Health

The 12 Common Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders are defined as “a psychological syndrome that causes either significant distress or impairment”. Mental health disorders are a group of mental illnesses that can affect people in different ways. They can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening.

There are many different types of mental disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among many others.

This article will give you a list of the 15 most common mental health disorders and their symptoms.

Common Mental Health Disorders

The list below is not exhaustive and does not include every mental illness, but it contains the most common mental health conditions that people experience.

1. Depression

Mental Health Disorders
Mental Health Disorders

Depression is a common mental health disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It can also cause physical symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep, and energy levels.

Depression is a serious condition that can affect a person’s daily functioning and quality of life. Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Changes in sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or feeling tired all the time
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression is a treatable condition and there are several effective treatments available, including medication and therapy. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of depression.

2. Anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that cause excessive worry, fear, or anxiety. They can include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and persistent worrying about a variety of topics, such as work, relationships, or health.

Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks, which are sudden and intense episodes of fear or anxiety that can include physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Phobias are intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights, animals, or flying.

Symptoms of anxiety disorders can include:

  • Excessive worrying or fear.
  • Avoiding situations that cause anxiety.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, or trembling.

Treatment for anxiety disorders typically includes therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and sometimes medication. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

3. Bipolar disorder

Bipolar is a mental health disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of elevated mood (mania) and periods of depression.

During a manic episode, a person with bipolar disorder may have a lot of energy, be overly talkative, and have racing thoughts. They may also engage in impulsive or risky behavior, such as spending sprees or reckless driving.

During a depressive episode, a person with bipolar disorder may feel sad, and hopeless, and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. They may also have changes in their sleep, appetite, and energy levels.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition, meaning it can last for many years or even a lifetime.

It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you think you may have bipolar disorder. Treatment typically includes medication and therapy to help manage the condition and prevent episodes of mania and depression.

4. Dementia.

Dementia is a group of conditions that affect the brain and can cause a decline in cognitive function, including memory, thinking, and problem-solving abilities.

Dementia is often, but not always, associated with aging, and it can occur as a result of damage to the brain from a variety of causes, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.

Symptoms of dementia can vary depending on the cause and severity of the condition, but they may include:

  • Memory loss, especially for recent events.
  • Difficulty communicating or finding the right words.
  • Difficulty with problem-solving or planning.
  • Changes in mood or behavior.
  • Disorientation or confusion, including getting lost in familiar places.
  • Loss of motivation or interest in activities.

Dementia is a progressive condition, meaning it tends to get worse over time. There is currently no cure for dementia, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.

It’s important to see a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of dementia or if you are concerned about your cognitive function.

5. Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is a chronic condition that typically develops in the late teenage years or early adulthood.

People with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking and behavior. Hallucinations are perceptions of things that are not actually there, such as hearing voices or seeing things that others do not see. Delusions are false beliefs that are not based in reality, such as believing that others are trying to harm them or that they have special powers.

Disorganized thinking and behavior can manifest as difficulty concentrating, difficulty following a conversation, or behaving in a way that is not appropriate for the situation.

Schizophrenia is a complex condition and is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment for schizophrenia typically includes medication and therapy to help manage the symptoms and improve daily functioning. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia.

6. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to pay attention, control their impulses, and sit still. It is commonly diagnosed in children, but can also affect adults.

Symptoms of ADHD as one of the mental health disorders can include:

  • Inability to pay attention or concentrate on tasks
  • Difficulty following instructions or completing tasks
  • Fidgeting or inability to sit still
  • Impulsivity or acting without thinking
  • Difficulty controlling emotions

ADHD is typically diagnosed by a mental health professional based on a person’s symptoms and behavior. Treatment for ADHD can include medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. It’s important to seek help if you or your child is experiencing symptoms of ADHD, as it can affect daily functioning and academic or work performance.

7. Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is also among the common mental health disorders that are characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses that cause distress.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels driven to perform in order to reduce the distress caused by the obsessions.

Examples of obsessions and compulsions in OCD include:

  • Obsessing about germs or contamination and compulsively washing your hands.
  • Obsessing about losing control and compulsively checking things
  • Obsessing about harming others and compulsively seeking reassurance that you will not harm anyone.
  • Obsessing about making mistakes and compulsively repeating tasks

OCD can cause significant distress and interfere with daily functioning. Treatment for OCD typically includes medication and therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of OCD.

8. Autism.

Mental Health Disorders
Mental Health Disorders

Autism, also known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, interact with others, and behave in typical ways.

It is a lifelong condition that is typically diagnosed in childhood. Symptoms of autism as one of mental health disorders can vary, but they may include:

  • Difficulty with social interactions and communication.
  • Repetitive behaviors or interests.
  • Sensitivity to sensory input, such as loud noises or bright lights.
  • Limited interests or activities.
  • Delays in the development of speech and language skills.

Autism is a complex condition and is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure for autism, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.

These can include therapy, medication, and educational and behavioral interventions. It’s important to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional if you or your child is experiencing symptoms of autism.

9. Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the mental health disorders that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, or a violent attack.

Symptoms of PTSD can include:

  • Flashbacks or intrusive memories of the traumatic event.
  • Avoiding things that remind you of the traumatic event.
  • Negative changes in thoughts and feelings.
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions, such as being easily startled or feeling tense or on edge.
  • Changes in behavior, such as isolating yourself from others or engaging in reckless or self-destructive behavior.

PTSD can cause significant distress and interfere with daily functioning. Treatment for PTSD typically includes therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and sometimes medication. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

10. Eating Disorders

Eating is also among the common mental health disorders. It is usually characterized by an abnormal relationship with food. Many people argue that eating too much or too little are not mental health disorders. Only a few people have an idea about this.

They can involve eating too little or too much food or having an unhealthy obsession with food and weight. Eating disorders can have serious physical and psychological consequences and can be life-threatening if not treated.

The most common types of eating disorders are:

  1. Anorexia nervosa: This is characterized by restricting food intake, excessive exercise, and an intense fear of gaining weight. It can cause severe weight loss and can lead to serious health problems.
  2. Bulimia nervosa: This is characterized by binge eating followed by purging, such as by vomiting or using laxatives. It can cause damage to the digestive system and can lead to electrolyte imbalances and other health problems.
  3. Binge eating disorder: This is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, during which a person eats a large amount of food in a short period of time and feels out of control. It can lead to weight gain and can increase the risk of obesity and other health problems.

Treatment for eating disorders typically includes a combination of therapy, medication, and nutritional counseling. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you think you may have an eating disorder.

Note: Not everyone for eats too little or too much is considered to have one of the mental health disorders. Sometimes people are just too hungry or just have low appetite.

11. Psychosis

Psychosis is among mental health disorders that cause a person to lose touch with reality. It can cause hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking and behavior. Psychosis is a symptom of several mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression.

Hallucinations are perceptions of things that are not actually there, such as;

  • Hearing voices or seeing things that others do not see could be a sign of a mental health disorder.
  • Delusions are false beliefs that are not based on reality, such as believing that others are trying to harm them or that they have special powers.
  • Disorganized thinking and behavior can manifest as difficulty concentrating, difficulty following a conversation, or behaving in a way that is not appropriate for the situation.

Treatment for psychosis typically includes medication and therapy to help manage the symptoms and improve daily functioning. It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you or someone you know is experiencing psychosis.

12. Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective is also among mental health disorders that are characterized by symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions, combined with symptoms of a mood disorder, such as depression or mania.

People with schizoaffective disorder may experience hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking and behavior, as well as changes in mood and behavior.

These can include periods of depression, such as feeling sad, hopeless, or lack of interest in activities, as well as periods of mania, such as feeling excessively happy or energetic or engaging in impulsive or risky behavior.

Schizoaffective disorder is a complex condition and is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment for schizoaffective disorder typically includes medication and therapy to help manage the symptoms and improve daily functioning.

It’s important to seek help from a mental health professional if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of schizoaffective disorder.

Conclusion

There are many mental health disorders. This blog has handled just but a few. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or you suspect that a person close to you( baby, sister, or sibling) is experiencing them, please take them to a doctor.

Having any of the above mental health disorders does not mean you are less human. It is important for all of us to embrace differences because everyone is abled differently.

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