A mental illness is present when feelings like tension, fear, sadness become so disturbing and overwhelming that people face difficulty coping with day-to-day activities. More than 450 million people suffer from mental disorders and in later years depression will be the second-largest disease burden worldwide. Mental health problems are less severe than mental illnesses but may develop into mental illness if they are not effectively dealt with.
Mental health is everyone’s business and it is as important as physical health and we all have times when we feel down, stressed or terrified. Most of the time those feelings pass but sometimes they develop into a serious problem and that could happen to any one of us and dealing with it is different for everyone, you may bounce back to normal while someone may feel weighed down for a long time. It changes as occasion changes and as you move through different stages of your life but there’s a stigma attached to mental health problems.
Common mental health disorders
The most common types of mental illness are:
People with these conditions have severe fear which relates to certain subjects or problems and will try to avoid openness to whatever triggers their mental health and physical signs occur such as a rapid heartbeat.
Several Anxiety disorders include
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- People with this disorder experience physical symptoms which include
- tense muscles
- interrupted sleep
A person with GAD sometimes feels anxiety with no trigger at all.
People with panic disorder experience regular panic attacks, which involve sudden, severe anxiety or close emergency and death.
There are different types of phobia:
- Simple phobias: These involve a fear of specific objects, scenarios, or creatures.
- Social phobia: Known as social anxiety, is a fear of being subject to the judgment of others and people with social phobia often restrict their openness to social environments.
- Agoraphobia: This refers to a fear of situations in which getting away may be difficult, such as being in an elevator or on a moving train.
Phobias are deeply emotional and there could be thousands of phobias that might seem unusual to one person may be a severe problem that affects daily life.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
People with OCD have obsession and compulsion as they experience constant thoughts and a powerful intention to perform repetitious acts, such as an unreasonable fear of germs who constantly wash their hands.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD occurs after a person experiences a deeply stressful or traumatic event such as sexual/physical assault, unnatural disaster or dead of someone near. They feel afraid or lose control over what is happening. People with PTSD often have frightening thoughts and memories of the event and tend to be emotionally numb.
People with these conditions have crucial mood changes, which is a period of high energy or depression which involve chronic feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. Examples of mood disorders include:
- Major depression: An individual with major depression experiences a chronic intense mood and loses interest in activities and events and feel extreme sadness.
- Bipolar disorder: A person with this disorder experience change in their mood, energy level, and ability to continue with daily life.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Reduced daylight triggers during the fall, winter, and early spring months trigger this type of disorder.
Schizophrenia is a highly complex condition and in this individual will have thoughts and find it hard to process information. Schizophrenia has negative and positive symptoms. Positive symptoms include delusions, thought disorders, and illusions and negative symptoms include lack of motivation and inadequate mood.
Psychotic disorders involve altered awareness and thinking. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder that include an episode of delusions, such as false beliefs of persecution, sorrow, or splendour. It may involve hallucinations, where a person sees, hears, smells, or tastes things that are not present.
Extreme sensitivities, attitudes, and behaviours involving food and weight.
Impulse addiction disorders
People with impulse addiction disorder are unable to resist cravings such as alcohol and drug addiction.
People with personality disorders have serious and severe personality traits that are discomforting to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or society.
Stress syndromes occur when a person develops emotional or behavioural symptoms in response to a stressful event or situation.
People with these disorders suffer severe distress or transitions in memory, identity, and general awareness of themselves and their surroundings and is formerly known as split personality.
These include disorders that affect sexual desire, performance, and behaviour.
Somatic symptom disorders:
A person with a somatic symptom disorder known as a psychosomatic disorder, experiences physical symptoms of an illness or pain with an unreasonable level of distress.
People with this disorders make sounds or display non-purposeful body movements that are repeated, quick, sudden, or uncontrollable.
Mental health symptoms
Each type of mental illness causes its symptoms. Common signs of several mental illnesses may include:
- not eating or overeating
- having insomnia or sleeping too much
- distancing from people and activities
- feeling tired
- experiencing unexplainable body pains
- feeling hopeless, helpless or lost
- feeling confusion, irritability, anger, anxiety, or sadness
- constantly fighting or arguing with people around
- extreme mood swings
- constant flashbacks or thoughts
- hearing voices in the head
- thoughts of hurting yourself or other people
Mental health exercises
- Physical exercise is great for your body and keeping nature together makes you feel better. There’s no sure way to prevent mental illness but it can help your self-esteem to develop.
- Listening to calming music can recover people faster after stress than people who relax but do not listen to music and practice breathing exercise.
- Consult a doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your symptoms and if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. Communicate.
- Cope with stress in life
- Connecting with others
- Staying positive
- Developing coping skills
- Have Sufficient sleep, healthy eating and regular physical activity and try to maintain a regular schedule.
Mental health is much more than just a topic to be discussed and to get a stigma-free environment, you don’t have to get through this alone.
(Author of the article Khushi Masarani. Khushi is independent writer & blogger in space of Healthcare & life sciences. The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author in her private capacity)