Part II

Types of mental illnesses.

Mental illness, as we understood in the previous article is a condition that affects the mood, behaviour, thinking and other cognitive functioning. There is more than one type of mental illness and every single one of them is just as complex as the other one. Although mental illnesses are common, they vary in severity. Almost 300 different mental health conditions are listed in DSM-5.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) helps mental health professionals diagnose mental illnesses.

While we are at it we should also understand how these illnesses are diagnosed.

Diagnosing a mental health disorder is a process, and often includes multiple medical and mental health professionals. The client should be evaluated not only for a mental health disorder but for physical conditions that could be related to the symptoms being experienced. Many people have more than one mental health disorder, so a thorough diagnosis should address all the problems an individual faces. In simple word, the diagnosis includes three steps:

1. Physical Exam

2. Psychological Evaluation

3. Treatment plan

After understanding how mental illness is diagnosed we can try and comprehend a few common mental ailments that are extant around us:

Anxiety disorders:

Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Bipolar disorder:

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. It is characterized by episodes of energetic, manic highs and extreme, sometimes depressive lows. These can affect a person’s energy level and ability to think reasonably. Mood swings caused by bipolar disorder are much more severe than the small ups and downs most people experience on a daily basis.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):

OCD causes constant and repetitive thoughts, or obsessions. These thoughts happen with unnecessary and unreasonable desires to carry out certain behaviours, or compulsions over and over. Many people with OCD realize that their thoughts and actions are unreasonable, yet they cannot stop them.

Major depressive disorder (MDD):

This condition is also called clinical depression. Clinical depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. It causes feelings of extreme sadness or hopelessness that lasts for at least two weeks. People with MDD may become so upset about their lives that they think about or try to commit suicide.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):

PTSD is a mental illness that’s triggered after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Experiences that can cause PTSD can range from extreme events, like war and national disasters, to verbal or physical/sexual abuse. Symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks or being easily startled. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event and tend to be emotionally numb.

Eating disorders:

There is a commonly held misconception that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that are associated with severe disturbances in people’s eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. Preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are the most common eating disorders.


Schizophrenia impairs a person’s perception of reality and the world around them. It interferes with their connection to other people. It’s a serious condition that needs treatment. They might experience hallucinations, have delusions, and hear voices. These can potentially put them in a dangerous situation if left untreated.

These are some most common mental health conditions that haunt our society. Even then; most people know the signs and symptoms of physical illnesses, like a heart attack or stroke, but they fail to recognise the effects of anxiety, PTSD, or depression. A bit of a miff isn't it. This is a reason why we need to educate ourself about mental health, acknowledge mental health, and try and spread some awareness about mental health to our peers.

Now we can get our head around the types of these illnesses, how they affect our day-to-day lives and why it is important to act on them. Now that we perceive the basics of what and why of MH conditions we have to make sense of how to cope with such cacodemon. We will do just that when we get back.

Mental health is an important part of every walk of life. Pay attention to it.

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