Mental Health Disorders Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments, Medications

By Christine RamirezJan 14, 2021293

Mental Health Disorders Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments, Medications

Mental health issues impact the lifestyle in every aspect, including dysfunctional behavior in the social, workspace, and family tasks. The conditions such as stress or anxiety are experienced at some point in everyone's life. The scale of severity differs in a mental illness case. It is severe when such signs occur frequently and starts affecting your day-to-day activities. Some may face a constant inability to function as per the norm.

The National Institute of Mental Health states that women are more victims of severe mental illness than men. Besides, 18 to 25 years is an age group that suffers from mental health disorders. The mental health disorder can generate from an inheritance, brain chemistry, and exposure to intoxication before birth. In adverse cases, professional help is essential. The right set of treatments, including medications, can help for getting over the symptoms.

Common Mental Health Disorders

  • Bipolar disorder

Globally, there are around 45 million victims of bipolar disorder. It is characterized by different mood changes and depressive mood occurrence. The changes in the mood are chronic, also called manic episodes. These involve irritable mood, over-activity, fast speech, increased self-esteem, and less need for sleep. However, individuals who have manic episodes and not depressive ones can be categorized as bipolar. Although, slight mood changes in day-to-day life are common. Such mood changes are not linked with this mental health disorder.

  • Dementia

Roughly; 50 million people across the globe are dealing with mental health disorder dementia. Dementia is characterized by the declining ability of mental processing or function such as thinking, remembering, knowing, judgment, language, learning, etc. The intellectual ability might be far beyond the actual age of the individual.

  • Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder. Around 20 million people worldwide are affected by schizophrenia. This mental dysfunction is portrayed by deformation while thinking, judgment, sentiments, language, and self-awareness. Hallucinations are also a common symptom in schizophrenia and delusions. This mental health disorder makes it difficult for people to focus on day-to-day tasks such as studying or working.

  • Major depressive disorder

Depression is a condition where an individual experiences constant feelings of sadness, low energy, losing interest in various activities, etc. A major depressive disorder is also called clinical depression. It can affect a person's life negatively; depression can result in adverse physical and emotional problems. It is also associated with suicidal thoughts as such individuals think it is worthless living. They find it difficult to adjust to a routine lifestyle.

  • Anxiety disorder

Encountering anxiety sometimes is normal. However, those who experience a nervous breakdown or anxiety attacks frequently undergo an intense attack. Panic attacks generate from fear or nervousness. The anxiety disorder involves constant episodes of terror and fear that escalate quickly into a severe attack.

Common Symptoms of Mental Health Disorder

The symptoms of mental health disorder will vary according to its type as well as other factors. Mental illness can adversely affect your emotions, train of thoughts, and behaviors. Below mentioned are the common signs and symptoms of mental health disorders:

  • Extreme and constant sadness or feeling low
  • Inability to focus or confusion
  • Excessive fears or worries, or severe feelings of guilt
  • Adverse mood changes of highs and lows
  • Lack of participation in social activities
  • Low energy and difficulty in sleeping
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia, or hallucinations
  • The inability to relate with situations and people
  • Problems with alcohol or drug use
  • Drastic changes in eating habits
  • Variations in sexual drive
  • Unreasonable anger, hostility, or violence
  • Suicidal thoughts

Diagnosis of Mental Health Issues

Diagnosis of mental illness has multiple steps in the process. It may include examination and involvement by different healthcare professionals.

  • Physical examination

Before you establish that you are dealing with a mental health disorder, you need to strike out any physical condition. Conditions such as depression or anxiety can be an output of various physical conditions such as thyroid that can cause overlapping symptoms. Your health professional will ask you questions regarding your detailed medical history. He can also suggest you undergo some laboratory-based tests to identify the physical issue. Once your primary health expert examines you, he will advise you to a mental health professional.

  • Psychological Examination

A mental health expert is a psychiatrist. He will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, symptoms, and family record. They may ask one of your family members to elaborate on the symptoms, which they observe being with you. He may later ask you to undergo some tests. He may also use some tools to evaluate and establish the diagnosis. Many mental healthcare experts use the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) method to diagnose the exact mental disorder. They also identify the severity and risks of the illness. DSM is a manual that helps identify mental illness based on the symptoms described by the patient. Once the mental health disorder is understood, he will begin the treatment accordingly.

Treatment of Mental Health Disorders

  • Psychotherapy

This treatment is the primary one. A counselor is involved in this talk-therapy, which may also involve group discussions. In these sessions, you may learn how to cope with difficult situations in life. The therapist acts as a mediator in such discussions to bring a neutral perception in front of you. People dealing with a mental disorder are supposed to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in psychotherapy.

  • Lifestyle changes

For treating mental health disorders, it is essential to make some lifestyle changes. It helps to make other treatment methods effective. Stick to the treatment as thoroughly as possible; avoid alcohol and illicit drugs, and following a healthy diet will help your brain function to improve faster.

In severe mental health disorder cases, stimulation therapies are used. The stimulation therapies, which are commonly used, are:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

The patient is under the influence of anesthesia. The health professional uses electrodes on the particular parts of your head that help to stimulate the brain. Though the ECT method is not commonly used but in extreme depression cases. It is advised when other treatments do not work. ECT is recommended few times a week for several weeks.

  • Vagus nerve stimulation

The Vagus nerve works to convey the message to the brain. Therefore, in this therapy, doctors use tools for stimulating the vagus nerve. This therapy helps to lift-up your mood. This treatment has been proven against clinical depression in the case where anti-depressants do not work.

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

This therapy involves the use of magnets outside the body for stimulating the brain. It's approved for treating severe cases of depression when one does not respond well to medicines. Although, the success rate of this therapy is low.

Medications for Mental Health Issues

The medicines used to treat mental health disorders are classified into four classes, which are antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotic medications, and mood-stabilizing medications. The type of medicine depends on the symptoms and other health problems that one might be experiencing.

  • Antidepressants

The anti-depressants are advised primarily used for depression. It is also used for anxiety and other similar issues. Anti-depressants can help overcome symptoms such as sadness, lack of hope, low energy, inability to focus, and disinterest in social activities. Anti-depressants are non-habitual drugs. Therefore, there is no chance for dependency.

  • Anti-anxiety medicines

These medicines are used for anxiety disorders, such as general anxiety disorder or panic attacks. These medicines work to control nervousness and insomnia. For long-term anxiety, issue anti-depressants are prescribed, which works well for anxiety. Rapid-acting anti-anxiety medications help for providing relief from short-term anxiety. However, they can become potentially habitual.

  • Mood-stabilizing medicines

Mood stabilizers are used for bipolar disorders, where episodes of depression and maniac episodes are observed because of mood alteration. Occasionally, mood stabilizers are recommended with anti-depressants that work to treat depression.

  • Antipsychotic medicines

Antipsychotic drugs are advised for psychotic mental health disorders like schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medicines are also used for treating bipolar disorders with anti-depressive medications.