When the mind deviates from the normal and responds to certain objects or situations with fear and dread, mental disruptions start occurring. What follows, is a series of unusual behaviors that defies the logic of being mentally fit. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines mental illness as a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis.
With advances in mental health treatment, many people who have been victims of such mental disorders are seeing the light of recovery. Treatments have moved beyond medications alone, and medical science is now appreciating new therapies that can help a person regain his original self.
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the most commonly occurring disorders fall under one of the following categories:
- Anxiety disorders
- Behavioral disorders
- Mood disorders
- Personality disorders
- Psychotic disorders
It is very important to understand these disorders so that individuals dealing with them can proactively seek treatment rather than keep tightlipped about them.
Knowing the Unknown
A good read about mental disorders can actually help in understanding our mental health and problems that can spring anytime. However, in most cases, symptoms may differ depending on the type of occurrence and severity. Symptoms may range from changes in mood, personality, habits, general behavioral patterns and visible signs of social withdrawals.
- Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders are far from the normal anxieties that an individual faces in life. These are, in fact, extremely persistent, repetitive, uncontrollable and seemingly devastating mental condition. A constant and unsubstantiated worry, coupled with irrational fear of situation, hampers the normal functioning of life.
Anxiety disorders vary from mild to severe and can host a range of disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, etc. Their symptoms may include unremitting worry, restlessness, trouble concentrating, an inability to make decisions and more. The physical signs of anxiety disorder include fatigue, irritability, muscle tension or aches, trembling, a high startle reflex, difficulty sleeping, sweating, nausea, diarrhea and headaches.
- Behavioral Disorders: Behavioral disorders involve a pattern of disruptive behaviors that is a result of negative or unhealthy thoughts and emotions. Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder are the two major behavioral disorders. These may involve include visible symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity and a defiant behavior. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is another example of a behavioral disorder that is characterized by difficulties in remaining focused and paying attention and inability to control impulsive behavior. Mainly visible in children, such disorders can result in disruptions in personal relationships, mismanagement of code of conduct, learning difficulties and inappropriate behavior.
- Mood Disorders: Mood disorders are characterized by an emotional upheaval in response to a normal situation. Various mood disorders, including minor and major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and more, show visible symptoms such as hopelessness, extensive feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and trouble engaging in daily tasks and relationships. Sometimes, they also cause elevated moods like feelings of grandiosity and extreme energy.
- Personality Disorders: Personality disordersare characterized by thoughts, behavior and functioning that are away from being normal. Disorder like borderline personality disorder, dependent personality disorder and others can be associated with significant dismay or disability and are highly inflexible in nature. People suffering from such disorders experience difficulties in keeping both personal and professional relationships. People affected by this condition might not be aware that something is wrong, as their condition seems normal to them. They usually tend to blame certain circumstances or people for their behavior. Their behavior and thought-process are markedly different from the regular norm of public code of conduct. Such disorders tend to surface during teens or early adulthood and may become less apparent throughout middle age.
- Psychotic Disorders: Psychotic disorders create a distortion of reality and cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. Delusions and hallucinations are the two main symptoms of psychotic disorder. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder in which a person’s perception of reality is abnormally altered. Symptoms typically appear in the early to mid-20s for men and closer to the late 20s in women. Other symptoms include chaotic thinking, pointless speech, lack of sentiments and emotions, eye contact avoidance and unchanging facial expressions. It is a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thought and requires a lifelong treatment.
Some people delve deep into the chains of inconsistencies of the mind. Unable to bear the consequences of a disruptive mental behavior, people consider or commit suicide. Suicide is not only a tragedy for the person who takes his own life but it heavily affects the family members who are left devastated by this act. Suicides can be prevented only if people are aware that such a possibility exists. People who are contemplating suicide should be encouraged to seek professional help.
If you would like to get further information regarding mental health conditions or how to get help and treatment for a mental health issue, please call 866-606-7791 to speak to a treatment specialist.