There are many, many types of mental illness. Mental health disorders are poorly understood by the public at large and many disorders unfortunately still carry a stigma as though the person with the disorder were responsible for it. Thanks in part to the instant dissemination of information via social media, people seem to be realizing mental illness can strike any person at any time just as physical illness does.
Science and technology have created advances recently in the treatment of mental illness with new medications and innovative forms of therapy. Even if a particular mental illness cannot be cured, new techniques enable patients to live and work with their disorder under control and make their lives much happier. Mental illnesses include:
Anxiety disorders involve a host of different disorders such as Generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Post-traumatic stress disorder. An anxiety can vary in severity and have a range of symptoms depending on its type. For instance, Generalized anxiety causes a person to constantly worry about everything no matter how insignificant while OCD causes a person to encounter obsessive thoughts and try to assuage them with compulsive behavior. Physical signs include fatigue, irritability, muscle tension or aches, trembling, easily startled, difficulty sleeping, sweating, nausea, diarrhea and headaches.
Most addictions begin with experimental use in social situations. For some, the use then becomes more frequent. The risk of addiction and how quickly a person becomes dependent varies by substance. Some drugs have a propensity to cause dependency faster than others. As time passes, a person needs larger amounts of the substance to achieve a high and as use increases it becomes more difficult to refrain from using. Attempts to stop using the substance causes withdrawal symptoms making a person feel physically ill.
Symptoms include a feeling of need to use the substance regularly, either daily or several times daily. Over time, needing to use more of the substance and making certain that a supply of the substance is available. A person may spend money they cannot afford and not meet their responsibilities such as attending work or school and withdrawing from social occasions and family members. Some turn to crime to finance their substance use and may encounter trouble with law enforcement. There may be risky behavior while under the influence, failure in attempts to stop using the substance and withdrawal symptoms when quitting the substance is attempted.
Mood disorders cause a distortion in a person’s emotional state inconsistent with the circumstances. Some examples of mood disorders include minor and major depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder, Seasonal affective disorder and depression related to physical illness. Often these disorders will present symptoms like feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and agitation. For most people, mood disorders can be treated with medication and psychotherapy.
A personality disorder is characterized by a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with this disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and to people, causing significant difficulties and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work and school.
Those afflicted may not realize there is a problem because their condition seems normal to them and they may blame other people for the challenges they face. Personality disorders usually begin in the teen years or early adulthood and may become less apparent throughout middle age.
Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. There may be a combination of hallucinations, delusions and extremely chaotic thinking and behavior. It is a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thought and requires lifelong treatment.
In men, symptoms typically begin in the early to mid 20s while in women, symptoms appear closer to the late 20s. It is uncommon in children and rarely diagnosed after the age of 45 years. The symptoms include Delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and social withdrawal.
Mental health disorders can take their toll on a person’s life. They can negatively affects home life, work, school and important relationships. In extreme cases, they may even push a person to thoughts or suicide.
If you would like further information regarding mental health conditions and where to find help, please call Colorado Mental Health Help to speak with a member of our team.