Mental Illness Can Affect Anyone

The first full week of October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. There is a wide variety of mental illnesses, from Seasonal Affective Disorder and PTSD to Alzheimer’s and drug addiction. In 2015, an estimated 43 million Americans with a diagnosable mental disorder. A great many suffer from more than one illness at a time.

10 Most Common Mental Disorders in the US

1. Major Depression

Persistent low mood, low self-esteem, loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. Mood persists for more than six weeks. Major depression is often accompanied by a variety of other mental or physical illnesses.

2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Excessive and often irrational worry which interferes with daily activity and relationships. Can turn into serious phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or social anxiety if left untreated. Often accompanies major depression.

3. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Repeated need to check things or perform certain tasks and routines against one’s will until the brain feels calm and can move on with everyday life.

4. Bipolar Disorder

Periods of high mood, known as mania or hypomania, and periods of major depression, often accompanied by suicidal thoughts.

5. Schizophrenia

Abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is a reality. Symptoms are false beliefs, confused thinking, and auditory hallucinations.

6. Autism

A neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by mild to severely impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

7. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder characterized by significant problems with executive functions which cause attention deficits and hyperactivity. This illness is often misdiagnosed in children who are naturally very active and underdiagnosed in teens and adults who continue having issues with work and school although they are very intelligent.

8. Eating Disorders

Abnormal eating habits that negatively affect a person’s physical and mental health. They include binge eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) are just a few. Low self-esteem, self-image, depression, self-harm, OCD, and other mental illnesses usually accompany these illnesses.

9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

This illness develops in a person who is exposed to one or more traumatic events. Traditionally, it has been associated with war veterans but is beginning to be more widely recognized in victims of sexual assault, abuse, car accidents, attack survivors, and more.

10. Substance Abuse

A disorder characterized by the behavior of consuming substances with addictive properties. As drug use continues to rise, substance abuse is quickly becoming the number one killer behind many deaths, as substance abuse is repeatedly seen accompanying all of the above illnesses.

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