The Different Types of Mental Health Disorders


There are many different types of mental health disorders, and some of them can be quite difficult to recognize. If you suspect that you or someone you know might be suffering from one of these conditions, it’s important that you’re able to identify the signs and take action in a timely manner. Here are some of the most common types of mental health disorders and their symptoms to help you better understand them and possibly even help those around you who may be suffering from one or more of these conditions.

Mood disorders


These disorders are characterized by changes in a person’s mood, which can range from extremes such as depression or mania. The majority of people with mood disorders tend to experience the same symptoms and have similar issues. These include: 
  • Inability to function normally in social situations; 
  • Physical symptoms that may include changes in appetite and sleep patterns; 
  • Thoughts about death and suicide; 
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, feeling pleasure, or remembering things. For some individuals, symptoms will be severe enough that they are unable to work, study or maintain relationships. Individuals with mood disorders often feel guilty for their inability to participate in everyday life and worry that they will never feel better. Many times they also report feelings of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as counting steps walked throughout the day or repeatedly checking electrical outlets for power.

Anxiety Disorders

For people with GAD, they may experience excessive worry that’s difficult to control or they might keep worrying about different things throughout the day. Panic attacks typically occur in a person who has PD, but not always. In fact, the person experiencing them does not necessarily have PD. They are characterized by intense fear and anxiety coupled with physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, chest pain and palpitations, shaking hands and dizziness. Anxiety disorders include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and specific phobias. 
If you suffer from any kind of mental health disorder, there is hope for you. With proper treatment and care, most mental health conditions are highly treatable. And even if your condition requires long term treatment and medication, there’s no reason to believe your life will be cut shorter than someone without a mental health diagnosis.


People with schizophrenia often have trouble concentrating on school or work, maintaining relationships, and carrying out daily activities. Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the population worldwide, but it usually starts in early adulthood (though it can start at any age). It is a chronic condition that does not go away and needs lifelong treatment to reduce symptoms. Symptoms include auditory hallucinations (hearing voices), paranoid delusions (false beliefs), distorted thinking, disorganized speech and behavior, difficulty completing tasks, insomnia, irritability, lack of motivation, impaired social skills and an inability to feel pleasure from activities they once enjoyed. These may worsen if left untreated. Medications are used to manage symptoms. Therapy, self-help groups and support from friends and family may also be helpful.

Bipolar Disorder

– Periods of feeling very happy or elated (high) that last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. 
– Periods in which feelings swing between sadness or anxiety and episodes of elation. – The periods are usually interrupted by one or more months of remission, during which the person can go about their normal routine. 
– Other symptoms can include impulsiveness, excessive spending, irritability, panic attacks, apathy, anger outbursts, poor self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. 
– Diagnosis is confirmed by clinical interviews with family members and friends as well as periods when the person does not show any symptoms. – Treatment for bipolar disorder includes medication and psychotherapy. Medication may be used to stabilize mood swings, but it is important for people with bipolar disorder to learn how to manage their illness themselves so they don’t rely on drugs all the time. 
– Living with bipolar disorder means managing periods of depression, mania, and stability without letting your condition disrupt your life too much.

Personality Disorders

There are different types of personality disorders; some more common than others. Personality disorders all have similar symptoms, but what sets them apart is the type of traits that are present. Antisocial Personality Disorder can be diagnosed with a person who has never committed a crime and still meets criteria for the disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder may be seen in someone who engages in impulsive behavior or self-injury to alleviate emotional pain. Paranoid personality disorder may be seen in someone who doesn’t trust other people’s intentions or motives and lacks empathy for other people’s feelings and needs. Histrionic Personality Disorder is characterized by dramatic and overly emotional behavior, especially when trying to attract attention. Narcissistic Personality Disorder typically involves a lack of empathy for other people combined with a need for excessive admiration from others.

Eating Disorders

Anorexia is characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Bulimia involves binging on food, consuming it quickly and then vomiting or taking laxatives to purge the food from the body. Binge-eating disorder is characterized by overeating without purging. Self-injury Disorder: The term self-injury refers to deliberate injury inflicted upon oneself as a way of coping with emotional distress. Self-injury can take different forms such as cutting one’s skin with a sharp object (commonly a razor blade), burning oneself with cigarettes, intentionally breaking bones or bruising oneself. People who self injure often have problems such as depression, substance abuse disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD). They may feel alone, misunderstood and ashamed of their behaviors. It’s important that you seek professional help if you know someone who self injures.


Mental health disorders are a difficult topic to talk about, but they are often something we do not take into consideration. The most common mental health disorders are depression and anxiety. Depression is characterized by sadness and a sense that life is not worth living, while anxiety is marked by panic attacks, feelings of impending doom, or obsessive worries. These two disorders can be treated with medication or therapy. It is important to remember that there are many different types of mental health disorders and the severity varies from person to person.

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