Mental disorders/illnesses are a range of mental health conditions that affect your mood, thinking, and behaviour. A mental health concern becomes a mental disorder when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. The following are descriptions of some common mental illnesses/disorders.
Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
This is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities or personalities are present in- and alternatively take control of- an individual. The individual also experiences extensive memory loss. Usually a primary personality carries the individual’s given name and is passive, dependent and depressed. When in control each personality may have its own distinct history, self-image and identity. The alters’ characteristics including name, reported age and gender, vocabulary and predominant mood usually contrast with those of the primary identity. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder which affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world. People with this disorder often have an altered perception of reality. They may see or hear things that don’t exist, speak in strange or confusing ways, and believe that people are trying to harm them or that they are being constantly watched. They may also withdraw from the outside world or act out in confusion or terror.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. Some of the problems faced by people with this disorder include difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. Children with ADHD may also have low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Symptoms for some may lessen with age but some people never completely outgrow their ADHD symptoms.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety disorder which is a potentially disabling condition that can persist throughout an individual’s life. It is categorized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions such as cleaning, checking, counting and hoarding. The person who suffers from OCD becomes trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviours that are senseless and difficult but very difficult to overcome. Persistent fears that harm may come to ones self or a loved one, an unreasonable concern with becoming contaminated, or an excessive need to do things correctly or perfectly, are common.
It’s also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. Depression is mood disorder and it causes a persistent feeling of sadness/unhappiness and loss of interest. Symptoms include frustration or anger, insomnia or oversleeping, trouble thinking or making decisions and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Depression effects how an individual feels, thinks and behave and can lead to a number of emotional and physical problems. They may have trouble with day to day activities and may have suicidal thoughts.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from a mental disorder or illness please seek help immediately as many illnesses are curable with medicine and therapy. The important thing to remember is that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.
“You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle.”
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