Mental illness is a general term used to describe a group of illnesses that may impact individual thoughts, perceptions, and behavior. It can affect a person’s professional and personal relationships. Mental illness can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or medications, sometimes doctors use a combination of both. There are different types of mental health issues.
Types of mental health issues
Anxiety disorder is a group of mental health disorders… They include generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder. Untreated, anxiety disorders can significantly impair an individual’s daily life.
- Generalized anxiety: a person with this condition feels excessive worry and tension for little to no reason.
- Panic attacks: people with this disorder feel a terror that strikes suddenly. During a panic attack, some people sweat, feel an increased heart rate, chest pain, stomach upset, difficulty breathing, or nausea.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD): people with OCD have unwanted and involuntary ideas or sensations to make them feel driven to do something repetitively.
- Social anxiety: is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated in social situations.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced a traumatic event involving physical and/or mental harm. This article from Many Facets of Life has detailed information on PTSD.
- Major depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with an individual’s ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy activities once pleasurable.
- A persistent depressive disorder is a depression that lasts more than 2 years or longer.
- Bipolar disorder also called manic depression is a mood episode that ranges from the extremely high energy of with an “up” mood to low “depressive” periods. When you are in a low phase, you’ll have symptoms of major depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder is a mood disorder that happens mostly in the months of winter but goes away in spring and summer. This is because in the winter months the days grow short and you get less and less sunlight.
- Psychotic depression is a combination of major depression and psychosis. In other words, someone with psychotic depression experiences the symptoms of major depression plus hallucinations and delusions.
- Peripartum depression (postpartum depression) is a mental illness that affects women after giving birth. It’s normal for some women to feel the “baby blues” for a few weeks. Baby blues happen after a woman gives birth, one minute she feels happy, and the next minute she cries. She may have a hard time concentrating, lose her appetite, can’t sleep well even when the baby is sleeping. This usually happens 3 to 4 days after delivery. Postpartum depression, however, lasts longer. Its symptoms include a feeling of sadness, feeling worthless, feeling like life isn’t worth living. These women feeling anxious, have less energy or motivation to do things, and have little interest in the baby.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a depression women experience along with other symptoms at the start of their period. Besides feeling depressed, women experience mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and trouble concentrating.
- Situational depression is a depressive mood people experience when they are having trouble managing a stressful event such as divorce. Psychotherapy often helps manage a period of depression related to a stressful situation.
- Atypical depression is a pattern of depression symptoms that is temporarily alleviated by a positive event. It’s a persistent sadness that is temporarily relieved by a positive experience.
Schizophrenia is a chronic, serious mental illness that affects the way a person thinks, perceives reality, and relates to others. Though it’s not a common mental illness as other major mental illnesses, it can be the most chronic and disabling. Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a multiple personality disorder. People with schizophrenia have what is called a psychotic episode, a moment in which they lose touch with reality, they can’t tell what is real from what is imagined. In psychotic, they could experience:
- Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing things that are not there.
- Delusions: firmly held beliefs that can easily be proven wrong, like believing people are out to get you.
- Disorganized speech: using words or sentences that make no sense to others.
- Strange behavior: acting in a repetitive way like walking in a circle, quiet for hours, or sitting still.
- Withdrawn and lifeless: has no motivation, not interested in normal daily activities.
Borderline personality disorder
A personality disorder is a mental illness that impacts the way a person feels and thinks about herself and others. This person experiences unstable mood swings, emotional instability, and anxiety. There are 10 types of personality disorder.
- Paranoid personality disorder: a person with this disorder has extreme difficulty trusting people or confiding in them. They are constantly looking for signs of betrayal or hostility.
- Schizoid personality disorder: an individual with this disorder is emotionally cold toward others, gets little pleasure from life, has little interest in sex, chooses to live life without interference from others.
- Schizotypal personality disorder: an individual with this disorder finds a relationship extremely difficult, uses unusual words or phrases. They feel anxious and intense with people who do not share their beliefs.
- Antisocial personality disorder: a person with this disorder behaves in ways that are unpleasant for others. They behave dangerously without considering the consequences for themselves or others. Also, they act aggressively and get into fights easily. She feels no sense of guilt even when she mistreats others. She gets bored easily and acts on impulse.
- Borderline personality disorder: people with this disorder worry about people abandoning them, have difficulty making and keeping stable relationships. They get angry easily and have difficulty controlling their anger and feel empty and lonely most of the time. Also, they have suicidal thoughts or self-harming behavior and have no strong sense of who they are.
- Histrionic personality disorder: people with this disorder are easily influenced by others, feel dependent on the approval of others. They have a reputation for being dramatic and feel uncomfortable if they are not the center of attention. They flirt to make sure they are the center of attention and feel like they have to entertain people.
- Narcissistic personality disorder: these people believe that they are better and deserve more than others, take advantage of others. They get angry when ignored, put their own needs above others, resent other people’s success. They have very fragile self-esteem.
- Avoidant personality disorder also called anxious personality disorder: people with this disorder avoid a social situation that requires them to be in the presence of others, worry about being found and rejected. They feel lonely and inferior to others, avoid friendship or intimacy because of fear of rejection, and worry about being shamed by others.
- Dependent personality disorder: these people depend on others to make decisions for them, they are seen as submissive and passive to others, have low self-esteem. People with this disease are afraid of being left alone to fend for themselves. They are people pleasers and can not function without any help.
Mental illnesses are serious diseases that significantly impact individual life. They not only affect the patient in question but also her loved ones. Remember that it takes patience, compassion, and love to care for someone with mental illness. The caregiver most also seeks support or take part in a support group of people dealing with similar situations. You always have options when it comes to treatment, but you need to educate yourself about your situation to determine the best course of action. Sometimes, it takes trial and fails to find the medicine that is best for your condition. Please do not get discouraged by this. Life is worth living and you’re loved and needed even though you might not know it.