Unfortunately mental health disorders are more common than most of us think. Mental illnesses involve disturbances in thought, emotion or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s basic demands and routines.
The warning signs include any observable changes in the way one behaves or thinks. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia.
The symptoms vary from mood and personality changes to social withdrawal. Mental illnesses can affect individuals of all ages, gender, social status and background, however most cases begin at the age of 24.
Some are fairly mild and only interfere in limited ways with daily life, such as certain phobias (abnormal fears), while other conditions are so severe that a person may need care in a hospital. Mental health issues have been associated with excessive stress from specific situations or a series of events, the symptoms are physical as well as emotional and psychological.
Factors causing mental illnesses include a reaction to environmental stress, genetic factors or biochemical imbalances. The good news is that the correct attention and treatment can help victims recover.
It’s a disorder that affects loved ones as well, who struggle emotionally and may even feel vulnerable to other people’s judgments. Mental health forms the core of our overall performance in life.
On a personal level it allows us to think clearly, communicate freely, learn and grow, to develop our self-esteem. On a social level, mental health is key to developing and sustaining relationships, as it ensures emotional well-being.
The most common mental disorders witnessed may be anxiety, mood, personality and eating disorders. Webmed explains people with anxiety disorders respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread, as well as with physical signs of anxiety or panic, such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating.
An anxiety disorder is diagnosed if the person's response is not appropriate for the situation, if the person cannot control the response, or if the anxiety interferes with normal functioning. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Mood disorders, also called affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. The most common mood disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.
People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or social relationships. In addition, the person's patterns of thinking and behavior significantly differ from the expectations of society and are so rigid that they interfere with the person's normal functioning. Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder. Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors involving weight and food.
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are the most common eating disorders. Those suffering from mental illness rarely admit it, for fear of being judged or alienated. However it is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a medical condition like any other disease and it’s treatable. Psychologists continue to work on understanding how the brain works and many effective treatment options are available.