Mental health and addiction

Life can be challenging and cause high and low moods. Some people may experience mental health issues or addiction. Find out about the signs and symptoms, and what support is available.

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Alcohol and drug addiction Waranga waipiro me pūroi

Three important features are present in people with addictive or abusive patterns of drinking alcohol. These are dependence, tolerance, and compulsion to drink.

Addiction and abuse can happen when you use an illegal drug or when you use a prescribed medication in a harmful way. 

Alcohol and drug addiction — HealthInfo (external link)

Anxiety Tirohanga whānui ki āwangawanga

Anxiety includes feeling worried and panicky. It can happen when you are facing a new situation, during a stressful event or if something is going wrong in your life. It is normal to feel anxious at times. But if you're feeling anxious or worried so often it interferes with your day to day life, you may need help for an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety — HealthInfo (external link)

Bipolar disorder Matenga hinengaro-rua

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression or bipolar affective disorder. When you have bipolar disorder, your mood is sometimes very low (depression), and sometimes very high (elevated).

Bipolar disorder — HealthInfo (external link)

Depression Pāpōuri

Depression is the most common mental health problem in Aoetaroa New Zealand. At some stage in their life, 1 in 5 people experience depression. Depression is less common in tamariki (children), though it can happen in rangatahi (young people) after puberty. It can go away or come back at any stage of adult life.

Depression — HealthInfo (external link)

Eating disorders Ngā kaumingomingotanga kainga

Eating disorders are mental health conditions that lead to serious and unhealthy eating patterns. There are several types of eating disorder. The most well-known are anorexia nervosa (often called anorexia) and bulimia nervosa (often called bulimia).

Eating disorders — HealthInfo (external link)

Obsessive compulsive disorder

People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) experience persistent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and feel driven to do mental or physical actions (compulsions) that provide temporary relief from these thoughts.

Obsessive compulsive disorder — Mental Health Foundation (external link)

Panic disorder

People with panic disorder experience panic attacks (sometimes called anxiety attacks) – feelings of severe fear or anxiety that start and finish quite suddenly and come with physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, trembling, dizziness or feeling hot and cold. 

Panic disorder — Mental Health Foundation (external link)

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological reaction to experiencing or witnessing a significantly traumatic or shocking event or series of events.  

Post-traumatic stress disorder — Mental Health Foundation (external link)

Schizophrenia Mate wairua tuakoi

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental illness, which usually develops during a person's teens or twenties. Different people with schizophrenia can have very different problems. You can have times where the symptoms cause more problems and other times when they're well managed. It can usually be very effectively treated with medications.

Schizophrenia HealthInfo (external link)

Stress Pōkaikaha

Most of us have symptoms of stress at some stage. Overcoming challenges is just part of life. But long-term stress is bad for our health and most of us want to get some control over it. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between stress and anxiety. They have similar symptoms. With stress, most people can work out what is causing it. 

Stress — HealthInfo (external link)

Mental Health Foundation

A wide range of mental health information and support. Including mental health issues, wellbeing, services, and ways to find support.

Take a small step by getting ideas or support on how to take care of yourself and others.

Gambling Helpline

Gambling Helpline offers specialist services for Māori, Pasifika, debt gambling, and youth gambling.

Alcohol and drug help

Find out about drug and alcohol issues and what to do if you are ready to quit.