The Different Types of Mental Health Illnesses



The ability to manage and tolerate discomfort is a telltale sign of maturity and mental health. — Noam Shpancer Ph.D.

There are various conditions that are considered by experts as mental health diseases, some of which are not supposed to match the criteria recognized as mental illnesses because they affect the brain.

Below is a list of the most common types of mental disorders.

  • Anxiety Disorder. An individual is diagnosed with this disorder if his response to a certain situation is inappropriate, if he is unable to control his response, or if his anxiety hinders normal functioning. People with anxiety disorder typically respond with fear, panic, or too much worry. They also present with rapid heart rates and profuse sweating. Conditions that are classified under anxiety disorder include panic disorder, certain phobias, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Psychotic Disorder. This encompasses distorted thinking and awareness. Hallucinations – hearing sounds and seeing images that are not real – are the hallmark and the most common symptom seen in patients with psychotic disorders. Other individuals may also have delusions, which are false beliefs about something or someone despite evidence of the opposite. An example of a psychotic disorder is Schizophrenia.
  • Mood Disorders. Also known as affective disorders, are characterized by extreme feelings of worry or being overly happy, or fluctuation of feelings from intense sadness to intense happiness. Prevalent types of mood disorders include bipolar disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and depression.
  • Eating Disorders. The most common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating. When a person has an eating disorder, he is usually very emotional and has erratic behaviors and attitudes.

Diets, like the classic Mediterranean diet that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, colorful fruits and vegetables (high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties), nuts (rich in monounsaturated (almonds) and polyunsaturated (walnuts) fatty acids), beans, olive oil, whole grains and fish and low in dairy products, meat, and alcohol intake) increase the brain’s BDNF level that improves cognitive function, mood, lowers brain inflammation and promotes cellular growth. — Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.


  • Personality Disorders. A personality disorder is characterized by a deviation or nonconformity of a person’s way of thinking, behaving, and feeling from what is typically accepted in our society and culture. Individuals who have one of the personality disorders exhibit inflexible and intense personality traits that are distressing and cause work, school, or relationship problems. The most common conditions under this category include paranoid personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Those with OCD have constant fears and thoughts that force them to practice routines that are supposed to ease their worries. The fears or thoughts are called obsessions, and the routines are known as compulsions. An example is the constant washing of the hands because of fear of germs or getting sick.
  • Impulse Control And Addiction Disorder. Individuals on this category are not able to resist their cravings or ‘itches,’ and they do things that may be dangerous to themselves or others. Kleptomania is one very common type of impulse disorder, as seen in some famous actors who are caught shoplifting. Pyromania, or the impulse of wanting to start fires, is also another harmful act that the individual might do.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a mental health illness that is usually seen in individuals who have experienced traumatic events, such as going into war, physical or sexual abuse, the sudden death of a loved one, and severe natural calamities. These individuals have trouble sleeping at night as terrifying thoughts of the event constantly haunt them.

There are also other kinds of mental diseases that are not commonly seen but need attention and vigilance.

  • Dissociative Disorder. People who are diagnosed to suffer from the disorder display an extreme disturbance in his identity, memories, and general awareness of things around him. They have a history of being overstressed, which may have been due to certain accidents, disasters, and other traumatic events that they may have experienced or seen. These are the groups of disorders that split personalities, or multiple personality disorders belong.
  • Adjustment Disorders. Also called stress response syndromes, adjustment disorders are a result of stressful circumstances that cause an individual to develop certain behavioral or emotional symptoms. The patient may have experienced a natural disaster like an earthquake; a life-changing crisis such as finding out about a non-curable disease like cancer; or a severe heartache from cheating or divorce. Upon interview of the patient, he has been experiencing the syndromes within three months of the stressful situation, and stopped within six months or just when the cause of the stress has been eliminated.


  • Factitious Disorders. This is a group of disorders that are seen in a person who intentionally makes his problems or complains that he feels emotional or physical symptoms. This is because the person wants to be a patient or someone in need of help.
  • Somatic Symptom Disorder. A person with this disorder feels pain or discomfort after experiencing an intensely stressful situation even without an exact diagnosis from a health professional. It is also called somatoform or psychosomatic disorder.
  • Tic Disorders. Tic disorders are characterized by unintentional body movements that are abrupt, sudden, uncontrollable, and repetitive. Some people also display vocal tics or involuntary sounds. Tourette’s Syndrome is a popular example.

Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and some sleep-related disorders are sometimes categorized as mental health illnesses since they involve the brain.

…despite the fact that one in four families has a member with mental illness and the repeated call for further investment in research and treatment by the WHO, mental illness continues to be a neglected orphan in the field of medical research and development. — Amir A. Afkhami MD, Ph.D.

If you have any of these disorders, you need to see your mental health specialist. It is highly likely that you will also be recommended to take talk therapy. In case you need someone discreet, BetterHelp is the name for you. They offer online counseling for individuals and group or family therapy.

Reasons To Beat Your Anxiety Today

If you look at the statistics of the most common mental health disorders, you will notice that anxiety often stays on the top spot of the list. More than 40 million adults in the United States live with one form of this condition, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. It usually undergoes comorbidity with depression or another mental illness, which increases the hardship of the patients.

The Millennial and “Gen Z’ cohorts have been dubbed “the most anxious generation”– and as they become the majority of our workforce they desperately need better models for leadership. — Camille Preston Ph.D.

Although the mortality rate for depression is higher in general compared to that of people with anxiety disorders, the death toll has significantly escalated for the latter in the recent years. From a study published by researchers from Copenhagen, Denmark in the country, it appeared that 2.1% of the patients there died within approximately ten years. The percentage of individuals who perished of unnatural causes – e.g., suicide – seems to be a greater extent than the number of folks who passed away naturally.


Despite what the researches say, however, you should know that there are still many anxiety patients who do not want to become included in such statistics. They refuse to let the disorder consume them entirely. They try to find various treatments that might work, albeit the illness is incurable.

If you feel undecided on what to do, let us give you some reasons to beat anxiety today.

1. You Don’t Want Your Personal Growth To Stop

Having this mental health condition entails instantly that you live in fear most of the time. You cannot stray out of the norm and try new things because you are afraid of failing or looking like a dummy. When friends coax you to overcome your phobias, it takes you forever to make a decision, to the point that you get left behind. Even in an environment that is typically safe for you, such as your home or workplace, you may feel wary of what your housemates or colleagues think about you.

The reality is that allowing anxiety to rein in your system prevents you from doing different activities that should encourage personal growth. Instead of feeling it soar every day, it seems to hit a plateau due to the mental disease. Thus, it will be undeniably tricky for you to hone your knowledge and skills unless you do something about your disorder.

Something deep and rich is found when one pursues something they feel good about and experience a sense of accomplishment or achievement. — Angela Bisignano, PhD


2. You Want To Improve Your Relationships

Anxiety can also keep you from strengthening your personal and professional relationships. For instance, since you are scared of mixing with a crowd, you decline your friends’ invitation to get together at your favorite restaurant. When you meet a new client, you might doubt everything he or she says, thinking that the person is up to no good.

Entertaining such thoughts can impact your connections adversely. It is unwise to often use your anxiety as an excuse for every untoward behavior, primarily if some folks you interact with have mental disorders as well that they don’t let to interfere with their daily lives. What you should do instead is to learn how to cope with the illness so that you can focus on improving and building better relationships.


3. You Deserve To Live Without Fears Holding You Back

As mentioned above, anxiety causes you to tread the waters with extreme caution. At times, that is quite smart since you do need to look out for yourself when you are on the streets or in a huge event where a stampede or other disasters can take place. Other times, however, the disorder merely amplifies your negative ideas, to the extent that you are already afraid and unwilling to get out of the house or meet people in person.

By encouraging “resilience,” detractors say, we imply that setbacks are exclusively individually based, when in fact they often come from systemic barriers, like racism, sexism, economic inequality, or other injustices. — Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D.

The reason why you need to stop living like this is that fear does not mix well with success. Many millionaires and billionaires out there achieved what they have now due to their determination not to allow anything to hold them back. That won’t be impossible for you too once you avoid this mental disorder from ruling over your decisions.

Final Thoughts

Anxiety is not the easiest condition to beat. If it is, there won’t be any need to encourage you to fight it. Regardless of that, you should try to overcome the disorder to be able to fulfill all your goals in life. Good luck!