It is no secret that mental health disorders are on the rise. With the added stress that COVID-19 has brought, more people than ever need mental health services. If you or someone you know is struggling, it may be necessary to seek out professional help for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Let us therefore seek to understand and identify five of the most common mental health disorders.
Anxiety Disorders are among the most common mental health disorders in the United States, with about 40 million adults suffering each year. The illness can develop from a variety of factors including genetics, stress, trauma, and drugs or alcohol. Although anxiety is common and easily treatable, only 36.9% of those struggling actually seek out and receive treatment. Common symptoms are insomnia, increased heart rate, feeling tense, breathing heavily, and trouble concentrating. Treatment options often include medication and various types of therapy.
Depression often goes hand in hand with anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 7.1% of adults in the United States suffer from this condition. Common symptoms include insomnia, decreased concentration, loss of appetite, and low energy for two weeks or more.
Some individuals may genetically be more susceptible to depression while others develop it later in life from life-changing events. Either way, depression is treatable, and seeking treatment is vital to successfully managing and treating the illness. Depression negatively impacts how a person feels, acts, thinks, and lives day to day.
The Mayo Clinic defines mood disorders as disorders that interfere with a person’s emotional state in ways inconsistent with the world around them, affecting their overall capacity to function. Mood disorders are the most common reason people under the age of 45 in the U.S. are hospitalized. Emotional states can range from being unusually sad to immensely happy, and these moods can alternate back and forth without notice. One example is of this condition is what is commonly known as Bipolar Disorder. This disorder is characterized by alternating states of depression and mania.
Dementia is an overarching term describing the various mental health disorders that affect memory, thought patterns, and social capabilities enough to disrupt daily activities. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Symptoms of this illness include memory loss, confusion,
difficulty with communication, and coordination issues. Because the risk of developing dementia increases with age, the elderly population is most likely to be affected by this illness.
Schizophrenia is perhaps the most well-known of the psychotic disorders, which are characterized by the concept of losing touch with what is real and perceiving the world in an abnormal manner. Prescription drugs are a common treatment for these types of disorders but talk therapy can also be beneficial. Symptoms often include difficulty concentrating, irrational suspiciousness toward others, delusions, strong emotions, lack of emotion, and declines in self-care and job performance.
Research, treatment, and stigmas toward mental health vary from country to country. For example, within the Caribbean region, mental illness has been on the rise, but there is still a stigma associated with seeking help amongst these communities. However, as we shift and accept mental health as a culture, we need to encourage others to do the same. Whether you reside in the United States, Italy, the Caribbean, or elsewhere, seeking help is of the utmost importance and should always be pursued.
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