5 Common Mental Health Illnesses

Mental Health Illnesses

Mental health disorders directly affect about 25% of the population. That doesn’t count the number of loved ones who are impacted by mental health illnesses. The National Institute of Health estimates that mental health disorders account for “several of the top causes of disability” around the world. The economic impact of mental health illnesses is astounding, with some organizations estimating that it costs the United States about $201 billion annually. Sadly, there is still a stigma around mental health disorders. Here are five common mental health illnesses.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are characterized by feelings of worry or fear that interfere with daily life. Anxiety disorders can include panic attacks, OCD and generalized anxiety, as well as phobias. An anxiety disorder is far more than just worry or fear. It can be gripping and usually gets worse without treatment.


PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, occurs when a person has difficulty recovering from a traumatic event. Although PTSD was once considered an anxiety disorder, PTSD has many non-anxiety symptoms such as angry outbursts, self-destructive behavior and avoidance of social situations. PTSD is usually associated with military veterans who experienced combat, but it can happen to first responders who deal with intense events or abuse victims.

Mood Disorders

Depression, bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder are examples of mood disorders. Generally speaking, a mood disorder is when your emotional state is inconsistent with your circumstances, causing you to function ineffectively. You could be extremely happy or sad or fluctuate between the two. Mood disorders are highly treatable with medication and therapy.

Eating Disorders

Although eating disorders are usually associated with teenage girls, it’s estimated that around 24 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder each year. Eating disorders are the second deadliest mental health illness, after addiction. An eating disorder is an extreme approach to eating or weight, such as anorexia nervosa or binge-eating disorder.


Drug or alcohol addiction is classified as a mental illness because the brain is affected at its fundamental level. Addiction causes a person to substitute his or her normal hierarchy of needs with that of using drugs. Many mental illnesses co-occur with substance use disorders, making addiction even harder to treat. Professional help is almost always required to treat substance abuse, but with treatment, many people can and do live a normal life. Mental health disorders are common, even though people don’t always talk about them. Make an appointment with a therapist, like Lindsey Hoskins & Associates to get help.