Types of Mental Illness

Types of Mental Illness

Illness is a state of bad health. When we talk about illness, we broadly talk about mental or physical illness. Mental illness is a state of unhealthy mind where there are severe changes in behavior patterns or thought processes. Looking after your mind is as important as looking after your physical health. 

Mental Illness: Types of Mental Illness

Mahatma Gandhi once quoted ” It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”. Mental illness is an important issue. According to WHO 300 million people are suffering from mental illness worldwide. Every year the percentile is increasing. What’s more shocking is the fact that 50%  of people suffering from mental disorders don’t ask for help. Mental disorders need immediate attention and care. It is also noticed that family members are unable to recognize the symptoms of mental illnesses which leads to late diagnosis hence increased severity.

Spreading awareness about mental health is an immediate need. There are many types of mental illnesses which have different symptoms. Some basic knowledge about the symptoms helps in early identification and diagnosis.

Some commonly observed mental disorders include:

Bipolar Disease – This disorder consists of episodes of different phases. There’s a manic phase and a depression phase. These phases are interchangeable and may last for weeks or months. This is a very common mental illness in India. The actual cause is unknown but it can be treated with counseling and proper help. 

Psychosis – This is not as prevalent as bipolar disease. In psychosis, the common symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. Any person suffering from it undergoes episodes of delusion. They start to lose touch with reality. Immediate attention is required in the situation.

Depression – It is such a massive problem which is increasing every year. The cases of depression are due to different reasons. The common symptoms are cycles of rage, oversleeping, losing touch with humanity, severe loss or gain of appetite, etc. Depression has been reported in many cases due to trauma, loneliness, and stress. When the mind is not able to control the overwhelming emotions it goes on a shutdown. There’s a continuous feeling of low self-esteem.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder – A disorder associated with a repeated fear. The people suffering from it feel uneasy and have compulsive thoughts about a particular situation. A person with OCD has a constant fear in his mind and a constant thought of eradicating that fear. For Example, a person who fear germs will keep cleaning everything around him. 

Anxiety disorders – Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness at an extreme. There is a feeling of the pit in the stomach of a person suffering from it. These anxiety attacks are triggered via some particular incidents or objects. Common symptoms include panic, increased heartbeat and sweating. Some people also experience a blackout. Any panic situation turns into anxiety when it becomes uncontrollable.

Eating disorders – Some of the common coping mechanisms of stress and pain are found to be excessive eating. Some eating disorders involve not taking a proper diet, or skipping meals or vomiting out the food. These extreme actions and behavioral patterns are characteristics of an eating disorder.

Importance of Mental health

We need to promote awareness of mental illness to maintain mental health. Health comes in all shapes and sizes. A healthy person is happier and has better performance in different fields.  Illness eats away an individual from inside. The hollow skull can’t focus and hence decreased output. People suffering from any kind of illness have difficulties in concentrating on their work. Mental illness makes it hard to focus and coordinate. A continuous feeling of ” not enough” underlies in them. They are filled with insecurities and fear which keeps eating them away. People find it difficult to ask for help hence family and friends must look carefully for symptoms and look out for help if required. To identify these symptoms knowing about the diseases before their occurrence is a necessity.

Causes of Mental illness

One was the main underlying cause of these mental illnesses is considered to be stress. Our lives have turned into such a speed mill that we usually forget our brain need’s time to process our thoughts. We have the stress of our studies, job or family. Economical distress eats away at some of us. Stress can also be good stress or bad stress. Eustress is said to be useful stress. It is a necessity which puts us into our better performance. For example, when a student is stressed about the exam the next day and due to that stress he works harder, it’s eustress. It’s momentary and passes away quickly. On the other hand, the long term stress that eats away at your peace of mind develops into mental illnesses. Henceforth it is very important to identify between the stress and take action on it when required.

Another common type of mental illness which is most common in females is called post-traumatic mental illness. This illness is a result of losing someone close. Mostly it’s seen after pregnancy if there’s stillbirth, unwanted abortion or miscarriage. There is a sense of trauma that lasts for weeks and months. This condition needs the utmost attention and care. 

One more reason for mental illness is peer pressure. It is seen that teenagers usually have anxiety due to not proving there worth in a group. They feel they are not important. This lack of self-confidence and esteem triggers some psychological conditions that may develop into illness. A pattern of cutting off from everyone, sleeping a lot, rage, severely changed behavior, etc are the common symptoms. According to a study, children who suffered from a traumatic childhood or inattentive parents tend to suffer more severely from emotional ups and downs giving themselves into a disorder. 

Healing and Overcoming

Any illness must be cured. There’s a taboo in India about going to a psychiatrist or having counseling sessions. This mindset is the main reason that more than 50% of cases of mental illness are never registered. People never share how they feel and the situation worsens. The important thing is every ill person needs care like a 1-month-old child. Be it rage, arrogance, repeated outbursts or numbness, it has to be helped and it is okay to ask for help. 

Many people who suffered from mental disorders at some point in their lives say “ It’s doing the little things that help overcome these disorders, completing the little goals and finding a sense of achievement from it has a great impact on the situation”. Try from small things first. Feel good about it. For example, I woke up from bed today. Yay! I ate my lunch on time. Bravo! 

This sense of achievement in small things is like spilling magical beans. I repeat “Talking is curing”. Take small steps at a time and don’t try to deny any feelings.

Give time to your thoughts, embrace them, believe in the power of yourself. Happiness doesn’t always stay. It comes and goes, embraces it. 

Cry if crying helps you out, don’t listen to any advice that tells you “don’t cry” or “stop crying”. Heal the way your body needs to heal. Take time to heal.


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