A mental disorder is a psychological condition that usually manifests itself in a person’s behavior, with the person showing signs of distress or an inability to perform certain tasks. A diagnosis of a mental disorder usually takes several factors into consideration, such as the way a person feels, how they act, how they think and how they perceive the world around them. There used to be a stigma to mental illness, but thankfully, times have changed.
According to the World Health Organization, as many as one in four people will suffer from a mental disorder during their life, whilst the medical journal, The Lancet, reports that 14% of the illnesses suffered around the world are mental disorders.
In America alone, it is estimated that over 26% of citizens aged 18 and above, suffer from a mental disorder every year. Whilst many mental disorders are temporary, severe mental illness is suffered by approximately 6% of the American population, and it is a quirk of the disorder that if a person sufferers from one condition, they will likely suffer from multiple mental disorders.
Some of the Different Types of Mental Disorders
There are a multitude of mental disorders, apart from the most notorious ones. The leading cause of disability in America is one known as Major Depressive Disorder, affecting over 14 million people. It is most commonly experienced during the early thirties and affects women more than men.
Bipolar disorder, which used to be known as manic depression, is one of the most serious. The sufferer experiences extreme mood swings, from elation to deep depression, and this can result in risky behavior. Some sufferers exhibit suicidal tendencies. This disorder usually requires ongoing use of mood-stabilizing drugs, but sufferers also benefit from psychotherapy.
Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder, and causes distorted awareness and thought processes. The onset usually occurs during early adulthood and sufferers often hallucinate and experience delusions, as well as feeling frightened and paranoid.
Many people suffer from disorders relating to anxiety or panic, where they dread situations or objects. As well as the mental anguish, sufferers may sweat and have a rapid heartbeat. Anxiety disorders cover a range of mental illnesses, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Prevention and Treatment
Many mental disorders are treatable with medication, such as Abilify, an antipsychotic drug that helps the brain’s receptors to work properly. It also has antidepressant qualities. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression can all be treated with this drug.
Although it is not generally thought possible to prevent mental illness, taking steps to control one’s stress levels, raise self-esteem and improve one’s ability to ‘bounce back’, may help to keep symptoms under control.
Begin by learning to recognize the warning signs of an oncoming attack. This way one may be able to prevent the worst by ensuring medication is available, and friends and family are warned that behavior may change.
Maintaining a healthy body and mind will help too. Try to establish a consistent sleeping pattern, eat healthily and exercise regularly.