How can we help you?

1. Depression

2. Schizophrenia

3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

4. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse

5. Bipolar Mood Disorder


What is depression?

Depression is different from feeling down or sad. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one time or another, usually due to a particular cause. A person suffering from depression will experience intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness, and the feelings stay with them instead of going away.

Signs and symptoms of depression

The following are the most common symptoms of depression. If you experience four or more of these symptoms for most of the day, every day for more than two weeks, you should seek help from your GP.

What causes depression?

Depression can happen suddenly as a result of physical illness, experiences dating back to childhood, unemployment, bereavement, family problems or other life-changing events.

Examples of chronic illnesses linked to depression include heart disease, back pain and cancer. Pituitary damage, a treatable condition which frequently follows head injuries, may also lead to depression.

Sometimes, there may be no clear reason for your depression but, whatever the original cause, identifying what may affect how you feel and the things that are likely to trigger depression is an important first step.

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Schizophrenia is a diagnosis given to some people who have severely disordered beliefs and experiences. However many people diagnosed with schizophrenia and some professionals dispute whether there is such a condition.


Doctors describe two groups of symptoms in people with schizophrenia: positive and negative. Although the positive symptoms are often the most dramatic and, at least initially, the most distressing, the negative ones tend to cause the most problems, as they tend to be longer lasting.


Most people with schizophrenia are prescribed drugs to reduce the positive symptoms. The drugs may be prescribed for long periods and may have unpleasant side effects.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common form of anxiety disorder involving distressing, repetitive thoughts. That makes OCD particularly difficult to make sense of or to explain to other people.

What causes OCD?

There are different theories about why OCD develops. It can be based on previous experiences, especially during childhood. Your personality type may also be important – perfectionists seem to be more prone to OCD.

OCD has been linked to increased activity in certain parts of the brain and some experts think low levels of a brain chemical called serotonin may be involved, although others disagree with this theory. Stress does not cause OCD, but a stressful event such as giving birth, the death of someone close to you or divorce may act as a trigger.

What are the treatments for OCD?

There are a number of treatments and strategies to help you deal with OCD. The first step in getting treatment is to explain your symptoms to your GP who can then refer you for specialist help. The most effective treatments for OCD usually involve talking treatments – such as counseling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavior therapy – and medication.

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Alcoholism and alcohol abuse

Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) and alcohol abuse are two different forms of problem drinking.

Alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol may control your life and relationships.

Alcohol abuse is when your drinking leads to problems, but not physical addiction.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

There is no known cause of alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Research suggests that certain genes may increase the risk of alcoholism, but which genes and how they work are not known.

You have an increased risk for alcohol abuse and dependence if you have a parent with alcoholism.

You may also be more likely to abuse alcohol or become dependent if you:


People who have alcoholism or alcohol abuse often:

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Bipolar Mood Disorder

What Is Bipolar Mood Disorder?

Bipolar I disorder (pronounced "bipolar one" and also known as manic-depressive disorder or manic depression) is a form of mental illness. A person affected by bipolar I disorder has had at least one manic episode in his or her life. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life.

Most people with bipolar I disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. Often, there is a pattern of cycling between mania and depression. This is where the term "manic depression" comes from. In between episodes of mania and depression, many people with bipolar I disorder can live normal lives.

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Mood Disorder?

During a manic episode in someone with bipolar disorder, elevated mood can manifest itself as either euphoria (feeling "high") or as irritability.

Abnormal behavior during manic episodes includes:

What Are the Treatments for Bipolar I Disorder?

Manic episodes in bipolar I disorder require treatment with drugs, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, and newer antipyschotics.

What Is It and How Can It Be Treated?

Bipolar 2 is a psychiatric disorder just as the more well-known bipolar 1 is, but it differs significantly from bipolar 1. Bipolar 2 has as one of its characteristics the disorder of hypomania, which can be less overt in its symptoms than full-blown mania. Symptoms of hypomania include the following:

The person may feel energetic, talkative, have increased (maybe even "inflated") self-esteem, have "racing" or very rapid thought processes, and perhaps make inappropriate or impulsive choices that they later come to regret. It should also be noted that hypomania can actually lead to full-blown mania, the type seen in bipolar 1.

Along with the hypomania, those with the disorder often are also irritable, and have anxiety besides. Oftentimes, they are misdiagnosed as having depression with anxiety disorder, or simply anxiety disorder. The problem with this diagnosis is that if they are only given an antidepressant and not treatment for their hypomania, they can actually be pushed into a manic phase. If that happens, their moods can swing in and out of depression and mania.

What's the difference between hypomania and mania?

As you can probably tell by the names, "hypomania" means, literally, "low mania," and in fact, it is simply a less severe form of mania. However, left untreated or treated improperly, it can actually progress into full-blown mania.

With hypomania, as it occurs in bipolar 2 disorders, the person may actually feel very productive and happy; indeed, even to people witnessing someone experiencing hypomania, they may think that this is in fact a "good" thing. This is one of the things that make hypomania difficult to diagnose. Of course, being productive and happy is a good thing in and of it, but as part of the disorder, hypomania puts the patient at risk making rash decisions if their hypo manic behavior includes this type of occurrence. In addition, if they are taking antidepressants, they can be pushed into a full manic episode.

Unfortunately, if someone has bipolar 2, antidepressants alone can't help them (and of course can make the situation worse as described above). Bipolar 2 also includes a propensity to cycle rapidly between depressed and hypo manic states. And if the rapid cycling is misdiagnosed, the patient may be prescribed sedatives in addition to antidepressants, which will push moods even further out of balance.

Treating bipolar 2 disorder properly

With bipolar 2, it is imperative to treat both the depression (which can be very severe) and the hypomania at the same time, so as to avoid prescribing only antidepressants for the depression, which can make the hypomania, escalate into full mania.

In actuality, treatment of bipolar 2 disorder actually uses a lot of the same medications as bipolar 1 disorder does. Common medications include mood stabilizers like lithium and anticonvulsants like Tegretol.  Low-dose antidepressant medication can also help. Because people with bipolar 2 do not generally have psychotic symptoms or behavior, they usually don't need antipsychotic medications.

It may take some time to find a proper medication regimen, since every patient is different. Therefore, it may take some time to stabilize and find the right dosages for patients even once properly diagnosed. If patients have demonstrated suicidal tendencies during depressive phases especially, they may need to be hospitalized temporarily to keep them safe while medications are properly adjusted.

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Who can apply?

Most of our residents are referred to us by their psychiatrists, other mental health professionals, hospitals, and mental health institutions.  Individuals are also free to apply directly.


Applications may be made by the individual seeking help, a family member, guardian or someone acting on his or her behalf if the person is unable to do so him or herself.


If you have any queries, please call the following number (011) 435 – 0727 / 8 and make an appointment with our staff.  


Once your application has been received, psychiatric reports from your health professional will be requested.  You will then be invited to the foundation for an interview.  On your visit, you will be given a tour of the facilities and our staff will conduct an assessment and determine whether or not the foundation can offer you the assistance you need.




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