as the conditions listed below.
Psychosis is when an individual’s thoughts and feelings are out of touch with reality. This may mean they have strong thoughts or beliefs that aren’t shared by others (delusions) or they see, hear, feel, smell or taste things that aren’t really there (hallucinations).
An individual that suffers from psychosis may feel frightened, worried, upset and sad. Although what they are experiencing may not be real, it is important to understand that it will feel very real to them. It can be useful to acknowledge this to them and explain that you will help to keep them safe.
Examples of psychotic conditions include paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar.
Depression can be described as a long-term debilitating sadness. It creates feelings of never-ending despair and hopelessness for individuals with this condition and, in extreme cases, suicidal tendencies. This can result in them becoming socially isolated and not engaging with others.
Other feelings associated with depression include low moods, upset, crying and guilt.
Anxiety is overwhelming fear or worry that consumes an individuals life. Whilst we all have fears and worries from time to time, individuals suffering from anxiety experience this constantly and can also be prone to panic attacks.
Individuals that suffer from anxiety struggle to relax and can be restless and find it hard to concentrate.
Dementia is a collective term for several conditions that result in a decline in mental ability and capacity that has a negative impact on daily life. Some of these conditions include Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Effects of dementia include memory loss, poor judgment, lack of understanding, decreased mobility and decreased communication skills. Consequently, individuals suffering from dementia may often feel confused, upset, angry and apathetic.
Learning disabilities are caused by an individual’s brain not developing correctly before birth, during birth or in early childhood. It can result in an individual having difficulty communicating, understanding, comprehending, learning and living independently.
An individual with learning disabilities may become frustrated because they cannot communicate that their needs are being met or do not understand a reason why they are unable to do something. Their lack of independence may cause them to feel sad or upset. They may have behaviours that make perfect sense to them but are unacceptable in society.