Mental disorders refer to disorders that may affect an individual’s feelings, moods, perceptions, thoughts, and behaviors. Mental disorders and illnesses can take a massive toll on an individuals’ day-to-day life and negatively impact their personal and professional relationships. Although there is not much research yet on whether there’s a link between mental disorder and genetics, it is very much true that lifestyle factors, including an individual’s activity and diet, can impact the onset of issues such as anxiety and depression. Mental illnesses can either be chronic or occasional. Conditions such as stress or specific triggers can worsen an episode. Counseling or medication can help individuals manage their mental illnesses and common mental disorders more effectively.
Common Mental disorders need to be identified and managed at the earliest; otherwise, they can cause irreversible damage to the individual’s physical and psychological wellbeing. Inability to contain the disorder on time can even prove to be life-threatening. You should be well-versed with the various types of disorders, so you can take timely action if you or any of your loved ones are experiencing concerning symptoms. If you wish to learn more about mental illnesses, a Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MAPP) degree can equip you with all the necessary knowledge. A MAPP degree encompasses a mix of organizational and consumer psychology to give you an edge in various fields. The fields in question include but are not limited to organizational development, social media and analytics, HR, research, and marketing.
Psychologists can help individuals identify their common mental disorders and devise strategies and coping mechanisms for better management. Let’s look at some of the most common mental disorders psychologists encounter.
Individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders experience distressing apprehension and fear frequently. Social phobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) fall under anxiety disorder.
- Social phobia is marked by intense fear and an inability to act appropriately in social situations. Individuals who have social phobia or social anxiety disorder fear being scrutinized by others. Symptoms include sweating, stuttering, palpitations, trembling, nausea, and excessive blushing.
- Panic Disorder is a condition of intermittent apprehension, often a response to unwanted or uncomfortable situations. A panic disorder can develop into agoraphobia, which results in feelings of anxiety in difficult situations.
- PTSD develops as a response to exposure to traumatic events such as accidents, abuse, assaults, war, violent crime, and disasters. Symptoms include involuntarily recalling the traumatic experience distressfully. Individuals who have PTSD quite often struggle with showing feelings and demonstrate detachment issues.
- OCD: Characterized by unhealthy compulsions, obsessions, or both. Some compulsions and obsessions include repeating acts, urge to hoard, washing, cleaning, excessive demand of symmetry, contamination from germs, and fear of harm.
If an anxiety disorder goes untreated for a long while, it can result in severe impairment.
Individuals suffering from psychotic disorders have difficulty telling what’s real apart from what’s not. Psychotic disorders distort the individual’s sense of reality. According to experts, trauma, stress, or substance abuse in some form can result in the development of this disorder. Common psychotic disorders include substance-induced psychotic disorder, brief psychotic disorder, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and schizoaffective disorder.
You can suspect an eating disorder by noticing a change in the individual’s eating habits, which is usually self-inflicted. The individual may develop unhealthy obsessions with their body shape, weight, or food. Eating disorders can have severe implications on the individual and even result in death in extreme cases. Symptoms of the disorder include loss of appetite, food binging, or harmful behaviors such as purging by over-exercising or vomiting. Common eating disorders include binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, rumination disorder, and pica eating disorder.
Depending on the type of mood disorder, individuals may experience prolonged sadness, anxiety, decreased energy, dull mood, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness. Common mood disorders include substance-induced mood disorder, dysthymia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Mood disorders can be treated or managed using self-care, antidepressants, or therapy.
- Major Depressive Disorder: Depression or major depressive disorder entails a broad range of mental health issues that result in a lack of optimism. Individuals who suffer from depression lose interest in activities and things they once found enjoyable. Some of the symptoms they exhibit include fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, tearfulness, unhealthy loss or gain of appetite, irregular sleep patterns, forgetfulness, and low memory retention. Such people also suffer from low self-esteem issues and constantly undermine themselves and their worth. In extreme cases, a person may even resort to attempting self-harm or suicide.
Individuals who have dementia may exhibit a decline in their cognitive capabilities. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. It depletes the individual’s thinking skills and memories and eventually renders them incapable of performing even the most basic tasks. Other common types of dementia include Huntington’s disease, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, Frontotemporal dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Mental disorders can take a toll on a person’s physical and psychological wellbeing and adversely affect their social and professional relationships. In extreme cases, they can even end up being fatal. In case of any mental illness, it is best to consult a professional at the earliest, so you can manage the disorder on time.