An abnormal social behavior and failure to understand what is real is termed as schizophrenia and is a mental disorder commonly characterized by false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hearing voices, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and a lack of motivation. People with schizophrenia often have additional mental health problems such as substance abuse disorder. Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between ages 16 and 30 and in some cases, children too suffer.
The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness and is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Sometimes a mood episode includes symptoms of both manic and depressive symptoms and is termed as an episode with mixed features. People experiencing an episode with mixed features may feel very sad, empty, or hopeless, while at the same time feeling extremely energized.
Long-term pattern of thinking, behavior and emotion that causes distress and makes it difficult to function in everyday life is termed as personality disorder and people suffering from it find it hard to change their behavior or adapt to different situations. They may have trouble sustaining work or forming positive relationships with others.
People with personality disorders also have high rates of coexisting mental health conditions like depression and substance abuse and because of the nature of these disorders, it can be difficult for people to recognize they have a problem or to seek help.
Personality disorders are grouped into three main clusters:
Generally described as “odd or eccentric” in thoughts or behaviors:
General features include unstable emotions and dramatic or impulsive behaviors::
General features include anxious and fearful thoughts and behavior:
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships.
Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety and commonly seen symptoms include:
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include:
Everyone double checks things sometimes and not all rituals or habits are compulsions. But a person with OCD generally:
Some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event develop PTSD.
It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. The “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm and thus nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma. Most people recover from initial symptoms naturally but those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD and such people may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder and causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, like sleeping, eating, or working. The symptoms must be present for at least two weeks so as to be diagnosed with depression.
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. Thus, several persistent symptoms in addition to low mood are required for a diagnosis of major depression. People with only a few – but distressing – symptoms may benefit from treatment of their “subsyndromal” depression. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness while symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the illness.
Eating Disorders describe illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape and may include inadequate or excessive food intake resulting in damage to an individual’s wellbeing. The most common forms of eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.
Anorexia Nervosa- Individual will typically have an obsessive fear of gaining weight, refusal to maintain a healthy body weight, and an unrealistic perception of body image. Many people with anorexia nervosa will fiercely limit the quantity of food they consume and view themselves as overweight, even when they are clearly underweight. Anorexia can have damaging health effects, such as brain damage, multi-organ failure, bone loss, heart difficulties, and infertility with the risk of death being highest in such individuals.
Bulimia Nervosa- This is characterized by repeated binge eating followed by behaviors that compensate for the overeating, such as forced vomiting, excessive exercising or extreme use of laxatives or diuretics. Individuals suffering from bulimia may fear weight gain and feel severely unhappy with their body size and shape. The binge-eating and purging cycle is typically done in secret, creating feelings of shame, guilt, and lack of control. Bulimia has injuring effects, like gastrointestinal problems, severe hydration, and heart difficulties resulting from an electrolyte imbalance.
Binge Eating Disorder- Such individuals frequently lose control over his or her eating. However, it is different from bulimia nervosa as it is characterized by episodes of binge eating but not followed by compensatory behaviors like purging, fasting or excessive exercise. Because of this, many people suffering with binge-eating disorder may be obese and at an increased risk of developing other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. Individuals who struggle with this disorder may also experience intense feelings of guilt, distress, and embarrassment related to their binge eating, which could influence further progression of the eating disorder.