The Top 9 Most Common Mental Illnesses

The Top 9 Most Common Mental Illnesses

            Before we begin we'd like to add a quick warning discretion. This blog discusses mental illness including eating disorders and PTSD.


What is mental illness? 

            According to NationalAlliance on Mental Illness, it's defined as a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling,, or mood for a sustained period of time that negatively impacts them. 

            You might be wondering, is depression a mental illness? What about anxiety? Yes, they are. In fact, they're the most common types of mental illnesses.

 9 of the most common types of mental illnesses.

1: anxiety disorders. 

            We know 18.1% doesn't sound like a lot but that's the number of adults in the US who suffer from anxiety disorders. 40 million people suffer from symptoms of an anxiety disorder every year. 

            Of those 40 million people, it's estimated that only 36.9% of them will get help. Anxiety disorders rarely appear alone, with depression being a common co-diagnosis. 

            Anxiety disorders come in a few varieties, generalized anxiety disorder, GAD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, SAD,, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD. 

            So, what do all these anxiety disorders have in common? They're all characterized by the nearly uncontrollable worry that messes with several aspects of daily life such as sleep, relationships, school,, and work. 

            The good news is there are several treatment options available, which include different types of therapy and medication. 

2: personality disorders. 

            What does it mean when someone's personality is disordered? Personality disorders refer to behavioral, emotional,, and thought patterns that deviate greatly from the expectations of an individualist culture. 

            The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that 9.1 of the population has the traits of a personality disorder. 

            So what does this look like in real life? Could anyone a little different be diagnosed with a personality disorder? Well, according to the diagnostic criteria in the DSMV these differences must be causing the individual significant amounts of distress in the way they see themselves, others,, and situations, inappropriate or exaggerated emotional responses, impulse control,, and how well the individual relates to and functions around others. 

            Personality disorders can't be cured but thankfully they can be treated.

            This treatment consists of combinations of medications for the underlying mental health issues as well as talk therapy. 

3: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

            If we say ADHD what comes to mind? The stereotype of a person diagnosed with ADHD is usually a small child who's bouncing off the walls or can't finish a task. 

           However, between 7.8 and 11%of children aged four to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD any given year. 

           ADHD affects people of all ages and includes multiple symptoms such as inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, inability ability to sit still, restlessness,, and losing things. 

           An individual's symptoms vary depending on their age, gender,, and type of ADHD.


           Did you know there are actually three recognized types of ADHD? There ADHD, combined type ADHD, impulsive/hyperactive type in ADHD, inattentive and destructible type. 

           Most people think meds are the only way to control ADHD. 

           Well many people diagnosed with the disorder find relief by using a combination of medications, life coaching, education,, and talk therapy. 

4: post-traumatic stress disorder. 

           Did you know that estimated6.8% of the US population will develop some form of posttraumatic stress disorder? That's about 19 million people in the US alone. 

           So how does this happen? You, me, everybody will get stressed out by something in our lives. 

           Some people will come across something so stressful that it affects them permanently. For many of them, this stress becomes a trauma. 

           A traumatic event is considered an event that should not have happened, such as a natural disaster an assault, childhood neglect, abuse, starvation,, and so on.


           Just as a completely normal reaction to trauma what will happen when the threat is gone? The stress and trauma stop on their own for most people when the mind and body understand the individual is no longer under attack. 

           But what if the mind and body don't get the memo? Post-traumatic stress disorder refers to a prolonged fight or flight response that happens after the stressful event has stopped. 

           Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, CPTSD refers to the PTSD that occurs due to a series of continued traumatic events, such as childhood abuse. Think of PTSD and CPTSD as the echoes of the stress response. 

            These echoes can happen in the form of emotional flashbacks, nightmares, extreme anxiety or panic, difficulties connecting to others,, and an overwhelming sense of fear. 

            So how does someone get help for something so overwhelming? People suffering from PTSD or CPTSD can find relief through trauma therapies, which is eye movement desensitization reprocessing EMDR or traditional talk therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, CBT or dialectical behavior therapy, DBT. 

5: depression. 

           An estimated 6.7% of the US population over the age of 18 15.7 million people live with depression.


           Although the occasional low mood is a normal response to negative situations, depression entails low moods that are severe and last longer than six weeks. Depression manifests differently in women than men. 

           Women tend to experience depression as feelings of sadness, worthlessness,, and shame,, or guilt. Men tend to mistake the symptoms of depression as fatigue and being easily irritated.


           Common treatments for depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy, CBT, interpersonal therapy, IPT, psychodynamic therapy, psycho-education groups, antidepressants,, and various brain stimulation therapies

           Six, bipolar disorder. An estimated 2.8% of the US population that sought mental health treatment was diagnosed with some form of bipolar disorder in 2018. This number may be low, as many individuals who suffer from any mental health disorder do not seek treatment. 

           Bipolar disorder means a lot more than just really bad mood swings for a couple of reasons. 

           First people diagnosed with bipolar disorder cannot completely control these mood swings and in second, these mood swings range from manic, feeling super happy or invincible, doing crazy spontaneous things, grandiosity,, and having racing or unrealistic thoughts to extreme bouts of depression and maybe a little hypomania in between. 

          Living with bipolar disorder isn't easy but people struggling with the disorder can find a variety of medications and traditional counseling treatments to help them find more balance. 

7: eating disorders. 

         Did you know there are almost as many people living with eating disorders as there are with bipolar disorder? It's true.


         Approximately 2.7% of individuals who sought treatment were diagnosed with an eating disorder in 2018. The most common question people ask about eating disorders is what's the difference between not being happy with your body and having an eating disorder? Well, in addition to this total focus on their physical flaws, eating disorders are defined by dysmorphia and the binge-purge restricts the cycle of behavior. 

         This cycle comes from the person's feelings of extreme distress and disgust about their body. 

         This disgust drives the individual who has the disorder to become super focused on their body weight and shape. Leave a comment below if you wanna know more about the binge-purge restrict cycle. 

         The eating disorders everyone knows about are anorexia nervosa and bulimia but most people have never heard of eating disorders not otherwise specified, EDNOS or avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, ARFID. 

         Leave a comment below if you wanna hear more about the lesser-known eating disorders. Everyone needs food, so how is someone who has such a terrible relationship with eating and body image supposed to get better? Recovery from an eating disorder is totally possible. 

         With a combination of talk therapy, residential treatment,, and medications to treat the symptoms of any underlying mental health conditions. 

         Eight, obsessive-compulsive disorder. If obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD is a type of anxiety disorder, why does it make 

8: autism spectrum disorder ASD. 

         We've been hearing more and more about autism spectrum disorder ASD in recent years. That's because approximately1.2% of children, one in 59 children will qualify for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in the coming year. 

         ASD begins in childhood but many individuals are not diagnosed until adolescence or adulthood. 

         ASD is characterized by significantly impaired social interactions, learning,, and communication. 

         Individuals with ASD may seem eccentric or unemotional to others, as they do not understand normal social cues. 

         Some of these behaviors include seeming off in their own world, repetitive thoughts or behaviors, restricted interests, poor eye contact, and difficulty communicating with others to the point their functioning is greatly impaired. 

         The most common treatments for ASD include special education classes, applied behavioral analysis, ABA therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioral management, therapy, and medication management.


9: schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. 

         Did you know three out of100 people will experience the symptoms of psychosis in their lifetime? Yep, this means 1% of the population suffers from a psychotic disorder. 

         People usually have their first psychotic break between the ages of 16 and 30 which means approximately100000 adolescents and adults will experience their first psychotic break every year. 

        This does not mean everyone who experiences psychosis will always have a psychotic disorder. Medical and environmental or situational factors such as extreme stress, certain prescriptions,, and illicit drugs can induce temporary psychosis. 

         For individuals with a psychotic disorder, however, the symptoms last longer than six months. So, what is psychosis anyway? Someone suffering from psychosis has breaks or disruptions in their reality, which manifests in behaviors such as religious delusions, audiovisual or tactile hallucinations, feelings of paranoia or persecution, and disordered or jumbled thoughts and speech.

This is the 10 Common Mental Illnesses Crash Course

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