There are numerous different types of psychiatric conditions, and more are discovered every year. The majority fall into one of several categories, including mood, anxiety, psychotic, and personality disorders. Eating disorders and addictions also fall under psychiatric conditions label.
Mood disorders are among the most common types of psychiatric conditions, and range from mild depression to severe bipolar disorder. Symptoms differ by condition, but depression may be accompanied by varying degrees of sadness, an inability to concentrate, and withdrawal from family and friends. Those with bipolar disorder experiencing a manic phase may feel out of control, invincible, and prone to inappropriate behaviors. Moderate to severe cases of mood disorders typically require medications to keep symptoms from becoming overwhelming.
Anxiety disorders, which also include panic disorder, are also fairly common types of psychiatric conditions. These disorders cause excessive worrying to the point where the sufferer has difficulty breathing or functioning. Anxiety disorders often coincide with mood disorders, and many types of antidepressants can also help with anxiety attacks. Aside from medications, treatment usually focuses on teaching the patient ways to cope with stress, such as through relaxation exercises.
Psychotic disorders are among the most serious types of psychiatric conditions, as patients suffering from these disorders are more prone to violence. Schizophrenia and other delusional disorders are the most common types. These disorders cause the sufferers to break from reality and imagine different horrific scenarios. For example, those suffering from paranoid delusions may believe that their family members are attempting to poison them, or that the government is out to get them. Medications are usually required to prevent symptoms from becoming dangerous.
Mental conditions that affect the overall personality of a person fall under psychiatric conditions collectively known as personality disorders. Patients with these disorders typically follow a specific behavioral pattern depending on the condition. For example, those with narcissistic personality disorders generally display an overinflated sense of their own importance, while those with antisocial personality disorder are unable to determine the difference between right and wrong. While some personality disorders are mild and can be overcome through therapy or medications, others are nearly impossible to treat and can cause the afflicted to become dangerous to others.
Eating disorders also fall under the category of psychiatric conditions. The two most common types are anorexia nervosa and bulimia. These disorders most commonly affect girls in the teen and young adult years. Unlike most other types of personality disorders, eating disorders can be especially damaging to the physical well-being of the sufferers. Treatment typically involves hospitalization and many years of therapy, as well as close monitoring by a physician.
Like eating disorders, addictions can also cause serious harm to the sufferer’s health, especially if the addiction continues for many years. Alcoholism and drug addiction are the most widely recognized types of addictions. It is also possible for people to become addicted to intangible things, such as gambling. Treatment typically starts when patients admit that their behaviors are problematic and express a desire to end them. It can take many attempts before the patient is successful in overcoming the addiction.