Disorders & Illnesses
Mental disorders & illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these), and are are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities. They are treatable and improvement is possible.
The diagnosis of a mental disorder is not the same as a need for treatment. Treatment takes into consideration how severe the symptoms are, how much symptoms cause distress and affect daily living, the risks and benefits of available treatments and other factors.
Mental health treatment is based upon an mental health care plan developed collaboratively with a mental health professional and an individual (and family members if the individual desires). It may include psychotherapy (talk therapy), medication management or other treatments. Often a combination of therapy and medication is most effective. Complementary and alternative medicine therapies are also increasingly being used.
Anxiety Disorders – Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal reaction to stress.
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health disorders that includes generalized anxiety disorders, social phobias, specific phobias (for example, agoraphobia and claustrophobia), and panic disorders.
Untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to significant impairment on people’s daily lives. This mental health disorder is characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. Types of anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Specific Phobias
- Panic Disorder
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
Bipolar & Related Disorders
Bipolar & Related Disorders – A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Along with the mood swings, bipolar disorder causes changes in behavior, energy levels, and activity levels. A person with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of mania (elation) and depression. The person may or may not experience psychotic symptoms.
The exact cause is unknown, but a genetic predisposition has been clearly established. Environmental stressors can also trigger episodes of this mental illness. Bipolar disorder used to be called other names, including manic depression and manic-depressive disorder.
Bipolar & Related Disorders represent a major category of psychological disorders. Bipolar disorder is characterized by shifts in mood as well as changes in activity and energy levels. The disorder often involves experiencing shifts between elevated moods and periods of depression. Such elevated moods can be pronounced and are referred to either as mania or hypomania.
A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Along with the mood swings, bipolar disorder causes changes in behavior, energy levels, and activity levels. Bipolar disorder used to be called other names, including manic depression and manic-depressive disorder.
Depressive Disorders – Depression is a serious medical illness. It’s more than just a feeling of being sad or “blue” for a few days. This disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
It is not just feeling sad. There are different types and symptoms of depression. There are varying levels of severity and symptoms related to depression. Symptoms of depression can lead to increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
are a type of mood disorder that include a number of conditions. They are all characterized by the presence of sad, empty, or irritable moods accompanied by physical and cognitive symptoms. They differ in terms of duration, timing, or presumed etiology.
Types of depressive disorders include:
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
- Other or Unspecified Depressive Disorder
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder
- Depressive disorder due to another medical condition
Depression is a serious medical illness. It’s more than just a feeling of being sad or “blue” for a few days. This disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
Disruptive/Impulse Control Disorders
Disruptive/Impulse Control Disorders – are those that involve an inability to control emotions and behaviors, resulting in harm to oneself or others. These problems with emotional and behavioral regulation are characterized by actions that violate the rights of others such as destroying property or physical aggression and/or those that conflict with societal norms, authority figures, and laws.
Types of impulse-control disorders include:
- Intermittent Explosive Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
These disorders can cause people to behave angrily or aggressively toward people or property. They may have difficulty controlling their emotions and behavior and may break rules or laws.
Behavioral & Emotional Disorders in Children – Common behavior disorders in children include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Treatment for these mental health disorders can include therapy, education and medication.
Dissociation is a mental process where a person disconnects from their thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity. Dissociative disorders include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, depersonalization disorder and dissociative identity disorder.
Dissociative disorders usually develop as a reaction to trauma and help keep difficult memories at bay. Symptoms — ranging from amnesia to alternate identities — depend in part on the type of dissociative disorder you have. Times of stress can temporarily worsen symptoms, making them more obvious.
Treatment for dissociative disorders may include talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medication. Although treating dissociative disorders can be difficult, many people learn new ways of coping and lead healthy, productive lives.
Neurocognitive Disorders are characterized by acquired deficits in cognitive function. These disorders do not include those in which impaired cognition was present at birth or early in life.
Reduced mental function may include:
- Problems with memory
- Changes in behavior
- Difficulty understanding language
- Trouble performing daily activities
These symptoms may be caused by a neurodegenerative condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Neurodegenerative diseases cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time, resulting in a gradual loss of neurological function. Neurocognitive disorders can also develop as a result of brain trauma or substance abuse. The cause and severity of neurocognitive disorders can help healthcare providers determine the best course of treatment.
Neurodevelopmental Disorders are those that are typically diagnosed during infancy, childhood, or adolescence, often before the child begins grade school. These psychological disorders include:
- Intellectual Disability
- Global Developmental Delay
- Communication Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Examples of neurodevelopmental disorders in children include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disability (also known as mental retardation), conduct disorders, cerebral palsy, and impairments in vision and hearing.
Children with neurodevelopmental disorders can experience difficulties with language and speech, motor skills, behavior, memory, learning, or other neurological functions. While the symptoms and behaviors of neurodevelopmental disabilities often change or evolve as a child grows older, some disabilities are permanent. Diagnosis and treatment of these disorders can be difficult; treatment often involves a combination of professional therapy, pharmaceuticals, and home- and school-based programs.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD) – People with Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that are intrusive and unwanted. Compulsions are time consuming and distressing repetitive rituals.
OCD is a mental disorder in which these thoughts (obsessions) and rituals (compulsions) happen over and over. They interfere with life, and sufferers find it difficult to control or stop them. Treatments include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and medications.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD), people with Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions). OCD is a mental disorder in which these thoughts (obsessions) and rituals (compulsions) happen over and over. They interfere with life, and sufferers find it difficult to control or stop them.
This category of psychiatric conditions include:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Body-dysmorphic disorder
- Hoarding disorder
- Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder)
- Excoriation disorder (skin picking)
- Substance/medication-induced obsessive-compulsive and related disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive and related disorder due to another medical condition
Personality Disorders are characterized by an enduring pattern of maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can cause serious detriments to relationships and other life areas.
Types of personality disorders include:
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
A person with a personality disorder has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving they have trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school.
The person, may not realize that they have a personality disorder because their way of thinking and behaving seems natural to them. They may blame others for the challenges they face. Personality disorders usually begin in the teenage years or early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders. Some types may become less obvious throughout middle age.
Psychological Eating Disorders
Psychological Eating Disorders – Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia nervosa and other binge eating disorders. Eating disorders affect females and males and can have serious psychological and physical consequences.
are disorders related to eating and feeding. Eating disorders are characterized by obsessive concerns with weight and disruptive eating patterns that negatively impact physical and mental health.
Types of eating disorders include:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Rumination Disorder
- Binge-Eating Disorder
- Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
Eating disorders are a range of psychological conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits to develop. They might start with an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape. In severe cases, eating disorders can cause serious health consequences and may even result in death if left untreated.
Those with eating disorders can have a variety of symptoms. However, most include the severe restriction of food, food binges, or purging behaviors like vomiting or over-exercising.
Psychological Sleep Disorders
Psychological Sleep Disorders are disorders that are related to sleep. Sleep disorders involve an interruption in sleep patterns that lead to distress and affects daytime functioning.
Examples of sleep disorders include:
- Insomnia Disorder
- Breathing-Related Sleep Disorders
- Restless Legs Syndrome
Sleep disorders (or sleep-wake disorders) involve problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep, which result in daytime distress and impairment in functioning. Sleep-wake disorders often occur along with medical conditions or other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or cognitive disorders.
Schizophrenia Spectrum & Other Psychotic Disorders
Schizophrenia is a complex psychotic disorder characterized by disruptions to thinking and emotions, and a distorted perception of reality. Symptoms of schizophrenia vary widely but may include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, social withdrawal, lack of motivation and impaired thinking and memory. People who have it may hear voices that aren’t there. They may think other people are trying to hurt them. Sometimes they don’t make sense when they talk. The disorder makes it hard for them to keep a job or take care of themselves.
People with schizophrenia have a high risk of suicide. Schizophrenia is not a split personality rather a disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave clearly. Schizophrenia is a serious brain illness. Schizophrenia Spectrum & Other Psychotic Disorders are chronic psychiatric conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, and behavior. The disorders cause a detachment from reality at times.
One symptom must be one of the following:
- Disorganized Speech
The second symptom may be one of the following:
- Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, confused thinking, bizarre behavior or movements
- Negative symptoms: the inability to initiate plans, speak, express emotions, or feel pleasure.
Paranoia is the irrational and persistent feeling that people are ‘out to get you’. Paranoia may be a symptom of conditions including paranoid personality disorder, delusional (paranoid) disorder and schizophrenia. Treatment for paranoia include medications and psychological support.
Psychosis can occur in a number of mental illnesses, including drug-induced psychosis, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Medication and psychological support can relieve, or even eliminate, psychotic symptoms.
Somatic Symptom Disorders
Somatic Symptom Disorders are a class of psychological disorders that involve prominent physical symptoms that may not have a diagnosable physical cause.
Disorders included in this category:
- Somatic Symptom Disorder
- Illness Anxiety Disorder
- Conversion Disorder
- Factitious Disorder
Somatic symptom disorder involves a person having a significant focus on physical symptoms, such as pain, weakness or shortness of breath, that results in major distress and/or problems functioning.
The individual has excessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors relating to the physical symptoms. The physical symptoms may or may not be associated with a diagnosed medical condition, but the person is experiencing symptoms and believes they are sick (that is, not faking the illness).
Substance-Related/Addictive Disorders are those that involve the use and abuse of different substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, and alcohol. These disorders may include substance-induced conditions that can result in many associated diagnoses including intoxication, withdrawal, the emergence of psychosis, anxiety, and delirium.
Examples of substance-related disorders:
- Gambling Disorder
Substance-related disorders are a class of psychiatric disorders characterized by a craving for, the development of a tolerance to, and difficulties in controlling the use of a particular substance or a set of substances, as well as withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt cessation of substance use. While these substances may have different mechanisms of action, their addictive potential typically lies in the way they act on the brain’s reward system and affect emotion, mood, and perception – producing what is colloquially referred to as a “high.”
Individuals with a substance use disorder will frequently harm themselves and/or others as a result of substance use. Patients with substance use disorders often present with other psychiatric conditions that also require treatment, such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, or anxiety disorder. In gambling disorder, individuals feel a compulsion to gamble despite negative consequences and/or multiple attempts to stop. Gambling disorder is thought to involve many of the same neurobiological mechanisms as substance-related addictions and shares some of the same psychosocial risk factors.
Trauma & Stress Related Disorders
Trauma and Stress Related Disorders involve exposure to a stressful or traumatic life event, these adjustment disorders in which a person has trouble coping during or after the stressful or traumatic life event.
Disorders included in this category include:
- Acute Stress Disorder
- Adjustment Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Reactive Attachment Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that some people develop after they experience or see a traumatic event. The traumatic event may be life-threatening, such as combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. But sometimes the event is not necessarily a dangerous one. For example, the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can also cause PTSD.