A mental health disorder is often referred to as mental illness. It is a condition in which there is a mental abnormality or impairment that causes a disability or disruptions in normal behavior. Mental illness typically impairs not only a person’s behavior, but it may also impair his or her emotions, judgment, or the way that the individual copes with the world. Mental health disorders can occur due to various causes, ranging from injury or infection to genetics to developmental problems in the womb. By developing an understanding of the various mental health disorders, students and adults are better able to interact with and help improve the lives of impaired individuals.
Anxiety is a common emotional reaction in which a person feels worried, agitated or even nervous. These reactions are natural and they play an important part in one’s ability to sense danger. It is not, however, natural for anxiety to occur regularly on a chronic basis. When this occurs, it can interfere with a person’s ability to function in terms of his or her professional and personal life. Chronic anxiety affects one’s mental health and represents a series of mental health disorders known as anxiety disorders. Common symptoms associated with anxiety disorders include shortness of breath, upset stomach, heart palpitations, diminished ability to concentrate, fear, and muscle tension. Several disorders are categorized as anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and general anxiety disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD is a condition in which children have difficulty concentrating or paying attention. Often, children with this condition are impulsive and are constantly in motion. These traits make it difficult for children to function and can hinder them while in school if untreated. ADHD continues into adulthood and can adversely affect employment and relationships.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum disorders are a collection of disorders that affect a child’s social skills, communication, empathy, and flexible behavior. The spectrum disorders develop during childhood and include Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified PDD-NOS. Signs that a child might have this condition include difficulties with his or her social skills, restricted interest and/or activities, and problems with speech. The severity of problems varies depending on the specific disorder that the child has.
Eating disorders are a type of mental illness in which food becomes an obsession and is used to meet a need. Often the need is to be thinner than what is normal or healthy and as a result extreme behavior such as bingeing and purging occurs. Types of eating disorders include bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and anorexia nervosa. Often eating disorders have a foundation in depression.
Impulse Control Disorder
Also known as addiction disorders, this condition is one in which people have no control over impulses or urges. People with impulse control disorder may frequently be in trouble with the law or may be dangerous to themselves or others. Examples include gambling and alcohol addiction. People who are unable to deny their impulses may also do things such as set fires or steal.
Mental disorders that affect one’s emotions are called mood disorders. They include major depressive disorder and manic depression. Mood disorders are so common that nearly one out of every ten persons over the age of eighteen is affected by one. People who are affected by this illness are susceptible to suicide if not treated. Additionally there is also the increased risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
When an individual suffers from chronic panic attacks that occur frequently and without warning, he or she has a panic disorder. This type of mental health disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. Symptoms associated with panic disorders and panic attacks include sweating, a choking feeling, nausea, trembling, sweating, chills, light-headedness, and chest pain. A person suffering from a panic attack may become so overwhelmed that his or her movements are restricted due to the sense of panic.
Personality disorders are mental disorders that affect a person’s behavior. People with this disorder are unable to adapt their behavior to situations around them. As a result, they are often disruptive, intolerant or antisocial. Types of behavior disorders fall under one of three categories: odd/eccentric, dramatic/erratic, and anxious/inhibited.
Phobias are a form of anxiety disorder in which a person feels an intense and even paralyzing fear of literally anything, from an object to an activity. Examples of phobias include social phobias in which a person fears being in social situations or a fear of heights, which is a type of specific phobia. People with this condition may become so overwhelmed by their fears that they are unable to leave their home or function.
Disorders in which people lose touch with reality are called psychotic disorders. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are both psychotic mental health disorders. Traits of this type of disorder may include hallucinations. Drugs and alcohol may be contributing factors to this illness; however, medical conditions such as a brain tumor may also cause it. People with psychotic disorders have the potential to be a danger to themselves and others.
- Types of Mental Illness
- Mental Illness
- Health Topics – Mental Disorders
- Child Mental Health
- Depression in Children and Teens
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder DMDD
- What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
- Attachment & Reactive Attachment Disorders
- Mental Health: What’s Normal, What’s Not
- Mental Health Basics
- Mental Health Disorder Statistics
- Mental Health Disorders
- Mental Health: Factitious Disorder
- Dissociative Disorders
- Gender Identity Disorder
- Somatoform Disorders
- Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome
- Factitious Disorder Munchausen Syndrome