Different Types of Mental Illness

mental illness typesMental illness is an umbrella term for a range of mental and personality disorders. It refers more to a general classification than any single condition. The list of mental illnesses is extensive, and each is unique from the others. Some of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses are as follows:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This mental illness is characterized by chronic disorganized overactivity, racing thoughts, impulsive decision making and, in many cases, an inability to control emotions. People with ADHD often suffer from depression and anger issues as well due to their inability to function like other people.
  • Bipolar Disorder. When a person swings back and forth from dramatic highs to dramatic lows, they are afflicted with bipolar disorder. Periods of mania, when a person is overactive, energetic and unrealistically optimistic, can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, then cycle into periods of depression, when the person is lethargic, uninspired, unproductive and foggy.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is characterized by immobilizing fear that can come on as a cautionary feeling or a severe attack. People with anxiety can be triggered by a variety of stimuli that they interpret as dangerous and threatening, even when the risk is entirely imagined.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Someone with OCD will fixate on things that are imperfect and obsess over them in an attempt to make them perfect. Typically, a person with OCD will fixate on biological factors, such as health, cleanliness and hygiene, but they can also become obsessed with how things are organized or executed. OCD can feel like a prison to a person who has it because they cannot control their impulse to perfect things.
  • Depression. One of the world’s most common mental illnesses, depression affects nearly a third of North America’s population. It has different levels, all of which are characterized by a slowing down of functionality due to feelings of melancholy. Depression can range from mild and manageable to severe and suicidal.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This mental illness occurs when a person has been through a traumatic event or extended situation, such as a wild animal attack or serving in a war. When events are more traumatic than the mind can handle, the mind becomes stuck on the events and re-experiences them continuously.

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