Common Mental Health Problems Everyone Should Know

Written by Pliro
Mar 20, 2017 Last updated: Mar 29, 2019

Mental health problems come in all forms and all levels of seriousness. In milder cases, you may be going through a mental health problem without being aware of it. On the other hand, serious mental health issues may have a major impact on your daily life. Here are a few of the most common mental health problems that everyone should know about. These disorders may range from mild to extremely severe.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are characterized by major behavioral traits that can lead to problems in one’s social, personal and professional lives. Some of these include anger, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder and paranoid personality disorder. Therefore, such disorders can take a huge toll on one’s thinking patterns and normal functioning. Moreover, they can cause significant differences in how you and others around you operate on a daily basis.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders and panic attacks are common in people with phobias. Phobias account for fear as a reaction to a specific situation. A victim of a phobia would show physical and mental signs of panic and anxiety. Rapid heartbeat, sweating, shivering, and being unable to face fears is what confirms one’s phobia. Furthermore, if the anxiety reaches a level whereby it interferes with a person’s normal functioning, then it is called an anxiety disorder. Some of these are namely social anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorders and panic disorders.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD occurs after one suffers a traumatic or terrifying experience. The events reoccur as traumas through vivid flashbacks, frightening thoughts, nightmares, physical sensations or symbolic reminders. For this reason, soldiers of war are often victims of PTSD after experiencing first hand blood-shed and killing. Additionally, other traumatic experiences may include loss of loved ones, natural disasters, sexual assaults or near death experiences.


Psychosis, or psychotic disorders are characterized by distorted thinking about reality. Some of the most common symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations and delusions. Similar in nature, both of these symptoms can make the victim feel or believe in things that are not real. Hallucinations are experiences of unreal images or sounds. On the other hand, delusions are falsified facts that a person believes without there being any evidence. Furthermore, schizophrenia is one of the most severe examples of psychosis.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Victims of OCD perform certain rituals or compulsions due to disturbing thoughts or obsessions. For example, a person with an unreasonable obsession for neatness may not be able to sleep in an unorganized room. Similarly, a person with an extreme fear of germs may be in the habit of constantly washing their hands.

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders, or affective disorders, are characterized by frequently fluctuating emotions or mood swings. Depression, cyclothymic and bipolar disorders are some of the most common ones under this category. Additionally, in severe cases, a person might be completely happy and excited at one moment and may develop negative or even suicidal thoughts at another.

Addiction and Impulse Control Disorders

Addiction refers to the use and misuse of alcohol and/or recreational drugs. Impulse control disorders refer to irresistible urges to carry out harmful actions to the self and to others. These include kleptomania (stealing), pyromania (starting fires) and uncontrollable gambling. Therefore, when these addictions and impulses go beyond one’s control, they affect relationships and responsibilities.

Dissociative Disorders

Those who suffer from dissociative disorders usually undergo huge amounts of stress, resulting in identity, consciousness and memory loss. It is also similar to PTSD whereby traumatic experiences may affect their general awareness of themselves and their surroundings. Furthermore, this disorder is also called multiple personality disorder or “split personality” disorder.

Eating Disorders

People with eating disorders undergo extreme behaviors involving food and weight. Their beliefs about food result their feelings, emotions and attitudes regarding food. Some common eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders. Anorexia is a medical condition resulting in a loss of appetite. Bulimia is when people become so conscious of body image that they tend to become depressed or cause themselves to vomit after bouts of extreme overeating. On the other hand, binge eating is when one never seems to get enough of food and feels the need to keep eating.

In conclusion, some of these disorders are mistaken for bad life choices, giving others a reason to judge the patient. However, a disorder of any kind requires serious medical and emotional attention. Therefore, mental disorders should be acknowledged and understood to be properly treated.