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Mental Disorders: Comprehensive Guide

Mental disorders/illnesses are conditions that disrupt your thinking, feeling, mood, and behavior. Mental health disorders can be temporary (acute) or long-lasting (chronic). These disorders also impact your social life and routine activities each day.

Let us dig deeper and understand more about mental health and the benefits of nature on mental health.

Causes of Mental Disorder

There may not be a single cause for your mental disorder. A plethora of factors are responsible for mental illnesses. These include:

  • Your genetic and family history
  • Your daily routines such as stress, tension, and anxiety
  • A history of abuse, especially in childhood
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain
  • A traumatic brain injury
  • If your mother is exposed to the virus or toxic chemicals in her pregnancy period
  • Excessive use of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • A severe healthcare condition like cancer
  • Being lonely, isolated, or dejected


Who is at Risk for Mental Disorders?

Mental disorders can happen to anyone at any point in life.

Who is at Risk for Mental Disorders

More than half of all Americans are diagnosed with a mental disorder at some time in their life.

How are Mental Disorders Diagnosed?

  • A healthcare history
  • A physical exam by an experienced doctor
  • Some lab tests if your doctor thinks
  • A psychological evaluation


Types of Mental Disorders

1. Anxiety Disorders: People with this disorder often suffer from fear, anxiety or panic, rapid heartbeat, and sweating. If a person can’t give an appropriate response to the situation or he/she can’t control the response, or the anxiety inhibits normal functions, then the person is diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can be generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and certain phobias.

2. Mood Disorders: These disorders are also known as affective disorders that affect a person’s feeling of sadness/happiness, or vacillations from extreme happiness to severe sadness. Some common mood disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.

3. Psychotic Disorders: These disorders are generally misleading awareness and thinking. Two popular symptoms of psychotic disorders are hallucinations (a person experiences some images or sounds that don’t actually exist) and delusions (an ill person possesses certain fixed beliefs as true, despite having contrary evidence). Schizophrenia is a common example of a psychotic disorder.

Read More: Are Psychological Disorders Covered Under Health Insurance?


4. Eating Disorders: Eating disorders hamper your emotions, attitudes, and behaviors including your weight and food habits.  Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating are popular eating disorders that people are suffering from.

5. Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders: People with this disorder can’t resist urges or impulses and thus, often commit acts that could be dangerous for themselves as well as others. Pyromania (starting fires), kleptomania (stealing), and compulsive gambling are popular examples of impulse control disorders. People who are suffering from this disorder are often engrossed with the objects of their addiction so much that they even overlook their responsibilities and relationships.

6. Personality Disorders: People with this disorder have severe inflexible personality characteristics that are distasteful to the person or cause some serious problems in work, school, or social relationships. The person with this disease often behaves differently from the expectations of society. Sometimes, their normal activities get hampered due to their rigid behavior. Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder.

7. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): People with OCD often have certain fears or thoughts that restrict them from performing certain rituals or practices. The troubling thoughts are known as obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions. People with OCD have an irrational fear of germs and thus, they wash their hands repeatedly.

8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This condition usually develops after a traumatic or terrifying event, such as a sexual assault, the sudden demise of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People who have PTSD are often haunted by those unpleasant thoughts and memories of the event, and as a result, they become emotionally numb.

These are the common types of medical disorders. Some other illnesses or conditions like sleep-related problems, many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, also belong to the category of mental illnesses, because they are related to the brain.

Treatment of Mental Illnesses

You must be disappointed to know that mental illnesses can’t be cured, but they are treatable to some extent. Your doctor will recommend the treatment of your mental illness based on your diagnosis and the severity of the symptoms. The results may vary from person to person.

Treatment of Mental Illnesses

Some medications are extremely useful in treating certain mental illnesses. Some mental illnesses respond well to talk therapy. Several studies have also recommended using complementary and alternative therapies for certain mental conditions. Sometimes, combinations of treatment options are used to combat the disease.

The Benefits of Nature on Mental Health

Spending time in nature is beneficial for your health for multifarious reasons. Fresh air and exercise are recommended by experts to improve your physical and mental fitness.

Several healthcare studies have proved that your relationship with nature is an imperative part of your life because of its positive impact on your wellbeing. Nowadays, experts are using the term “connectedness” to describe the relationship properly. Connectedness implies the way you relate to nature. If you make a strong connection with nature, then you will certainly feel a close relationship with your natural surroundings.

People who are connected to nature prominently lead a healthy life. Nature can enforce various positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, creativity, and improves concentration. Nature connectedness brings down the levels of poor mental health. It minimizes depression and anxiety levels.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, your mental disorder may hamper the life of your loved ones or your social life. If you suspect that you are having some mental health issue, talk to an expert or a healthcare professional. A professional will evaluate, assess, and will also offer proper treatment that will help you to combat the disease and you will learn more about mental health and how to keep it in proper order.

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