Classes of mental disorders

Classes of Mental Disorders

Mental disorder is a condition where your thinking, feeling, mood, and behavior get affected. Clinically it is a significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition and behavior. Mental illness which is considered as mental disorder can be associated with distress and problems caused by social, professional and family activities. The disorder affects your daily lifestyle and activities. Mental health disorder can be seen at any age from childhood to adulthood. In the United States around 43.8 million adults are experiencing mental illness and the most common mental disorders in the United States are anxiety disorders, major depression and bipolar disorder. However, apart from these three mental disorders there are many different classes of mental disorders depending upon various causes and symptoms as mentioned in DSM-5.

Classes of Mental Disorders

There are many different types of mental health disorders but here are some common ones :

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or dread depending upon the future anticipation. It can cause you to feel restless and tense, sweat and increased heart rate. An anxiety disorder is a condition where the fear of future danger or misfortune does not go away and the symptoms can get worsen over time. The anxiety disorder includes generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder or panic attack and phobias. The person with anxiety disorder may try to avoid situations that cause anxiety and this can be seen in the patient’s behavior. In a report shared by WHO, it is mentioned that during 2019, 301 million people were suffering from anxiety disorder including 58 million children and adolescents.

  1. Feeling nervous or tense
  2. Difficulty to concentrate on anything
  3. Being irritable
  4. Anxious thoughts or beliefs throughout an event
  5. Increased heart rate
  6. Headaches, muscle ache
  7. Dizziness
  8. Rapid breathing, sweating


Depression is more than feeling sad for a few moments or days. It is a mental condition where the feeling of sadness may persist for a longer period of time. During this period the person experiences a depressed mood. This can cause you to change your daily lifestyle, how you think, how you act and your habits. The person who suffers from this disorder may start losing interest in interacting with people or doing any activity. In a report shared by WHO it is mentioned that 280 million had experienced depression in the year 2019 which includes 23 million children and adolescents.

The causes of depression disorder include genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age and this is one of the main reasons of suicides. However, depression is treatable, psychological treatment can be done depending upon severity and age. Medication and talk therapy are also effective ways to treat depression.

  1. Feeling sad
  2. Losing interest on activities
  3. Sleeping too much or disrupted sleep
  4. Difficulty in concentrating on something
  5. Feeling of low self-worth
  6. Hopelessness, irritable, guilty
  7. Thoughts about suicide
  8. Feeling of not eating at all
  9. Digestive issues
  10. Feeling irritated or frustrated all day

Bipolar Disorder

Among the classes of mental disorders bipolar is one of the common mental illnesses in the United States. This class of mental disorder includes depressive episodes or losing interest over activates, manic episodes. This can cause intense mood swings, changes in behavior, activity levels and energy levels. Bipolar disorder can be divided in 3 different types:

  • Bipolar I disorder that involves manic episodes that may last up to 7 days. Severe manic symptoms require immediate medical treatment.
  • Bipolar II disorder that involves depressive episodes.
  • Cyclothymic disorder which involves hypomanic and depressive symptoms altogether.
  1. Increased talkativeness
  2. Increased self-esteem
  3. Impulsive reckless behavior
  4. Increased energy
  5. Feeling more active than usual
  6. Eating or drinking too much or less
  7. Feeling sad and depressed
  8. Feeling lonely
  9. Loss of interest over activities
  10. Thoughts about death or suicide

The mixed episode or cyclothymic disorder involves both manic and depressive symptoms together.

Eating Disorder

Eating disorder is a mental illness where your eating habit and behavior get affected by your thoughts. If you have this disorder then you have a tendency to either eat too much or less. Eating disorder affects your body’s nutritional balance which results in health issues such as kidney and heart problems, or sometimes even death and significant distress.

Types of Eating Disorders

Binge-eating – Eating too much is a common symptom of this disorder. This means people suffering from this disorder often eat even after they are full and eat until they feel uncomfortable. Though, feeling guilt, shame, and distress afterwards is common among them. People with binge-eating disorder are likely to gain weight and suffer from obesity.

Bulimia nervosa – People with bulimia nervosa may experience some episodes of binge-eating but afterwards they may also over exercise or fast. These people are over concerned about their body weight and shape. Health complications and suicidality can be noticed among people who are suffering from this disorder.

Anorexia nervosa – People experiencing anorexia nervosa disorder often prefer to eat less, avoid or severely restrict foods. A person with this disorder sees him/her-self as overweight even though the person is underweight.

  1. Keep on eating until feeling uncomfortable
  2. Eating fast
  3. Feeling guilt, shame, and distress after eating too much
  4. Eating alone to avoid embarrassment
Bulimia nervosa:

Bulimia nervosa disorder includes all the symptoms of Binge-eating disorder along with two more below mentioned symptoms

  1. Intensive and excessive exercise
  2. Frequent fasting
Anorexia nervosa:
  1. Eating very less amount of food
  2. Not consuming food till the time of starving
  3. Fear of gaining weight
  4. Considering oneself as an overweight person.


Schizophrenia is one kind of Psychotic disorder where a person may hear different kinds of voices which are not there or may think that others are trying to hurt them. It is a serious illness of the brain where it becomes hard for a person to maintain a normal lifestyle or take care of oneself. This disorder causes detachment from reality. A significant change in behavior and impairments in perception can be noticed. Schizophrenia usually happens between the age of 16 to 30. People with Schizophrenia are seen to have tendency of suicide. Worldwide Schizophrenia affects approximately 1 in 300 people.

  1. Persistent delusions
  2. Hallucinations
  3. Disorganized thinking
  4. Highly disorganized behavior or extreme agitation
  5. Strange movements
  6. Difficult to show emotions
  7. Trouble in making decision or using information
  8. Hard to concentrate on anything

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders include emotional instability and unhealthy behavior. This is a mental disorder which can affect directly on your life and relationships. People with this disorder possess a distinctive personality which is not normal like others. Personality disorders such as borderline, antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders.

The personality disorder is mostly seen among people in their teens or early adult years. The cause of this disorder is still unknown however, abuse and trauma in childhood can be among the causes.

  1. Unpredictable behavior
  2. Lacks trust on people or doubting others
  3. Extreme mood swings
  4. Changes in emotion
  5. Difficulty in maintaining relationships
  6. Habit of holding grudges
  7. Distorted self-image
  8. Risky behavior such as Self-harming
  9. Suicidal behaviors or threats
  10. Intense anger
  11. Unusual thinking, behavior and speech
  12. Unrealistic thoughts
  13. Feeling of being special
  14. Too much focus on assigned task
  15. Seeing others as cause of problem

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

This is a long lasting mental illness in which a person experiences repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and behavior (Compulsions). The person may experience some unwanted thoughts or behavior which he/she may not control. The repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and behavior (Compulsions) both can occur at the same time. This obsessive thought and behavior interfere into an individual’s daily activities and causes distress. Factors such as brain biology and chemistry, genetics and your environment can cause you this mental illness.

  1. Fear of germs caused by contamination
  2. Fear of forgetting something
  3. Fear of misplacing something
  4. Disturbing sexual thoughts
  5. Aggressive thoughts
  6. Unwanted or taboo thoughts
  1. Excessive washing and showering
  2. Repetitive cleaning of objects
  3. Checking things again and again
  4. Compulsive counting
  5. Constantly seeking for reassurance

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious disorder among the classes of mental disorders that develops if a person has experienced or witnessed a scary, shocking, terrifying, or dangerous event previously. The event can be associated with the person’s past experience where his/her life has been threatened or experienced a severe injury. This can affect an individual’s social and work life too. Some examples include serious accidents, natural disasters, war/combat, terrorist acts, rape/sexual assault etc. Experiencing these events makes an individual feel stressed even after the danger is over.

  1. Nightmares or trouble in sleeping
  2. Flashbacks
  3. Feeling like the event is happening again
  4. Feeling worried on doing some specific task
  5. Feeling guilty, or sad
  6. Avoiding work that is closely associated or related to the traumatic events
  7. Recalling problems
  8. Experiencing headaches or stomach aches
  9. Feeling tensed
  10. Negative thoughts
  11. Unable to concentrate on anything

Any kind of mental disorder is a serious illness for an individual. Keeping this untreated for a long time can result in deterioration in mental health. There are different classes of mental disorders and this can occur at any age and may result in suicide at its extreme stage so identifying the symptoms at right time and treating at the initial stage is highly required. In a report it is estimated that in the U.S. one in every five adults are suffering from mental disorder and it is increasing day by day. Treatment for each of the above mentioned mental illnesses is available all over the world but apart from the treatment social and family support is very much required to bring a mental patient back into normal life.

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