Common Mental Disorders
Get to Know More About the Common Mental Disorders
This page offers information on various mental disorders that are aimed at empowering the general public on mental health info. Based on the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this list neither covers all disorders specified in the manual nor is as exhaustive and should never be relied upon to diagnose mental illness.
Only a psychiatrist/clinical psychologist is authorised to provide diagnosis for mental illness.
A group of disorders characterised by the presence of excessive fear and anxiety, whose duration is longer than normal.
To understand how fear and anxiety differ from each other, we can think of fear as an emotional response towards a threatening object/situation that is present in the current scenario, whereas anxiety comes out of anticipating a threatening object/situation that may/may not happen in the future. This demonstrates that anxiety is more difficult to handle and dissipate because of the uncertainty of the anticipated scenario to occur itself. Getting prepared, staying cautious and escaping/avoiding behaviours are common consequences of experiencing anxiety that can potentially help reduce it.
Common anxiety disorders:
A condition characterised by irrational fear or anxiety about two (or more) of the following situations:
- Using public transportation
- Being in open spaces
- Being in enclosed places
- Standing in line or being in a crowd
- Being outside of the home alone
This fear/anxiety/avoidance is observed to impair the general functioning of the individual and he/she is seen to actively avoid the above-mentioned situations.
A condition characterised by irrational fear or anxiety about different events/activities. The individual can be observed to have difficulty concentrating, can easily get tired, increased irritability and experience disturbances in sleep. This fear/anxiety/avoidance is observed to impair the general functioning of the individual.
A condition characterised by recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. The individual is also seen to carry a persistent concern about experiencing panic attacks and their consequences.
According to DSM-5, a panic attack is defined as an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, along with some symptoms listed.
A condition characterised by irrational fear or anxiety about taking part in social situations where there could be possible evaluation by others. This fear/anxiety/avoidance is observed to impair the general functioning of the individual.
A condition characterised by irrational fear or anxiety about a specific object/situation, i.e., heights. This fear/anxiety/avoidance is observed to impair the general functioning of the individual.
A group of disorders characterised by the presence of mania (in varying intensities). Mania is a condition of experiencing extremely elevated/excitable/irritable mood along with an outburst of energy and increased goal-directed behaviour, lasting consistently for at least a week. Severe damage to interpersonal relationships and occupational functioning can be observed.
Common bipolar disorders:
A disorder characterised by episodes of mania which may be preceded and/or followed by hypomania (a less intense form of mania) or MDD. Individuals can exhibit an inflated sense of self-esteem and a tendency to get involved in risky activities, i.e., foolish business investments. These individuals can appear to get distracted easily and can feel refreshed with only very less sleep. A tendency to engage in harming the self or others may also be present, which should be looked out for.
A disorder characterised by the presence of Hypomania (a less intense form of mania) only, along with MDD. During episodes of hypomania, individuals can exhibit an inflated sense of self-esteem and a tendency to get involved in risky activities, i.e., foolish business investments. These individuals can appear to get distracted easily and can feel refreshed with only very less sleep. Frequent alternation between periods of hypomania and depression can cause serious impairment in the overall functioning of the individual.
A disorder characterised by symptoms of both Hypomania (a less intense form of mania) and depression that are less extreme, most of the time at least for 2 years (1 year for children and adolescents).
A group of disorders characterised by the marked presence of sad/empty/irritable mood. The affected person will have obvious difficulty in carrying out their day-to-day activities owing to changes in their physical functioning and thinking patterns.
Common depressive disorders:
A depressive disorder characterised by feeling depressed/irritable for most of the day, consistently at least for 2 weeks. The individual shows minimal interest in any activity, possessing barely any energy to carry out tasks. He/she can display feelings of worthlessness/guilt with an inability to reason or concentrate adequately. Changes in body weight and sleep patterns may be present.
Also known as Dysthymia, it is characterised by feeling depressed (or irritable for children and adolescents) for most of the day almost regularly, at least for 2 years (1 year for children and adolescents). The individual shows minimal interest in any activity, possessing little energy to carry out tasks. He/she can display feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem with an inability to reason or concentrate adequately. Changes in appetite and sleep patterns may be present.
A serious form of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), it is characterised by a tendency to experience strong, inconsistent emotions starting from the week before the onset of menses till the week post menses. This condition may also accompany physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or bloating, a sense of feeling overwhelmed, along with the general symptoms of depressive disorders.
These disorders constitute problems in eating-related behaviours that disrupt physical health/psychosocial functioning.
Common eating disorders:
A disorder where the individual greatly restricts themselves on food consumption owing to an excessive fear of gaining weight/becoming fat despite having a body weight that is less than the minimally normal weight appropriate for their age and gender. These individuals have great difficulty in acknowledging the seriousness and consequences of their current low body weight and also tend to have low self-esteem on their physical appearance.
A disorder characterised by recurrent episodes of binge-eating along with engaging in inappropriate behaviours that serve to compensate for their binge-eating behaviour, i.e., self-induced vomiting, fasting, and excessive exercise; to avoid weight gain. These individuals' self-esteem is observed to be highly influenced by their body shape and weight.
A diagnosis is warranted when an individual is observed to be consuming non-food substances that are also non-nutritive in value, consistently at least for a month. This eating behaviour may appear peculiar for the concerned individual to be engaging in, as it is not age-appropriate. It is to be noted that diagnosis cannot be provided if consumption of the non-food substance is of common practice within the culture/community.
A disorder that acknowledges that behaviours can also mimic the activation of the brain reward system, as with substance-related disorders.
An individual diagnosed with gambling disorder is observed to engage excessively in gambling, spends increasing amounts of money to increase their feelings of pleasure keeps returning to gambling despite losing money through it, and has threatened to lose/lost relationships or opportunities as a result of gambling, and has great difficulty trying to abstain from it.
A group of disorders that start typically in the early stages of development. These disorders are characterised by deficiencies or limitations in the normal functioning of an individual that can manifest in their learning ability, cognitive ability, social skills, intelligence, etc. The effects of these deficiencies are observed to produce impairments in the personal, social, academic, or occupational functioning of the individual.
The range of disorders involves a preoccupation with recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are disturbing and unwanted, followed by repetitive behaviours or mental acts that can ease the distress experienced from those preoccupations. Repetitive behaviours can cover a wide range of domains which can include handwashing, checking, praying, counting, mirror checking, excessive grooming, skin picking, hair pulling, etc.
A group of disorders characterised by consistent patterns of behaviour, both personal and social, that differs significantly from the social norms of the individual culture. These patterns are very noticeable in almost all aspects of living and are not flexible to change.
List of Personality disorders:
Characterised by consistent ignorance and breaking of laws/rules where the safety of others/self is compromised. The individual is observed to be much more aggressive and rash in actions while showing no guilt. They can be very dishonest and unreliable as they regularly engage in fraudulent behaviour for their gain/pleasure. Only 18+ individuals previously diagnosed with conduct disorder can be warranted for a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality disorder.
Characterised by consistent avoidance of interpersonal situations owing to a fear of being embarrassed/humiliated. These individuals feel extremely insufficient with themselves and hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism thus, being constantly preoccupied with thoughts of negative evaluation in social situations.
Characterised by instability in relationships and rashness in decision-making and behaviour. These individuals are easily susceptible to feeling abandoned in relationships and have wavering opinions on their self-image. This can often put them under much stress and make it difficult for them to control their emotions - leading to frequent engagement in suicidal behaviour/ideation.
Characterised by an excessive need to protect interpersonal relationships and their willingness to reach any extent to prevent losing them. These individuals have an extreme need to be taken care of, and cannot make initiatives/decisions by themselves. Their reliance on other individuals is paramount and can experience fears about being alone/having to care for themselves.
Characterised by the need to be the centre of attention. These individuals can often come across as dramatic in their speech, emotions and behaviour, which is often seducing or provocative. This can eventually lead to an inclination towards being easily influenced.
Characterised by an inflated sense of self while showing an inability to understand the feelings and needs of others. These individuals can often imagine themselves to be indestructible and expect special treatment from others. They can come across as arrogant and take advantage of others for their own gain.
Characterised by a need to maintain perfectionism in whatever they do. These individuals can come across as very rigid and inflexible with rules, and a workaholic devoted to their productivity at the expense of personal/leisure time or activities. Delegation of tasks can be extremely tasking.
Characterised by constant doubting. To be able to completely trust someone/something is the most difficult task for this individual. People and their actions can easily appear to be wrongly misinterpreted.
Characterised by their need to be alone and avoidance of social interaction. These individuals have few/no friends and can appear to be cold and barely displaying any emotion.
A rough combination of Paranoid and Schizoid personality disorders - characterised by inadequate social interaction and relationships along with the display of weird behaviours/personal experiences. These individuals are very suspicious of others and their social anxiety can hinder their need to socialise with others.
A disorder manifested post-exposure to a traumatic event through a range of domains that includes: continuous reliving of the traumatic event through memories/dreams, constant and deliberate avoidance of any stimuli that is related to the traumatic event, significant change observed in their emotions and cognitive functioning. It is to be noted that symptoms should've lasted for more than a month since the exposure for this condition to be diagnosed as a disorder.
The range of disorders under the schizophrenia spectrum covers abnormalities in one or more of the following domains - delusions, hallucinations, disorganised thinking, grossly disorganised or abnormal motor behaviour (including catatonia), and negative symptoms.
Disorders where certain substances are excessively used to activate the brain reward system, thus producing feelings of pleasure (often referred to as a ?high?). The experience of pleasure is so high that the individual can neglect normal day-to-day activities to continue engaging in the substance.
The classes of drugs/substances taken into consideration include alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, stimulants, tobacco, etc.