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What are the Different Types of Mental Health Disorder?

Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Recognition of the prevalence of mental health disorders has grown. This growth has led to a better understanding of these conditions, allowing them to be better defined and managed. Examples of such conditions include schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, multiple personality disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that generally develops between the teenage years and the mid-30s. This illness is characterized by psychotic behavior, such as hallucinations and delusions. It is also characterized by changing attitudes and behaviors that usually have a negative impact on the quality of life, including relationships.

A person suffering from schizophrenia may lose interest in activities such as bathing and eating. His personality may seem to be altered by bouts of anger or anxiety. It is also common for a schizophrenic to talk to himself. Combating this mental health disorder often involves taking anti-psychotic drugs for the remainder of the sufferer’s life.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is usually considered to be a chronic illness. It is characterized by obsessions, repetitive behaviors, or both that a person cannot control. A person suffering from this type of mental health disorder may use his compulsions to attempt to gain control, especially of unwanted thoughts. He may also appear overly cautious or concerned. This may be displayed by his need to constantly clean things that have been thoroughly cleaned or his need for constant confirmation of things that have been confirmed.

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder falls into a group known as anxiety disorders. The condition often responds positively to treatment. Medication, group therapy, and stress management techniques may all be used to aid recovery.

Dissociative identity disorder, most commonly known as multiple personality disorder, is widely believed to be a result of trauma. A person with this illness usually has more than one identity. Each identity has the ability to control the person’s thoughts and behavior without her realizing that a change has occurred. The various identities usually have varying characteristics, such as ages, voice tones, and dislikes.

It is believed that this mental health disorder arises as a coping strategy. It may be accompanied by other problems such as drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, and sleep disorders. Multiple personality disorder is a very complex illness. It is generally treated with various forms of therapy, but medication is usually avoided.

Bipolar disorder is a condition characterized by mood swings. People suffering from this mental health disorder are often called manic-depressives. This is because they tend to experience dramatic changes from highs, or mania, to lows, or depression. When a person is manic she may seem energized, eager, and elated. When she is depressed she may withdraw, be incapable of enjoying pleasurable activities, and have difficulty eating and sleeping.

Manic depression can result in various difficulties. This is especially true when it comes to maintaining relationships. When in a manic state, a person often exercises poor judgment. She may, for example, become promiscuous or spend excessive amounts of money. This disease is often managed with mood stabilizers or anti-depressives.

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