A Complete Guide To Mental Health Disorders
By TOI Staff January 4, 2023 Update on : August 15, 2023
Are you not enjoying the hobbies you once loved? Are you having a hard time maintaining your personal and professional relationships? Are you having difficulties managing your mood and behavior? If you do, you might be suffering from a mental health disorder.
A mental health disorder, also known as mental illness, is a disruption in one’s thought pattern, cognition, mood, behavior, and emotion. It is often characterized by a disturbance in significant areas of functioning.
There are different types of mental health disorders, from anxiety to personality to trauma-related disorders. If such conditions worsen, so do the social, health, and economic problems associated with these conditions.
Individuals with a worsening mental health disorder might compromise their health, ruin relationships with the people they love, break their finances, and even take their lives. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and treat mental health disorders.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a particular mental health disorder, visit rehabilitation facilities, such as Jackson House Rehab, and ask for help. Only then will you or your loved one be free from and overcome the condition.
It’s normal to be anxious from time to time. In fact, experiencing anxiety can be motivating at some point. It can help a person to work efficiently to make their boss proud and study hard to get high grades on their upcoming exams.
In some cases, however, anxiety may develop out of proportion. If it worsens, it can disrupt a person’s ability to sleep, focus, eat, and carry out regular day-to-day routines. This condition can be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder isn’t just about being extremely anxious about a particular situation. It’s about having excessive, ongoing fears that can prevent a person from doing what they should be doing.
Below are the different types of anxiety disorders:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a result of experiencing traumatic life events. Common examples include a death of a loved one, a heart-wrecking breakup, and a catastrophic accident.
An individual may be diagnosed with PTSD if they’re having recurrent flashbacks, nightmares, or memories of a traumatic event they have experienced before.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
It’s normal for everyone to worry about their health, daily needs, finances, and work. However, if it becomes too much and uncontrollable, an individual might be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable anxiety about day-to-day concerns, including health problems, school, finances, relationships, and work.
- Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is characterized by intense, uncontrollable fear of social participation.
Individuals with social phobia tend to avoid participating in social situations (e.g., performing in front of an audience). They think people would reject them, laugh at them, or judge them negatively if they did.
- Panic Disorder
Panic disorder, also called repeated panic attacks, involves sudden episodes of anxiety and fear. Associated symptoms include shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, and feelings of upcoming terror.
Individuals with panic disorder fear that frightening situations might occur again.
Agoraphobia is the fear of a place or event that causes panic and feelings of embarrassment and helplessness. As a result, individuals with this condition tend to avoid such circumstances so as not to trigger panic attacks.
Agoraphobia is somehow related to panic disorders.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by experiencing frequent and uncontrollable unwanted thoughts and obsessions. This leads individuals to do repetitive, routine actions and behavior to cope with their anxiety.
Repetitive behaviors may include washing hands, doing the dishes, finishing the laundry, ironing clothes, and counting numbers. Individuals with OCD may not immediately realize that their obsession already interferes with their daily routine and social participation.
Individuals with mood disorders have moods out of proportion to their circumstances, interfering with their ability to function and carry out daily tasks. They might be extremely sad for a certain period of time (depression) and become excessively happy right after for another length of time (mania).
Mood disorders can be extremely dangerous—it increases the risk of suicide. This is especially true for people who also have anxiety issues. In most cases, mood disorders can be treated with psychotherapy and medications.
Here are the different types of mood disorders:
- Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder, commonly known as depression, is a type of mood disorder characterized by overwhelming sadness. This can affect how an individual thinks and behaves, leading to physical and emotional issues.
An individual with major depressive disorder might have a hard time dealing with ordinary tasks and feel that life is nothing but an empty void. Depression can be treated with long-term medication and talk therapy.
- Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, is characterized by extreme and overwhelming mood swings that involve emotional highs and lows (mania and depression).
A person with bipolar disorder might feel extreme sadness and hopelessness during a depressive bout and extreme happiness or euphoria and energy during a manic episode. As their condition worsens, it’ll be difficult to sleep properly, behave accordingly, and think clearly.
- Cyclothymic Disorder
Cyclothymic disorder, also known as cyclothymia, is a rare mental health disorder characterized by emotional highs and lows. This makes them similar to bipolar disorder, only that cyclothymia is not as severe and complicated. People with cyclothymia experience frequent yet shorter periods of mania or depression. In short, it’s a milder form of bipolar disorder.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression caused by changes in seasons. It may start and end in similar patterns every year.
People with this condition might feel sad, hopeless, and uninterested during the fall and winter months. However, they might be able to resolve these symptoms when the spring and summer seasons arrive.
In some cases, feelings of sadness and loss of interest may arrive during the spring and summer months and may be resolved during the fall and winter months.
Psychotic disorders are mental illnesses that target the minds of individuals. These conditions make it difficult for someone to make wise decisions, respond effectively, interact properly, understand reality, and behave accordingly.
When a person suffers from a psychotic disorder, they’ll have a hard time distinguishing reality, making it more difficult to handle day-to-day situations. Fortunately, even severe conditions can be treated with therapy and medications.
Here are the different types of psychotic disorders:
Schizophrenia is the most common type of psychotic disorder. People who have schizophrenia may hear voices and see illusions of objects or persons that don’t exist in reality.
In addition to these symptoms, people with schizophrenia may develop symptoms of bipolar disorder or depression. When schizophrenia worsens, the individual may view all their hallucinations as real occurrences.
- Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder (SD) is a mental health disorder that exhibits both symptoms of mood disorders and schizophrenia. In fact, this is how it got its name: schizo, meaning ‘psychotic symptoms,’ and affective, meaning ‘mood symptoms.’
SD can be depressive or bipolar type. Depressive-type SD may exhibit symptoms of depression and schizophrenia. Bipolar-type SD may exhibit episodes of mania in addition to schizophrenia and depression.
- Schizophreniform Disorder
Schizophreniform disorder includes symptoms similar to schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, disorganized speech, lack of energy, strange behavior, self-isolation, and delusions. However, its symptoms may only last for a short period of time, usually around one to six months.
Schizophreniform disorder can also affect how individuals think, communicate with others, perform actions, and express feelings.
Paraphrenia is a psychotic condition characterized by delusions and paranoia. People with paraphrenia may show exaggerated forms of anxiety and fear, but it doesn’t affect or compromise their ability to think and maintain daily habits.
Although paraphrenia symptoms are similar to schizophrenia, it mostly occurs in people aged 60 and up. Also, it’s a rare disorder but not as severe as schizophrenia.
Although its name clearly states ‘eating,’ eating disorders aren’t just about food—they’re more than that. In fact, they’re complicated mental health disorders that call the attention of healthcare professionals to improve the condition.
Eating disorders are mental health conditions that develop unhealthy eating habits. They might be obsessed with gaining or losing weight, maintaining body shape, or eating more food.
Because eating disorders have something to do with nutrition, they may cause a wide range of health complications. They may even cause death if left ignored.
Below are the different types of eating disorders:
- Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is probably the most prevalent eating disorder. It may develop during young adulthood and occur more likely in women than men.
When you have anorexia nervosa, you’ll think you’re overweight, even if you’re actually not. They’re so obsessed with their weight to the point of avoiding different kinds of food and restricting their calorie intake.
Anorexia nervosa can cause severe damage to the body, especially the heart, lungs, and brain. Over time, people with this disorder may suffer from infertility and brittle hair and nails.
- Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder more common in women than men. Individuals with this mental condition frequently eat high amounts of food and then regurgitate. They don’t know when to stop eating or control their food intake.
Bulimia nervosa may result in a sore throat, damaged tooth enamel, inflamed salivary glands, cavities, irritated gut, moderate to severe dehydration, and hormonal problems.
- Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is a chronic mental illness that usually develops during adolescence and young adulthood.
Individuals with binge eating disorder may exhibit symptoms similar to bulimia nervosa. They usually eat large amounts of food in a short period of time uncontrollably.
In addition, people with binge eating disorders don’t restrict their calorie intake or make efforts (like vomiting, purging, and excessive exercise) to compensate for all the food they binge eat.
- Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are a classification of mental health disorders characterized by unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving. An individual with a personality disorder may have a hard time relating to people and other situations.
Sometimes, people may not realize that they have a personality disorder. That’s because they think their way of functioning and behaving is normal. Usually, they blame others for all the challenges and failures they encounter.
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a personality disorder characterized by being uncontrollably suspicious of other people even if there’s no valid reason to suspect them (paranoia). Individuals with PPD think that others will try to harm them.
PPD is considered to be one of the eccentric personality disorders. A class of personality disorders marked by unusual behavior, thinking, and functioning.
Keep in mind that people with PPD don’t exhibit symptoms similar to bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenia.
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
Schizoid personality disorder (SPD) is a mental health condition where people avoid participating in social engagements and activities. They might be too shy to interact with others and have limited emotions to express.
If a person has SPD, others will perceive them as a loner or someone who keeps self-isolating. Also, they don’t know or desire to establish personal relationships, such as friendship.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) think highly of themselves—for them, they’re the most important person on earth. They like attention from others and want others to idolize them.
Usually, people with NPD may lack the ability to sympathize and understand the feelings and emotions of others. Despite their extreme self-confidence, they don’t recognize their self-worth and may easily be upset by helpful feedback and criticism.
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder is a complex type of personality disorder. It’s characterized by irresponsible, impulsive, destructive behavior.
A person with antisocial personality disorder tends to manipulate and deceive other people to get what they want, regardless of what the victims feel.
A good example of someone with antisocial personality disorder is a psychopath. They lack remorse and may break the law repeatedly without feeling guilty. They can’t also control their anger and may commit criminal behavior.
Mental health disorders are characterized by disturbances in an individual’s mood, behavior, thinking, and functioning. They’re categorized into different groups: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders.
Mental health disorders can be life-threatening. Fortunately, they can be treated with psychotherapy and medications. If you or someone you love has a mental health illness, seek medical attention immediately to prevent its symptoms from worsening.