Top 10 Most Common Psychological Illnesses
When a person says about a person being sick what comes into your mind first? Maybe he has cold, or flu.
When a person says that he is dying of sickness, what comes into your mind then? Maybe he has cancer, or AIDS maybe.
When you hear news of the death of an acquaintance due to some medical condition, what comes in your mind then? Maybe he had a heart attack, or cancer or any other disease.
When it comes to sickness and diseases, our mind’s radar only recognizes physical illnesses and totally ignores the mental sickness some people suffer from. When it comes to psychological disorders, people often tend to think that the person suffering is “crazy”. People often do not consider psychological illness as illness at all. Though the times have changed, it is still believed that most prevalent diseases are the one you could diagnose, diseases that are physical while the truth is with every passing year mental diseases scoop away the first prize in most commonly-diagnosed diseases. Here is a list of most common psychological disorders.
10. Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism is a disease that generally strikes children. They just don’t happen out of the blue. Children are generally born with this disorder. A child suffering from autism does not develop speaking ability or even non-verbal communication, when all the other children of his age started communicating. They do not maintain eye contact with you. They rock themselves all the time and do not like any physical closeness, like hugging or even touching. There is no cure of this disorder and no significant causes are known that trigger autism in a new-born child. Genes and environment are said to be a few reasons that may cause this syndrome. Since there is no cure for it, it sticks to adults. With proper therapies an autistic child can learn to live a normal life.
Examples of autism are even shown in the television world. Movies like “Rain Man” and “My Name is Khan” have depicted autism quite well.
Schizophrenia has been shown as a stuff of horror stories many times. Imagine living in a horror story. It is exactly like that for people suffering with schizophrenia. They hear voices, see things, and what is even worse is that they cannot seem to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not.
There are many types of schizophrenia. People suffering from this illness can sometimes stay in same position for hours or days. Their eyes once fixed at something will not wander. In other cases, they hallucinate to an extent that they become dangerous for everyone around them. Some patients think that they are under constant threat and that their “enemies” are trying to harm them and their close-ones. They think that in order to do so they will invade their minds and their thoughts. The symptoms of this illness are:
- Disorganized speech
- Catatonic behavior
- Emotional flatness
If a person shows at least two of these symptoms then he is diagnosed with schizophrenia. The cause of this strange disease is not known.
8. Bipolar Disorder
Having mood swings once in a while is quite normal. It becomes a problem when the mood swings become a long-term (or sometimes permanent) thing, and the moods you are swinging in between are very high (manic) and very low (depressive). The mood shifts occur so often and stay for so long that it can destroy a person’s life (personal and professional). The moods are so extreme that they can drive a person to commit suicide. Most of the times, bipolar disorder is diagnosed by age 25 but it’s not easy to diagnose this illness as no blood-test or brain-tests can expose it. It is a life-long illness which rises to the surface at some specific period of time. It can be tamed with the help of long-term treatment and meds to stabilize the mood swings. Psychotherapy helps too.
7. Panic Disorder
Panic sounds like a very common word. Everybody panics. It might have happened to you from time to time.
Having a panic attack, though, not the same. Panic attack comes with increased heart rate, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, tingling feeling in the hands, extreme chest pains followed by lack in strength, sweating and terror. If you think about it then panic attack is fear in a physical form. They are very real. Sometimes panic attack is so severe that people mistake it for heart attacks. People who generally have panic attacks are at the risk of getting agoraphobia (a fear of open spaces) and therefore they tend to lock themselves inside. Panic disorder is curable. Medications and psychotherapy help the patients go a long way.
6. Anxiety Disorder
It is not the same as panic disorder. Anxiety disorder have three sub-categories- OCD, PTSD and GAD.
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disorder in which the victim gets an urge to repeat something again and again, or has repetitive thoughts. They falsely believe that repeatedly doing something will give them control of their lives. The truth is that the habits end up controlling them, the people.
PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder unlike OCD occurs after a traumatizing event takes place in a person’s life. It can be seen in people who survived a war, or sometimes in people who survive a calamity (man-made or natural). In some cases it takes a lot more than one terrifying event for PTSD to occur.
GAD or General Anxiety Disorder. The name says it all. The GAD patients worry all the time and that too without any reason. The anxiety lasts for a minimum time period of six months. They worry and anticipate danger 24X7 and when the level of anxiety heightens they become a “basket-case”.
The problem about anxiety disorder is that people who suffer from it are at a greater risk of falling into the trap of drugs and alcohol use. Although this disorder can be treated with the help of medication and therapy many people choose weed and alcohol.
Everybody is afraid of one thing or other. It’s quite common. But the fear becomes a problem once it starts interfering in your daily life. It’s a problem even when it starts showing on you physically.
There are many kinds of phobias out there but the most common one is Social Anxiety disorder or Social Phobia. This generally starts during teen years and tightens its grip as the time passes. It starts with everyday situation causing anxiety and then increases up to a level when the person suffering from this phobia starts worrying about something a week before. As with panic disorder, Social phobia can also cause agoraphobia and people generally house-bound themselves.
4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a very common disorder generally seen in children. Children who are immensely active (hyperactive) and have a hard time focusing and sitting still are diagnosed with ADHD. The causes behind this disorder maybe genetic, but according to researches it is known that brain injuries, environmental exposure, drinking or smoking during pregnancy are the main causes behind it. Pre-mi babies are prone to this disorder, too. The problem with this disorder is that, if not taken care of, it will follow the victim in his adulthood. If the symptoms are not controlled in this case then it may disrupt their personal and professional lives.
3. Eating Disorders
Women and girls are generally concerned about how they look and how much they weigh. It is considered normal. They work out and take on a proper diet to look healthy. But some women develop what is known as Anorexia. It is an eating disorder where a person pretend to eat (or stops eating altogether) and exercises in order to lose weight. The disorder creates a delusion in their mind where when they look into a mirror they see a reflection of overweight-themselves, and not actually themselves (malnourished). This urges them to work-out and lose even more weight.
Other kinds of eating disorders are Bulimia Nervosa and Binge eaters. People suffering from Bulimia nervosa eat excess food and when they do, they feel so guilty about it that they make themselves vomit (by using laxative), they fast or they exercise endlessly. In the case of Binge eaters people eat and then to overcome the guilt and the stress, they eat some more thus gaining weight.
These disorders are generally due to psychological factors. The good news is that eating disorders are totally curable. Medications, proper diet consultation and therapy can help the victim of these disorders.
2. Personality Disorders
The most common personality disorders are Antisocial Personality disorder, Avoidant Personality disorder and Borderline Personality disorder.
- Antisocial Personality Disorder- the people who suffer from this disorder have a specific taste for not following the rules. They do not sympathize towards anybody and do not care if they might be hurting other people’s feeling or not. They often result into doing some crime.
- Avoidant Personality Disorder- people diagnosed with it are more often loners. They prefer being by themselves as they have a hard time trusting anybody. Moreover they love to criticize others.
- Borderline Personality Disorder- people suffering from this disorder often fear that they are not wanted and feel that they will be abandoned. They are unstable and dangerous to themselves and others.
Timely diagnosing and treatment help the patients a lot.
1. Mood disorders
This is the most commonly-diagnosed psychological illness, especially among the developed countries. The reason behind this disorder is being alone or without a partner. This disorder is nothing like mood-swings. Mood disorder is nothing but depression. People feel worthless, sad and hopeless while they are depressed. Depressed people often lose their appetite. They are fatigued all the time and their thoughts wander most of the times. They cannot focus on their day-to-day life and the thought of suicide cross their minds on a regular basis. The source of this illness in a person can be traced back to his/her genes. The other causes of depression can be environmental, biological or even psychological.
Luckily like many other disorders, depression can be treated, too. In order to prevent its grip in the future a patient should continue with the anti-depressants at all times. Therapy helps, too.