What Are the 7 types of Mental Disorders?

Almost one in five Americans live with a mental health illness. To date, there are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. These specific mental illnesses typically fall into the seven categories of mental disorders.


1. Anxiety Disorders
Many people experience some anxiety in their lives, but they find that it comes and goes. Individuals who have anxiety disorders don’t see their anxiety go away. Without treatment, an anxiety disorder can progress to the point that the individual feels anxious all the time. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness in the United States, impacting an estimated 18.1% of the adult population.


There are many types of anxiety disorders, but some common ones include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can be treated with psychotherapy or medication – or a combination of the two. Therapy will help the individual identify when they feel anxiety and utilize coping mechanisms to reduce the anxious feelings.


2. Mood Disorders
Mood disorders are mental health illnesses that involve emotional challenges. Often, mood disorders cause intense feelings of joy (mania) or sadness (depression) that are hard to manage. While many people have emotional “ups and downs,” individuals with a mood disorder find that these extreme emotional states can last for an extended time.
Some of the most common mood disorders include:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dysthymic disorder

It’s estimated that 6.7% of American adults have at least one depressive episode per year. Mood disorders can be treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. If left untreated, mood disorders can lead to potentially dangerous consequences, such as severe depression and suicide ideation.


3. Psychotic Disorders
Psychotic disorders are severe mental illnesses that cause distorted thinking. Individuals under a psychoses episode frequently experience hallucinations or delusions, making them lose touch with reality. When a person loses touch with reality, they often start to distrust those around them and make decisions that put themselves or others in danger. As a result, people with psychotic disorders must get medication and treatment.
The most common psychotic disorders are schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, and brief psychotic disorder. It’s estimated that only 0.25-0.64% of the American population suffers from psychotic disorders.


4. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a type of mental illness in which the relationship with food is distorted. These disorders seem to focus on food but are actually often a result of deeper problems, such as feelings of control. Eating disorders are extremely serious and require professional intervention for treatment. It’s estimated that 9% of the global population has some form of an eating disorder.
Some common eating disorders are:
Anorexia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa
Binge eating disorder
Pica eating disorder
Rumination disorder


5. Personality Disorders
A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which the person has an unhealthy way of thinking, behaving, and functioning. Personality disorders require psychotherapy for treatment.
Some of the more common personality disorders include:
Borderline personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder
Antisocial personality disorder


6. Dementia
Dementia is the broad term for a range of mental health illnesses that cause a person to forget their past. In many cases, this memory loss can become so extreme that it makes it challenging for them to care for themselves.
Some of the more common types of dementia illnesses are:
Alzheimer’s disease
Parkinson’s disease
Huntington’s disease
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome


7. Autism
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a developmental condition often diagnosed at an early age. Signs of Autism will present themselves very differently from patient to patient but often include challenges with speech, social situations, and nonverbal communication. Some of the symptoms of autism can be lessened with psychotherapy treatment.


Mental illnesses impact the way a person thinks, behaves, or feels. It can be incredibly challenging on the person and those around them, but treatment can help. Alter Behavioral Health provides care for individuals dealing with primary mental disorders, including depression, OCD, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, mood disorders, and more.


Start today with your free diagnostic test, and we’ll help you get the treatment you need.

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