Mental health disorders are those which are characterized by experiences which affect a person’s mind and mood. In many cases, mental illnesses occur without reason and the cause of many are still not fully understood. However, the symptoms of many mental disorders are well known and experienced by millions in the United States. Treatment for mental health disorders involve a combination of psychotherapy and medications and are readily available and effective for many people.
The symptoms and criteria for diagnosing mental disorders or mental illnesses in the United States have been cataloged in the more recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). This catalog has been thoroughly reviewed and written by mental health professionals who are a part of the American Psychiatric Association and is updated as more information is discovered and confirmed in the mental health community.
In this article, we will dive a little deeper into the most common mental health conditions known in the U.S. and provide a list of many of the known mental health conditions worldwide.
Mental illnesses are conditions that primarily affect the brain: thought patterns, emotions (mood), and the person’s behavior. Mental illness is a common health problem for many Americans and many people may experience some form of mental distress in their lifetime.
Many psychological conditions alter the way in which the brain functions. This can have a detrimental effect on the person’s daily life – affecting the way they think, feel, and act. These effects can be extreme and unexpected’ altering mood and thought patterns almost instantaneously without warning. One moment they may appear to be “normal” and the next they are plagued with fear, worry, or thoughts or feelings of despair. In other cases, it can be a slow burn of mental agony – chipping away at their ability to communicate, socialize, or feel over an extended period of time.
There are currently over 200 classified mental disorders. The more common are depression, dementia, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Symptoms can range between mood changes, personality changes, altered habits and/or withdrawal from social obligations.
In many cases, mental disorders do not only affect the emotions or mentality of the sufferer, but can have many physical symptoms as well. Some of the more commonly known causes or triggers to mental illness are concluded to derive from environmental stress, genetics and family history, chemical imbalances, or a combination of these.
Below we have compiled a list of many of the most commonly known psychological disorders known in America. This is nowhere near a comprehensive list, but may be helpful to be aware of them. This list is derived from the above mentioned Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which was released in 2013 and has been updated over the past 7 years. This manual created by the American Psychiatric Association is widely used throughout many mental health facilities and in academic settings through the U.S. in order to properly classify and diagnose mental diseases.
Depression & Mood Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
With the above list, we have provided a brief commentary to accompany some of the most common mental health disorders that plague many Americans.
Bipolar Disorder – Mania & Depressive
Bipolar disorder has two types: mania and depressive. Both types of bipolar disorder are characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity. This can range from extreme shifts of elevation (mania) and depression (depressive). Manic bipolar disorder commonly refers to elevated moods and impulsion that is uncommon relative to the person’s usual state. Depressive bipolar disorder is more commonly associated with mood changes and thought patterns that are closely tied to despair, fatigue, guilt, or suicidality.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive fear or worry about seemingly normal activities or events. This can significantly interfere with the person’s ability to function daily and can have long-term negative health effects.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is very common. Many people may feel a slight unease or discomfort when dealing with new or unfamiliar social settings. However, social anxiety disorder is characterized by an excessive, irrational fear of being embarrassed, judged, or of being watched. This can significantly impact the way a person functions at work, school, or in other social settings.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a common mental disorder that typically occurs after a traumatic experience: death, injury, or sexual abuse. This can cause the person to feel trapped in reliving or re-experiencing the traumatic event and avoiding anything that may remind them of it.
Depressive disorders include numerous conditions that affect the mood of an individual. All of them are typically characterized by feelings of sadness, emptiness, and agitation. In most cases, they have cognitive and physical symptoms. Below is a brief list of some of the more common depressive disorders.
The above mentioned disorders are almost always characterized by persistent or severe feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Many depressive disorders can impair a person’s ability to enjoy their daily life, sleep, and concentrate for extended periods of time.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), personality disorders, depressive disorders, and other mental health conditions must meet certain diagnostic criteria. Each conditions’ criteria varies. For depressive disorders, some of the more common diagnostic criteria are as follows:
Treatment for a mental disorder will vary depending on the severity of the disorder and which psychological condition you are diagnosed with. In cases or severe mental disorders or if the person is struggling with self-harm, addiction, or may be at risk of hurting others, intensive treatment or hospitalization may be required. Most treatment plans for mental illnesses combine medication-assisted treatment, counseling, and therapy. Some people may require additional support and education services in order to learn more about their condition and how to properly cope. In a medical facility like Freedom Now, you will be offered intensive counseling options led by our team of mental health specialists and possibly medication depending on the severity of your disorder.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a mental disorder, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to offer you support and care during this time.