What are the types of mental disorders?
Often, it’s easier to understand what mental health is by contrasting it with what it means when somebody is not mentally healthy. The opposite of mental health is mental illness or mental health disorder. This refers to a wide range of conditions that impact a person’s subjective well-being, ability to cope with problems, and relationships with others. Some examples of mental health problems include:
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “Why am I always anxious?”, it’s possible that you have an anxiety disorder, which is when you have frequent, intense, or inappropriate feelings of anxiety and fear. These feelings often manifest as physical symptoms such as rapid breathing and increased heart rate.
While depression is generally more complicated than people realize, it can be simplified as a disorder that includes a sad and depressed mood and a loss of interest in activities. Thankfully, levels of depression awareness have gone up in recent years and people are getting more comfortable talking about and seeking treatment for it.
Characterized by alternating periods of mania and depression, or intense highs and lows, nearly 3% of American adults have bipolar disorder, of which there are two types. Bipolar I includes manic episodes while bipolar II includes hypomania (euphoria and unusual behavior) and major depression.
While most people think of anorexia nervosa when they think of eating disorders, there are actually a range of conditions under this umbrella, all of which involve abnormal or disturbed eating habits. This includes bulimia, orthorexia, and binge eating disorder, among others.
It’s all too common for people to throw around the term “OCD” when they’re referring to being highly organized and clean, but the obsessive-compulsive disorder is actually so much more complicated than that. Sufferers have repetitive thoughts or perform repetitive actions without being able to control it.
When a person’s disordered behavior and inner experiences don’t fit with their culture’s norms and cause friction with their social and personal life, they are considered to have a personality disorder. Types of personality disorders include borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder, often called schizophrenia.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When a person experiences or witnesses one or more traumatic events, the memory may trigger flashbacks, nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts, and anxiety. This is called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Stereotypically, this is something that soldiers coming back from war suffer from, though the reality is that anybody can experience it.
Stress is defined as a feeling of emotional or physical tension triggered by a stressor, something like an upcoming test or a difficulty paying the bills. To a certain extent, stress is just a part of everyday life, and types of it can even be good for us. On the other end of the spectrum, stress can cause symptoms such as sleeplessness, anxiety, nausea, and pain, among others.
When a person experiences a psychologically distressing event like abuse, accidents, or a natural disaster that they don’t know how to cope with, they may receive damage to their mind, also known as trauma. This is a tricky issue because a lot of the time people don’t realize they’ve experienced trauma, although its effects can last for years and cause unexpected symptoms such as numbness, headaches, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
At one of its most extreme forms, mental health problems can manifest as suicidal feelings, or the desire to kill oneself. Not everybody with suicidal feelings acts on them, though the unfortunate reality is that many do. While suicidal feelings are often a symptom of depression, there are also many other causes, including medication side effects and bullying. If you ever feel like you might want to kill yourself, it’s critical you talk to somebody about it as soon as possible.