A lot of people believe that mental illnesses are made up, but they’re not. Mental illnesses are just different types of diseases and disorders in the brain that can cause lots of problems. The only difference is that most physical diseases have cures while there currently aren’t any cures for mental illness (although some treatments have been found). That means it’s important to learn all you can about them so you know how to protect yourself and others from them.
What is Mental Illness Definition?
Mental illness definition is a broad term that refers to a wide range of mental health conditions. It includes conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Types of Mental Illnesses
There are many different types of mental illnesses. Some of the most common ones include:
• Depression: Feeling sad or down most of the time, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in weight or appetite, difficulty sleeping, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.
• Anxiety: Constant worry or fearfulness, feeling restless or on edge, difficulty falling or staying asleep, muscle tension, dry mouth, and dizziness.
• Bipolar disorder: Extreme mood swings between periods of mania (euphoria, high energy, irritability) and depression.
• Schizophrenia: A mental illness that causes distorted thinking, hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech and behavior.
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): intrusive thoughts or images that cause anxiety or distress, compulsive behaviors that are performed in an attempt to relieve the anxiety, and extreme perfectionism.
Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness
Mental illness can present in a variety of ways, depending on the individual and the type of mental illness. However, there are some common signs and symptoms to look out for. They include:
• Changes in mood, such as feeling sad, anxious, or irritable all the time
• Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out a lot of the time
• Having trouble concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions
• Experiencing changes in eating habits, such as eating more or less than usual, or bingeing and purging
• Difficulty sleeping, either not being able to fall asleep or staying asleep for long periods of time
• Having frequent physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, or chest pain that don’t have an obvious physical cause
• Feeling completely out of control or like you’re going crazy
Causes of Mental Illness
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the causes of mental illness vary from person to person. However, some of the most common causes include:
• Genetics: Some mental illnesses may be passed down from one generation to the next.
• Environmental factors: Traumatic experiences, such as abuse or neglect, can lead to mental illness. Stressful life situations, such as moving, losing a job, or getting divorced can also contribute.
• Chemical imbalances in the brain: Mental illness may be caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain.
Treatment for Mental Illness
There is no one-treatment-fits-all approach to treating mental illness. However, many people find relief through a combination of medication and therapy.
How to Help Someone With a Mental Illness
If you know someone who is struggling with a mental illness, there are things you can do to help. Here are a few tips:
• Offer emotional support: Let the person know that you care about them and are there for them.
• Encourage them to seek treatment: Putting up a fight against mental illness can be tough, so encourage the person to seek out professional help.
• Be patient: Recovery from mental illness takes time, so be patient and supportive.
As you can see, mental illness definition is a complex and sometimes confusing subject. That’s why we wanted to provide this in-depth article on the different types of disorders with definitions for each one. Hopefully, now you have an idea of what some of these terms mean or at least how they relate to your own health care needs. The next time someone asks if you have depression, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder—you’ll be able to answer them with confidence!