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The Different Types of Mental Illness and How They Affect People

October 5, 2022


Mental Health

It is estimated that one in five adults in the United States suffers from some form of mental illness. That's a lot of people who are silently struggling with their mental health every day. Unfortunately, mental illness is still stigmatized in our society, which means that many people suffering from mental illness don't get the help they need.

Mental illness comes in many different forms, and it can be difficult to understand what somebody is going through if you've never experienced it yourself. In this blog post, we're going to take a look at some of the different types of mental illness and how they can affect people. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of mental illness and be more empathetic toward those who are suffering.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness is a general term that encompasses a wide range of different conditions that affect a person's mood, thoughts, and behavior. Mental illnesses can be mild or severe, temporary or chronic. Some mental illnesses can be treated with medication or therapy, while others may require hospitalization.

Types of Mental Illness

There are many different types of mental illness, but some of the most common include anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Let's take a closer look at each of these:

Anxiety disorders are characterized by feelings of overwhelming fear and worry. People with anxiety disorders may also experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, and difficulty breathing. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder.

Depression is more than just feeling down or sad; it is a serious medical condition that affects every part of a person's life. People with depression may feel hopeless and helpless, and they may lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed. Depression can make it hard to concentrate, eat, sleep, or even get out of bed in the morning.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings from manic highs to debilitating lows. People with bipolar disorder may feel like they can do anything during a manic episode; they may feel incredibly productive and full of energy. During a depressive episode, however, they may feel fatigued and despairing. Bipolar disorder can be very disruptive to a person's life if it goes untreated.

Eating disorders involve an unhealthy relationship with food; this can manifest as either overeating or undereating. Eating disorders often go hand-in-hand with body image issues; people with eating disorders may see themselves as overweight even when they are not, or they may see themselves as unhealthily thin even when they are at a healthy weight. Eating disorders can lead to serious health problems if they are not treated promptly.

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that causes people to hear voices (auditory hallucinations) and see things that aren't there (visual hallucinations). People with schizophrenia may also believe that other people are reading their minds (paranoid thoughts). Schizophrenia can make it very hard for people to function in everyday life; it is estimated that only about 20% of people with schizophrenia can hold down a full-time job.

Mental illness is very common—more common than you might think—but it is still stigmatized in our society. This stigma leads to many sufferers not getting the help they need because they feel ashamed or embarrassed about their condition. If you know somebody who suffers from mental illness, show them compassion and understanding; oftentimes all somebody needs is someone to listen to them without judgment. And if you think you might be suffering from a mental illness yourself, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Remember: You are not alone.

Written By: 

Kollyn Conrad




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