Mental illness is a term that embodies different conditions affecting psychological and emotional well-being. It can affect the way one thinks, acts, feel, perceive, and behaves. These conditions can also affect day-to-day living including school, work, and relationships with others. Connie Lynn Culler, a lifestyle and health expert examines the most common types of mental illnesses.
This is a condition that is characterized by disturbance in a person’s moods. “If you have a mood disorder, your mood is inconsistent and can experience extreme sadness, emptiness, and irritability. At another time, you might be extremely happy, energetic, and lively,” Connie Lynn Culler explains. This condition is also referred to as Bipolar affective disorder. Another common type of mood disorder is depression which can be described as a feeling of loss, hopelessness, extreme sadness, or anger. “While everyone sometimes has their moments of lows or sadness, it generally does pass within a short period. People with a mood disorder can experience more sustained symptoms that can last for at least 2 weeks,” Connie Lynn Culler adds.
This is a mental condition that entails obsessive concerns for food, weight, and body shape. Connie Lynn Culler says occasional disordered eating doesn’t mean you have an eating disorder. This condition has to impact your ability to live a normal, flexible life. A person suffering from an eating disorder may have inadequate or excessive food intake. If left untreated, it can result in serious health consequences.
This is a mental condition characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and dread that can impair one’s daily activities. Connie Lynn Culler says it goes beyond feelings of stress or uneasiness, like being nervous before writing an exam. However, when one is anxious about many things with no reason, or one cannot control the response, or it is interfering with functioning, then, it can be referred to as anxiety disorder. Examples of this disorder include panic disorders, social phobias, claustrophobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, and specific disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This disorder usually develops in response to a traumatic event or stress one experiences or witness. This event can be a serious accident, abuse, physical or sexual assault, loss of dear ones, natural disasters, and wars. People suffering from PTSD may have lasting, uncontrollable thoughts about the events, including flashbacks and nightmares.
Substance Abuse Disorder
This is when a person can’t control the use of illegal drugs(cocaine, opiates, heroin, methamphetamine) and alcohol. This condition can lead to substance-induced mental issues such as depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and delirium. It can cause physical, social, and emotional harm.
This is a diagnosis given to someone who experiences obsession, compulsion, or both which can cause significant distress and impair daily functioning. In this case, a person has certain, repeated thoughts or images (obsession) and/or feels the need to perform certain rituals or routines. These actions are most times unwanted and unreasonably, yet they can’t stop them.
This is a serious mental disorder affecting cognitive and emotional functioning. People affected by these conditions experience confused thinking, delusions, hallucinations, and agitation. Examples of psychosis include substance-induced psychosis, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, and sometimes as a result of a medical condition.
A personality disorder is characterized by long-standing patterns of unhealthy thoughts, behaviors, and functioning. This disorder can be distressing to the person and can be detrimental to relationships with others. “A person with personality disorder perceives, thinks, or acts in a certain way that is different from what society considers normal or usual. It can also affect the person’s normal functioning,” Connie Lynn Culler explains. Examples of personality disorder include antisocial personality disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder.