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Mental Illness: Types & Treatment

Mental Illness: Types & Treatment 

Mental illness comprises a wide range of disorders that influence the thinking and feeling abilities. Mental illnesses also affect a person’s ability to carry on with his/her daily life routine.

What are the Causes of Mental Illness?

There can be multiple factors that become the cause of mental illness. Following are some of the common causes which are responsible for mental illnesses:

  • The family history and genes
  • Biological factors
  • Use of recreational drugs or alcohol
  • Loneliness
  • Mother’s contraction of toxic chemicals or viruses during pregnancy
  • Traumatic life experiences
  • Serious brain injury
  • Severe medical condition

Symptoms of Mental Illnesses

Though there are different symptoms manifested by different people, the following are some of the most common symptoms of mental disorders:

  • Overeating/not eating
  • Hopelessness
  • Drinking, smoking, or drug abuse
  • Excessive sleep/insomnia
  • Constant physical and mental fatigue
  • Short temper
  • Illusions
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Severe mood swings
  • Willingly staying away from other individuals
  • Not being able to perform everyday activities

4 Common Types of Mental Illnesses

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) assists mental health doctors in diagnosing mental disorders. Around 300 mental disorders have been recognized with the help of DSM-5, but the following are the 4 most commonly witnessed mental disorders.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD causes repetitive and constant obsessions, or thoughts. These thoughts encompass unreasonable and unnecessary desires to perform certain compulsions or behaviors. People suffering from OCD are aware of how unreasonable their actions and thoughts can be, yet they are unable to stop them. In America, around 2% of people are or have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder for some time in their lives.

Bipolar Disorder

Around 2.6% of Americans are affected by this chronic mental disorder every year. Bipolar disorder includes episodes of manic extreme and highs, depressive lows, and excessive energy. The reasonable thinking ability and energy level of a person are badly influenced by it. People suffering from bipolar disorder experience severe mood swings, as compared to what normal people feel.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

PTSD is a mental disorder that is activated after a person witnesses or experiences a traumatic phenomenon. Experiences that are mostly responsible for triggering PTSD can be national disasters, wars, and even physical or verbal abuse. The post-traumatic stress disorder’s symptoms include being easily alarmed or flashbacks. Approximately 3.5% of Americans experience PTSD.


The perception of a person regarding reality is impaired by Schizophrenia. This mental illness interferes with a person’s connection to the world around them. They may experience delusions, hallucinations, or even hear strange voices. If not treated, this condition can put a person in a life-threatening situation. It is estimated that approximately 1% of American adults are schizophrenic.

Treatment for Mental Illnesses

Following are some different kinds of mental illness treatments that doctors prescribe to their patients.


The four basic medication categories used for treating mental health illnesses are anti-anxiety medications, mood-balancing medications, antipsychotic medications, and antidepressants.

Residential and Hospital Treatment

Some people might require short periods of residential treatment services or intensive hospital treatment. These programs permit a patient to stay overnight and receive extensive treatment.


Talk therapy provides a significant opportunity for patients where they can converse with their mental health providers regarding their experiences, thoughts, ideas, and feelings.

Lifestyle Treatments

These treatments include following the treatment plan strictly, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and maintaining a healthy routine which also includes foods that are healthy and nutritional for both body and mind.

Mental Health Therapy

Therapy assists people in identifying mental health problems and harmful thought or behavior patterns. A patient tries to change these thoughts with the help of a skilled therapist during mental health therapy sessions.

Exercises for Mental Health

Physical exercises are not only great for our bodies, but they also prove to be beneficial for our minds. Research depicts that exercises can help in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms.

Moreover, you can also do exercises with your mind rather than just your brain. Some patients are prescribed to listen to soothing music for relaxing their overworked brains. The mental health patients are also encouraged to practice progressive brain exercises for muscle relaxation. Meanwhile, yoga is an amazing treatment for mental health patients as the meditation calms your body and mind.

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