This may come as a surprise, but mental health experts claim that one in four people suffer from a mental illness each year. As much as five percent of the population is afflicted with a serious, long-term mental illness. Here is a mental disorders list with the most common conditions explained.
Anxiety Disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an umbrella term used to describe a number of different anxiety problems such as phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and anxiety attacks. Anxiety refers to feelings of tension and worry that get so out of hand they make it hard to function normally.
Chronic Depression. Depressive disorders are extremely common. These are marked by sadness, low self-esteem, loss of meaning in life, lack of pleasure in things you enjoy, and suicidal thoughts. Depression often occurs along with other mental illnesses such as anxiety disorder, addiction, or psychosis.
Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mood disorders. It's marked by dramatic swings from manic to depressed. These moods are much stronger than the regular ups and downs all of us experience. Manic or depressive episodes can last anywhere from a few minutes to weeks at a time. People with bipolar are likely to make bad decisions that can hurt themselves or others when at these extremes.
Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is an extreme mental condition that often makes it hard for the sufferer to enjoy a normal life. It's marked by delusions, paranoia and hallucinations. Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of schizophrenia and mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Most schizophrenia sufferers can enjoy a fairly regular life as long as they're on the proper medication and seeking therapy.
Dementia. Dementia is a loss of cognitive functioning that occurs as you get older. It's more extreme than the usual loss of functioning that comes with old age. Dementia actually isn't a disease but a way to describe symptoms where memory, language, attention span, problem solving abilities and other mental functions are impaired.
Eating Disorders. Eating disorders are a form of mental illness and they're much more common than most people realize. Many people with eating disorders can maintain the appearance of being healthy. Eating disorders are caused by distorted body image, usually where the person perceives themselves as overweight even though they aren't.
Addiction. Addiction is an extremely common form of mental illness. There are two types of addictions - addictions to substances and addictions to certain behaviors or activities. While alcohol, prescription drug and illegal drug addictions are the most common, gambling addiction, sex addiction, and food addiction are also quite widespread. In all addictions, the addictive substance or behavior triggers pleasure chemicals in the brain. The addict becomes dependent on the drug or activity and can't feel pleasure without it.
All of the above mental disorders are treatable and treatment has high success rates. If you suffer from a mental illness, it's important to realize that you're not alone. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can receive treatment and get back to optimal health.
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