A Comprehensive Guide on Common Mental Health Disorders

A Comprehensive Guide on Common Mental Health Disorders
July 30 11:04 2021 Print This Article

Mental health disorders are becoming more and more common these days. The prevalence of mental health disorders is increasing on an alarming level, mainly because of two reasons, fast-paced life and a lack of mental health awareness. 

In this article today, I’m going to shed light on a few common mental health conditions, their symptoms, and treatment. In case you or any of your loved ones happen to have any of the symptoms shared below, please refer to the treatment options mentioned alongside and consult a mental health expert if the condition deteriorates. 

Major Depressive Disorder 

Let’s start with the most common mental health disorder, it’s called major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression. As stated by the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people have depression worldwide. 

A lot of people confuse it with everyday life stress when in reality, depression is a lot more than that. It can severely affect your life as well as your day-to-day routine. 

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder 

  • Loss of interest in everyday life activities 
  • Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness 
  • Body aches and fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite or binge eating 
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia 
  • Suicidal thoughts or possible attempts 

Treatment Options for Major Depressive Disorder 

  • Antidepressants or benzodiazepines 
  • Antipsychotics in case of the presence of psychotic symptoms 
  • Lifestyle rehabilitation, including exercise and meditation 
  • Herbs and plants, such as dried shrooms and ashwagandha 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 

Bipolar Disorder 

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, lies somewhere between psychotic and mood disorders. Some experts believe that it forms a bridge between psychotic and mood disorders. 

According to statistics, 46 million from around the world have bipolar disorder. It is usually more common in men compared to females. 

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder 

  • Excessive talkativeness and exaggerated sense of self 
  • Visual and somatic hallucinations 
  • Extreme happiness or excitement 
  • Melancholy and fatigue 
  • Decreased need for sleep 
  • Distractibility and racing thoughts 

Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder 

  • Antipsychotics and antidepressants 
  • Mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medicines 
  • Electroconvulsive shock treatment (ECT) 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Lifestyle changes, including a healthy sleep pattern

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental health condition characterized by persistent worries and fears. It involves constant irritation about little things in life. People with GAD struggle to function properly as they constantly overthink the past and the future. 

As mentioned by the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 40 adults in the US have generalized anxiety disorder, ranging from the age of 18 to 65. 

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

  • Constant worries and fears 
  • Excessive sweating or dry mouth 
  • Shaking or trembling 
  • Muscle aches or tension 
  • Irregular, fast, or strong heartbeat 
  • Fatigue and dizziness 

Treatment Options for Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) 
  • Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake (SNRIs) 
  • Muscle relaxants and sleep-inducing agents
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Regular exercise, meditation, or yoga 
  • Herbs and plants, such as chamomile and CBD extracts

Social Anxiety Disorder 

Social anxiety disorder is among the most common anxiety disorders. Its symptoms usually begin in childhood and the disorder grows with you as you age if left untreated. 

As per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, social anxiety disorder affects approximately 15 million Americans every year. It typically begins around the age of 13 and is equally common in both men and women. 

Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder 

  • Uncontrollable fear of meeting new people
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Nausea or upset stomach 
  • Trouble catching your breath 
  • Sweating or trembling 
  • Palpitations and feelings of going blank 

Treatment Options for Social Anxiety Disorder 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) 
  • Beta-blockers and anti-anxiety medicines 
  • Exposure and response prevention therapy (ERPT) 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Natural relaxants, such as passionflower and lemon balm 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, commonly known as OCD, is another prevalent mental health condition that involves different obsessions and compulsions, making your day-to-day routine complicated. 

As per the stats, every one in 40 adults in the US suffers from OCD. Also, in families with a history of OCD, there’s a 25% chance that another immediate family member will also develop the disorder. 

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 

  • Unwanted thoughts, including sexual or religious objects 
  • Horrific or aggressive thoughts about losing control 
  • Harmful behavior towards oneself or others 
  • Needing things in order 
  • Having difficulty tolerating uncertainty 
  • Fear of dirt or contamination 

Treatment Options for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 

  • Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines 
  • Exposure and response prevention (ERP) 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS) 
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)


Last but not least, schizophrenia is also becoming common these days. It is undoubtedly the most severe mental health condition. Yes, it is a psychotic disorder that requires lifelong treatment. 

As stated in the WHO fact sheet, schizophrenia currently affects 20 million people across the globe. The severity of the disorder can be seen through the fact that schizophrenics are 2-3 times more likely to die earlier compared to the general population. 

Symptoms of Schizophrenia 

  • Delusions and hallucinations 
  • Disorganized speech and thinking 
  • Abnormal motor behavior 
  • Lack of emotions with no sense of self 
  • Withdrawal from family and friends 
  • Inability to speak in a monotone 

Treatment Options for Schizophrenia 

  • First and second-generation antipsychotics 
  • Long-acting injectable antipsychotics 
  • Antidepressants and benzodiazepines 
  • Electroconvulsive shock treatment (ECT) 
  • Family-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Proper nutrition and adequate sleep

Apart from the disorders mentioned above, there are various substance-induced mental health illnesses that are quite common these days. People with drinking habits or the ones who consume cocaine and other harmful substances like crystal meth are twice more likely to suffer from psychosis and bipolar disorder compared to healthy individuals. Substance-induced depression is also quite prevalent as alcohol is a deep-down depressant, it negatively contributes to your stress levels. 

The Takeaway 

Before winding it up, I want you to know that all the disorders I’ve mentioned above are curable, even schizophrenia. Although it’s a lifelong mental illness, it can be managed with the right treatment. Thus, there’s nothing to worry about. 

Just make sure not to neglect any such symptoms and consult a mental health expert if need be. Seeking therapy or consulting a psychiatrist doesn’t make you a crazy person. Have a positive approach and you’ll see a significant difference in less than no time. I wish you healing, my friends.

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About Article Author

Mike Morgan
Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan is a health enthusiast and has written several health articles for various health magazines.

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