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What Are The Types Of Mental Illnesses?

Mental health refers to one's psychological and emotional well-being. Having a good mental health is important because it helps you lead a blissful and healthy life. Owing to the stress that an individual goes through in his/her day-to-day life, maintaining good mental health is becoming increasingly difficult, not to mention the stigma associated with it.

Mental illness refers to the different variety of conditions which affect the way you think and feel and can also disrupt your day-to-day activities. About 1 in 25 adults experience a serious mental illness (SMI) each year. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are at an increased risk of SMI than men.

There are many types of mental illnesses and the most common ones are anxiety disorder, mood disorder, eating disorder, personality disorder, psychotic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Let's dive into them individually.

Types Of Mental Illnesses

1. Mood disorder

This type of disorder, also called affective disorder, involves extreme feelings of sadness or happiness or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness [1] . The most common mood disorders include bipolar disorder, depression, and cyclothymic disorder.

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2. Personality disorder

People with personality disorders think, behave and show emotions that are extreme and inflexible causing distress, eventually affecting work and social relationships. People with this disorder find it hard to change their behaviour or adapt to different situations [2] .

Personality disorder includes obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder and paranoid personality disorder.

3. Anxiety disorder

People with anxiety disorders respond to certain situations with fear, and show physical signs of anxiety or panic, like sweating and rapid heartbeat [3] .

Anxiety disorders include phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

4. Eating disorder

People with eating disorders have persistent emotions, attitude and behaviour which involve weight and food and often have an intense fear of being overweight [4] . The most common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

Why Are Eating Disorders More Common In Women?

5. Psychotic disorder

Psychotic disorder causes a person to hallucinate and experience images, sounds and delusions that aren't real. A person with psychotic disorder has distorted awareness and thinking. An example of a psychotic disorder is schizophrenia.

6. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

People with this disorder are afflicted with constant thoughts or fear that cause them to do repetitive things that affect their day-to-day work. Those thoughts are obsessions and the repetitive things are compulsions [5] .

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Is An Anxiety Disorder

7. Impulse control and addiction disorder

People with this disorder are unable to resist their urges or impulses to do something that could be harmful to themselves or others [6] . Compulsive gambling, pyromania, and kleptomania are examples of impulse control and addiction disorder.

8. Post-traumatic stress disorder

A person with this disorder has long-lasting feelings of fear, anxiety and memories of a traumatic event that doesn't go away. This interferes with everyday activities and usually, this disorder develops following a traumatic event, such as a sexual or physical assault [7] .

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

9. Stress response syndrome

Stress response syndrome was formerly called adjustment disorder. It occurs when a person has emotional or behavioural symptoms in response to a stressful event or situation. Stress response syndrome usually starts within 3 months of the event or situation [8] .

10. Sexual and gender disorder

Sexual and gender disorder affects one's sexual desire, performance and behaviour. It inhibits a person's motivation or ability to engage in sexual activity. Sexual and gender disorder includes gender identity, sexual dysfunction and paraphilia.

11. Dissociative disorder

People suffer from severe disturbances or changes in consciousness, memory, identity and general awareness of themselves and their surroundings. This usually occurs as a result of traumatic events, disaster or accidents.

12. Somatic symptom disorder

Somatic symptom disorder was formerly called psychosomatic disorder. In this disorder, a person experiences physical symptoms of an illness or pain that causes high levels of emotional distress [9] .

13. Tic disorder

Tourette's syndrome is an example of tic disorder. People with this disorder make sounds or show body movements that are quick sudden and repeated which are uncontrollable [10] .

View Article References
  1. [1] Jeon, H. J., Baek, J. H., Ahn, Y. M., Kim, S. J., Ha, T. H., Cha, B., … Mood Disorders Cohort Research Consortium (MDCRC) Group (2016). Review of Cohort Studies for Mood Disorders.Psychiatry investigation,13(3), 265–276.
  2. [2] Sharan P. (2010). An overview of Indian research in personality disorders.Indian journal of psychiatry,52(Suppl 1), S250–S254.
  3. [3] Trivedi, J. K., & Gupta, P. K. (2010). An overview of Indian research in anxiety disorders.Indian journal of psychiatry,52(Suppl 1), S210–S218.
  4. [4] Holliday, J., Uher, R., Landau, S., Collier, D., & Treasure, J. (2006). Personality pathology among individuals with a lifetime history of anorexia nervosa.Journal of Personality Disorders,20(4), 417-430.
  5. [5] Reddy, Y. C., Rao, N. P., & Khanna, S. (2010). An overview of Indian research in obsessive compulsive disorder.Indian journal of psychiatry,52(Suppl 1), S200–S209.
  6. [6] Schreiber, L., Odlaug, B. L., & Grant, J. E. (2011). Impulse control disorders: updated review of clinical characteristics and pharmacological management.Frontiers in psychiatry,2, 1.
  7. [7] Rodriguez, N., Ryan, S. W., Vande Kemp, H., & Foy, D. W. (1997). Posttraumatic stress disorder in adult female survivors of child sexual abuse: A comparison study.Journal of Consulting and Clinical psychology,65(1), 53.
  8. [8] Kocalevent, R. D., Mierke, A., Danzer, G., & Klapp, B. F. (2014). Adjustment disorders as a stress-related disorder: a longitudinal study of the associations among stress, resources, and mental health.PloS one,9(5), e97303.
  9. [9] Dimsdale J. E. (2017). Research on Somatization and Somatic Symptom Disorders: Ars longa, vita brevis.Psychosomatic medicine,79(9), 971–973.
  10. [10] Silvestri, P. R., Chiarotti, F., Giustini, S., & Cardona, F. (2019). Alexithymia and tic disorders: a study on a sample of children and their mothers.European child & adolescent psychiatry,28(4), 461-470.
Story first published: Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 18:16 [IST]
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