What Are the Types of Mental Health Disorders?
Learn more about the different types of mental health disorders present in the population today and how to pursue treatment successfully.
Why is Mental Wellness Important?
What is Mental Health?
How Common Are Mental Health Disorders?
Mental Health Disorder Statistics
Most Common Mental Health Disorders
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health disorders. They are characterized by feelings of worry, tension, stress, and recurrent intrusive thoughts. While everyone feels anxious occasionally, those with an anxiety disorder find it difficult or even impossible to escape their cycles of anxious thinking and the physical discomfort that accompanies their thoughts.
Major Types of Anxiety Disorders
The major types of anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Chronic worry with no specific triggers
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Repetitive behaviors and recurring, unwanted thoughts
- Panic Disorder: Repeated episodes of panic attacks or intense fear
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): Overwhelming or debilitating anxiety focused on social interactions/situations
The term “mood disorders” refers to various mental health issues that affect a person’s ability to maintain a stable mood. The most common mood disorders are:
Major Depressive Disorder
Feeling sad, loss of interest in everyday activities, and other symptoms that last two weeks or longer
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Chronic depression symptoms lasting two years or more
Alternating periods of depression and elevated moods or mania
Substance-Induced Mood Disorder
Drugs, medication, or alcohol causes depression or another type of mood disorder
Children, teens, and adults can develop mental health disorders, including mood disorders. However, the symptoms in young people and adults may be different. If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, make sure to speak with a clinician who is experienced in treating mental health issues in children.
Psychotic disorders are often viewed as the most severe mental health disorders because symptoms can cause sufferers to lose touch with reality. The most common psychotic disorders are:
Characterized by unusual behavior, delusions, hallucinations, and withdrawal
A combination of psychotic and mood symptoms, such as delusions and depression
An episode of schizophrenia that lasts between one and six months
Delusions without the unusual behavior or other symptoms common to schizophrenia
Brief Psychotic Disorder
A short episode of psychosis that lasts less than one month
Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder
Certain drugs, such as LSD, can cause long- or short-term psychosis
A medical condition can cause some psychotic disorders. It is essential to seek professional help if you suspect you are experiencing problems with mental health. A mental health clinician can direct you to a medical doctor to rule out any underlying physical illnesses.
Like all mental health conditions, eating disorders seriously impact physical health. The extreme eating patterns followed by some individuals with eating disorders can lead to organ failure and death. The most common types of mental disorders that focus on food and eating include the following:
An extreme fear of gaining weight that can lead to starvation
A cycle of purging and binge-eating behaviors
Binge Eating Disorder
Eating large amounts of food within short periods, feeling a lack of control overeating behaviors
A compulsion to eat non-food items, such as coins, paper, metal, etc
Other less common eating disorders are characterized by picky eating, purposefully regurgitating, or any eating- or food-related behavior that impairs a person’s ability to function at work or home.
Addiction Disorders and Impulse Control Disorders
Addiction disorders, also known as substance use disorders, are mental health conditions that affect a person’s ability to control their use of alcohol, medication, or illegal drugs. With extended misuse of substances, the body becomes physically dependent on substances, leading to a combination of physical and mental addiction symptoms resulting in death.
Impulse Control Disorders
Impulse control disorders are closely related to substance use disorders and may lead to addiction. However, impulse disorders include a host of other behaviors besides using drugs or alcohol, such as:
Kleptomania: Stealing things that are not needed
Pyromania: The urge to set fires
A Deeper Look at Impulse Control Disorders
Personality disorders are a very diverse category of mental illness conditions. These psychological disorders are characterized by maladaptive patterns of thinking and behaving that make it challenging to deal with everyday work/life stress or maintain healthy relationships.
Personality disorders are divided into three main clusters. Cluster A disorders encompass odd or eccentric behavior. Cluster B includes emotional, erratic, and dramatic behavior. Cluster C disorders are identified by fearful or anxious behavior. The individual personality disorders within each cluster are:
Schizoid personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder
Antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder
Avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment for a personality disorder can be difficult because people experiencing these disorders may not realize they are exhibiting signs of a mental illness.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most well-known type of trauma disorder. It is a psychiatric condition brought on by experiencing a traumatic event, such as rape and other forms of sexual violence, a natural disaster, war, childhood abuse, or a severe accident.
Though not included in the DSM-5, some therapists differentiate PTSD into three types:
Develops after prolonged, repeated trauma
Delayed Expression PTSD
Develops at least six months after the triggering traumatic event
Develops to separate oneself from the traumatic experience, as if it happened to someone else
Another type of PTSD is known as intergenerational PTSD. Many experts believe this type of PTSD may occur due to older family members repeating traumatic stories to younger members. Examples are Holocaust survivors talking about their experiences in concentration camps and Japanese Americans retelling the events of being taken to internment camps. The theory is that when traumatizing stories are frequently repeated, it can have a strong emotional impact on those who hear the information, even if they did not directly experience it.
Other Types of Mental Health Disorders
All types of mental illnesses can disrupt a person’s day-to-day life. Some symptoms of mental illness may remain invisible to others, and some signs are more prominent. Living with mental disorder symptoms can negatively impact how a person sees themselves or the way others see them.
Some of the less commonly understood mental illnesses include:
Stress Response Syndromes
Short-term conditions that affect a person’s ability to cope with stress
Characterized by a lack of continuity between thoughts and actions
Pretending to be sick or making yourself sick
Sexual and Gender Disorders
Inability to enjoy sexual intimacy or feeling uncomfortable/out of sync with your biological body
Somatic Symptom Disorders
Extreme focus on physical pain or symptoms
Exhibiting verbal or physical tics
Causes of Mental Health Disorders
Several different factors can cause mental illness. No single answer is true for every person with mental health problems because each person’s experience is unique. Generally, mental illness is thought to be influenced by inherited traits (genetics), exposure to toxins while in the womb, and brain chemistry.
People who carry a higher risk of developing mental health issues may be triggered by high-stress situations, such as losing a loved one, job loss, or trauma. In many cases, the causes of mental health disorders remain unknown.
Mental Health Disorders Risk Factors
Anyone can develop a mental health problem, although some people carry a higher risk than others. Factors that increase the risk of mental illness include:
Negative Side Effects of Mental Illness
Mental illness can cause severe social, behavioral, emotional, and physical health problems. It can lead to isolation, which can worsen some conditions and make it difficult to find or keep a job. Legal and financial issues, the threat of homelessness, loss of meaningful relationships, and other complications may result from having a mental health disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Disorders
The warning signs of mental illness vary and depend on the individual and the specific disease they are dealing with. However, some common symptoms of mental health disorders will help you recognize a problem in your life or that of a loved one. These mental disorder symptoms include but are not limited to:
All symptoms should be taken seriously. However, some are more immediately critical than others. Emergency intervention is needed if someone you know is showing excessive anger or violence, experiencing paranoia, having delusions, or talking about suicide.
When to See a Doctor
Like all health conditions, early treatment offers the most excellent chance of recovery. Mental health problems won’t go away by ignoring them. In fact, in most cases, symptoms will increase and worsen if they go untreated. Speak with your medical doctor or mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of poor mental health.
If you have thoughts of suicide, call 911 or call a mental health professional immediately. Suicidal ideation doesn’t go away on its own. Getting the mental health disorders treatment you need can save your life.
How Are Mental Health Disorders Diagnosed?
Only medical professionals can diagnose mental health disorders using the DSM-5 guidelines. A series of tests including a physical examination, diagnostic lab tests, a complete family medical history, and a psychological evaluation is needed to make a correct diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis is reached, your health care team will develop a mental health disorders treatment plan that addresses all your psychological and physical needs.
Prevention and Mental Health Disorders
Most experts agree that the focus of mental health care should not be on prevention. Because common and severe mental health conditions can be caused by genetics or unavoidable life circumstances, mental illness is not something a person can prevent. However, there are several things we can do to protect our mental health and possibly avoid the kind of stress overload that may trigger the onset of certain types of severe mental health disorders.
Maintaining Your Mental Wellness
Understanding that all people need help occasionally is an integral part of personal growth and healing. Whatever your mental health challenge, reaching out to your community will help you cope, and sharing your story will help others.
More Tips for Maintaining Mental Wellness
Mental Health Disorders Treatment Options
Developing a successful treatment plan takes time and the expertise of both mental and physical health professionals. It also takes patience to find the proper medication regimen and therapy that works best for everyone. That’s where we come in.
What are Some Relevant Treatment Opportunities?
Treatment typically includes a combination of:
Anew Treatment Center and Your Healing Journey
Anew Treatment Center is here to help you manage and heal from common mental health disorders. We provide comprehensive mental health services that are based on a whole-person approach to mental health. You are more than your mental health disorder. We are here to help you regain autonomy over your life and overall wellness.
Start healing with the proper treatment and support from the compassionate team at Anew Treatment Center. Your mental, physical, and spiritual well being remains our top priority.
- Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually (cdc.gov)
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