It’s Not Just Depression, Here’s What You Need To Know About The Types Of Mental Illnesses

By on October 10, 2018

Around 450 million people are suffering from mental illnesses worldwide, while close to a 100 million people suffer from some form of mental disorder in Nigeria itself. While this surge in numbers has made it one of the leading causes for ill health and disability, according to World Health Organisation, sadly, often times the symptoms go unnoticed.

That’s possibly because mental health is mostly recognized as a real issue only a few certain metropolitan cities in the country. They either go unrecognized or a person might get categorized as either normal or mad in the smaller tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

It’s Not Just Depression, Here’s What You Need To Know About The Types Of Mental Illnesses

Awareness concerning mental health disorders, such as depression might be on the rise, but there are so many other mental health disorders that most people are not aware of. Did you know that there are 300 mental disorders that are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and Mental Disorders?

Here’s what you need to know and understand about the most common types of disorders:

Anxiety disorder
The next common mental illness after depression is anxiety disorder, so much so that one of every four Nigerians is affected by anxiety disorders. If a person’s response is not appropriate for any situation or he cannot control his responses, such that it starts interfering with his normal functioning, there are fair chances that the person is suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Mood disorder

Mood disorder involves a persistent feeling of either extreme sadness or extreme happiness. This disorder is also called affective disorder. Other types include depression, cyclothymic disorder and bipolar disorder. Mood variations in accordance with the environment proportionally are normal but when behavioral patterns are disproportionate, they are called abnormal mood disorder.

Impulse control and addiction disorder

The most common symptom of impulse control disorder is the inability to control urges and impulses that can harm someone or oneself. Stealing and compulsive gambling are two common examples. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is also quite common. People suffering from this addiction get so involved, that they forget their responsibilities and relationships.

Researchers have found multiple mental disorders that have been caused by the rise in humans’ use of internet and technology. The most common ones include modern day disorders, such as ‘Selfitis’ and the ‘Google Effect’.

Psychotic disorders
Hallucination is the most common symptom of psychotic disorder. People suffering from this, experience sounds and see images that are not real and believe them to be true. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.

Eating disorder
Approximately 20 million people, half women and half men will develop some or the other eating disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Eating disorder can be considered as a mental disorder in which the person suffering from it shows a persistent pattern of unhealthy eating,

Extreme emotions and attitude towards food and weight are common symptoms of eating disorder. People suffering from eating disorder either eat a lot or do not eat at all. Some of the examples are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A condition that is developed following a traumatic or terrifying event is called PTSD. The unexpected death of a loved one, natural disaster, sexual harassment are some examples of events that can lead to PTSD. People suffering from the condition can have frightening thoughts and memories of what happened, which can makes them emotionally numb at the moment.

Personality disorder
People suffering from personality disorder have extreme personality traits which are distressing to the other person and may cause a problem in a social setting. A person’s behavior is so rigid and different from what people expect that it interferes with their normal functioning. While the causes of borderline personality disorder are not fully understood, it has been linked to a combination of biological factors, childhood trauma and abuse.

Other types of disorders

Stress response syndrome: Developing behavioral symptoms in response to a stressful event is called stress response syndrome. The problem starts within three months of the event and may last till six months.

Dissociative disorders: As the name suggests, this disorder makes people suffer severe changes in memory, identity and their surroundings. This may happen due to too much stress.

Sexual and gender disorders:
The condition affects sexual desire, behaviour and performance. Sexual dysfunction and paraphilia are two common examples.

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