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The Categories of Mental Illnesses

Mental illnesses

There are many different types of mental illnesses. But with a little help, you can start to feel normal again.

While it may seem like you are alone with your mental illness, there are many different people suffering from many different types of mental illnesses. It is estimated that about 42.5 million Americans suffer from some form of mental illness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)mental illnesses are there? There are actually five major categories of mental illnesses. Let’s take a look at each of these categories.

Anxiety Disorders

While all of us experience anxiety, anxiety disorders are a little different. The mechanisms that regulate anxiety can actually “break down,” leading to an excessive or inappropriate expression of anxiety. People with anxiety disorders may feel anxiety that is disproportionate to the circumstances. These disorders exist when a person cannot control their anxiety or when it interferes with normal functioning. Anxiety disorders can include generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD.


Dementia is characterized by a disturbance in the consciousness and a change in cognition, which may develop over a short period of time. These cognitive changes include memory loss and a decline in intellectual and physical functioning. These disorders include Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, dementia due to medical conditions like HIV and Parkinson’s disease, substance-induced dementia, and dementia due to a combination of multiple factors.

Eating Disorders

While eating disorders may seem like a physical problem instead of a mental problem, there is a large mental component of these disorders. Eating disorders are a serious, even life-threatening, condition that is often chronic. Each year, there are more than five million Americans who experience eating disorders. They usually occur in adolescence and are a predominately female disorder. That is not to say it cannot occur in men and boys, it is just less likely to occur and even less likely to be diagnosed. These disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

Mood Disorders

While we all have fluctuations in our moods, mood disorders are outside the bounds of normal fluctuations from sadness to elation. Mood disorders affect about 7 percent of Americans. These disorders include clinical or major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder. Mood disorders can lead to suicide in major depressive disorder patients and about 10 to 15 percent of patients were hospitalized with depression commit suicide. It can affect adults as well as children and adolescents.

Schizophrenia/Psychotic Disorders

Schizophrenia is a serious brain condition that is often characterized by a profound disruption in cognition and emotion. It often affects the fundamental human attributes like language, thought, perception, affect, and sense of self. The array of symptoms includes a psychotic manifestation, incoherent speech, withdrawal, and impaired reasoning. The psychotic manifestations include hearing internal voices, experiencing hallucinations, and assigning unusual significance or meaning to normal events or fixed personal beliefs (delusions). While there are more than 200 different categories of mental illnesses, these are the main five categories. For more information on seeking help from Family Service Foundation, call us today!

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Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilitiesvisit here. Do you “Follow” and “Like?” Be sure to stay active on our official pages on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest today!