A complete guide to the different types of mental disorders: learn about their symptoms, causes and available treatments.

A complete guide of the different types of mental disorders: know their symptoms, causes and treatments available.

Mental disorders, also known as psychiatric disorders, are a diverse range of conditions that affect a person’s thinking, emotions, behavior and overall mental well-being. These disorders can significantly affect daily functioning and quality of life. Although there are numerous types of mental disorders, each with its own set of symptoms and characteristics, they can generally be classified into several general categories.

  1. Neurodevelopmental disorders: These disorders usually appear during childhood and are characterized by alterations in brain function and development. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and intellectual disability are examples of neurodevelopmental disorders. People with these disorders may experience difficulties in social interaction, communication, and self-regulation.
  2. Mood disorders: Mood disorders involve significant changes in emotional state and are often characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or extreme euphoria. The most common mood disorders are major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). These disorders can greatly affect mood, energy levels, concentration, and overall outlook on life.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 264 million people. It is important to seek professional help to obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  1. Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders involve excessive, uncontrollable feelings of fear, worry, or discomfort. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and phobias are some of the most common anxiety disorders. People with these disorders may experience persistent anxiety, physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and sweating, and avoidance behaviors.

Additionally, mental disorders can also be included in the categories of psychotic disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and substance use disorders. Each of these categories has its own specific diagnostic criteria and treatment approaches.

Type of mental disorder Main features
Neurodevelopmental disorders Alterations of brain function and development, difficulties in social interaction and communication
Mood disorders Significant changes in the emotional state, persistent feelings of sadness or extreme euphoria
Anxiety disorders Excessive and uncontrollable feelings of fear, concern or discomfort, physical symptoms such as tachycardia and sweating

Understanding Mental Disorders: A Comprehensive Guide

1. Mood disorders: mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, are characterized by significant mood changes that affect the emotional state and the general welfare of the person. Some examples of mood disorders are major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder. Symptoms may vary, but they usually include persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure, irritability and changes in appetite and sleep patterns.

  1. Major depressive disorder: major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders and causes persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest and lack of energy. It can significantly affect the functional capacity of a person and can lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Treatment options include therapy, medication and lifestyle modifications.
  2. Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood, ranging from intense mania periods to episodes of deep depression. These humor changes can seriously have a person’s life, affecting their relationships, their work and general welfare. Medications, therapy and a stable support system are key components of the treatment of bipolar disorder.

It is important to remember that mental disorders are complex diseases in which a combination of biological, environmental and genetic factors influences. Finding professional help and understanding the different types of mental disorders can be of great help in the way to recovery and improvement of mental wel l-being.

An Overview of Mental Disorders

One way to classify mental disorders is because of their diagnostic criteria, which are described in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5). This manual provides a standardized system to classify and diagnose mental disorders based on specific symptoms and behaviors. It helps doctors, researchers and health professionals to make precise diagnoses and develop adequate treatment plans.

Types of Mental Disorders

  • Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders, characterized by excessive concern, fear and apprehension, include conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (Tag), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias. These disorders can significantly affect the daily functioning and the quality of life of a person.
  • Mood disorders: mood disorders imply persistent changes in mood, such as depression, mania and bipolar disorder. Major depressive disorder, dysthymia and seasonal affective disorder are some of the most common types of mood disorders. These disorders can cause significant emotional discomfort and disturb daily functioning.
  • Psychotic disorders: psychotic disorders are characterized by alterations of thought, perception and behavior. Conditions such as schizophrenia, schizoofective disorder and delusional disorder enter this category. People with psychotic disorders often experience hallucinations, delusions and difficulties in distinguishing between reality and fantasy.

“Mental disorders are a diverse group of conditions that affect the functioning of the brain and have an impact on the thoughts, emotions and behavior of a person.”

“Understanding the different types of mental disorders is crucial for their early identification, adequate diagnosis and effective treatment.”

“The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) provides a standardized system to classify and diagnose mental disorders based on specific symptoms and behaviors.”

Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

1. Generalized anxiety disorder (Tag):

  • Tag is characterized by a chronic and excessive concern for various aspects of life, such as health, work and relationships.
  • People with tag usually have difficulty controlling their concerns and can experience physical symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue and muscle tension.
  • It is estimated that the TAG affects about 6. 8 million adults only in the United States.

2. panic disorder:

  • Panic disorder consists of recurring and unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden episodes of intense fear or discomfort.
  • These attacks are usually accompanied by physical symptoms such as palpitations, difficulty breathing and dizziness.
  • Individuals with panic disorder may also experience anticipatory anxiety, fearing that another panic attack occurs.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder (TAS):

  • Social anxiety disorder is characterized by intense fear of social situations and fear of being judged or ashamed by others.
  • People with TAE can avoid social interactions and experience extreme discomfort when they have to speak or act in front of other people.
  • This disorder affects approximately 15 million adults in the United States.
Note: It is important to note that these are just some examples of common anxiety disorders, and that there are also other types.

Anxiety disorders can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, affecting their personal relationships, their work performance and general wel l-being. If you suspect that you or someone you know can be experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, it is essential to seek professional help to obtain an accurate diagnosis and an adequate treatment plan.

Exploring Mood Disorders: Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest or pleasure in activities. It affects millions of people around the world and can have weakening effects on a person’s ability to function in their daily lives. Some common symptoms of depression are under persistent mood, fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating and thoughts of sel f-harm or suicide.


  • Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in activities.
  • Fatigue and decrease in energy.
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns.
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
  • Sel f-harm or suicide thoughts.

Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, is characterized by extreme humor changes that range from periods of intense happiness and energy (known as manic episodes) to periods of deep sadness and hopelessness (known as depressive episodes). These humor changes can be unpredictable, and people with bipolar disorder may experience stability periods among episodes. The exact cause of bipolar disorder is not known at all, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Bipolar disorder:

  • Periods of intense happiness and energy (manic episodes).
  • Periods of deep sadness and hopelessness (depressive episodes).
  • Unpredictable humor changes.
  • Stability periods between episodes.
  • It may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Comparison between depression and bipolar disorder
Depression Bipolar disorder
It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It is characterized by extreme changes in mood ranging from manic episodes to depressive episodes.
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities. Periods of intense happiness and energy.
Changes in appetite and sleep patterns. Periods of deep sadness and hopelessness.
Difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Unpredictable humor changes.
Sel f-harm or suicide thoughts. Stability periods between episodes.

The Complexity of Personality Disorders

Diagnosis challenges: A key aspect that complicates the diagnosis of personality disorders is the great variation of symptoms that individuals may present. Personality disorders are classified into different subtypes, such as limit, narcissistic and obsessive-compulsive, each with their own specific criteria. However, people may have symptoms that overlap in different subtypes, which hinders the determination of a specific diagnosis.

“The identification and diagnosis of personality disorders require a careful evaluation of the patterns of behavior and lon g-term thinking of an individual, instead of being based only on the specific symptoms that it presents at a given time,” explains the DRSmith, a prestigious psychiatrist specialized in personality disorders.”This thorough evaluation usually involves the collection of multiple sources information, such as direct observations, interviews and inventories of sel f-report.”

Subtypes and Presentation

  1. Limit personality disorder (TLP): individuals with TLP often fight with intense and unstable relationships, emotional reactivity and impulsivity. These people may also experience chronic feelings of vacuum and adopt sel f-destructive behaviors, such as sel f-injuries or suicidal gestures.
  2. Narcyssist personality disorder (NPD): The NPD is characterized by grandiosity, the need for admiration and lack of empathy. Individuals with NPD often have an exaggerated sense of sel f-importance and believe they are special or deserving of special treatment. They can show arrogant behaviors and have difficulty maintaining significant relationships due to their inability to empathize with others.
Group A B Group Group C
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) Personality antisocial disorder (ASPD) Avitative Personality Disorder (TPAE)
Schizoid personality disorder (TPS) Limit personality disorder (TLP) Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD)
Schizotypic personality disorder (TESP) Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) Obsessive-compulsive disorder (TOC)

It is important to note that the presentation of personality disorders can vary widely between individuals, and each subtype can have different degrees of severity and specific symptomatology. Understanding the complexities of personality disorders requires careful consideration of these variations and the impact they have on an individual’s overall well-being and functioning.

Understanding Psychotic Disorders: Schizophrenia and Delusional Disorders

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. It is characterized by a number of symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thoughts and speech, lack of motivation, and social withdrawal. People with schizophrenia may also experience cognitive deficits, such as problems with memory, attention, and executive functioning.

Hallucinations, one of the hallmark symptoms of schizophrenia, are perceptual experiences that occur in the absence of external stimuli. They can consist of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling things that are not real or that others cannot perceive. The most common types of hallucinations in schizophrenia include hearing voices, seeing things that are not there, or feeling sensations in the body.

Delusional disorders are characterized by the persistence of false beliefs that are not based on reality. Individuals with delusional disorders maintain fixed beliefs that are unshakeable, despite evidence to the contrary. These delusions can be classified into several types, such as persecutory delusions, grandiose delusions, erotomanic delusions, somatic delusions, and delusions of jealousy.

Comparison between schizophrenia and delusional disorders
Criteria Schizophrenia Delusional disorders
Hallucinations Common Less frequent
Disorganized thinking and speaking Common Less frequent
Social withdrawal Common Variable
Cognitive deficit Common Less frequent
  • Both schizophrenia and delusional disorders involve abnormalities in thinking and perceptions.
  • Schizophrenia is characterized by a broader range of symptoms, such as hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and social withdrawal.
  • Delusional disorders, on the other hand, are defined by persistent false beliefs that are not based on reality.

Eating Disorders: An Unsettling Battle within the Mind

One of the best-known eating disorders is anorexia nervosa, characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image. People with anorexia often restrict food intake to dangerously low levels, causing severe weight loss and malnutrition. Another common eating disorder is bulimia nervosa, in which individuals often have episodes of binge eating followed by purgative behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting or excessive exercise, in an attempt to compensate for the calories consumed. These behaviors can be physically and emotionally damaging, and can significantly impact a person’s self-esteem and self-worth.

Eating disorders affect people of all sexes, ages and backgrounds.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), it is estimated that approximately 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. These disorders can have serious medical complications, such as electrolyte imbalances, heart, digestive and hormonal problems. They can also have long-term psychological and behavioral consequences, such as depression, anxiety, social isolation, and difficulties maintaining healthy relationships.

Common types of eating disorders
Guy Description
anorexia nervosa It is characterized by extreme food restriction and an intense fear of gaining weight.
Bulimia nervosa It consists of episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain.
Binge eating disorder It is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, often accompanied by feelings of shame and loss of control.

A Closer Look at Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessions are recurring, intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images or impulses. These obsessions are usually distressing and cause high levels of anxiety. Common obsessions include fear of germs or contamination, excessive concern with order or symmetry, unwanted violent or sexual thoughts, or the need for everything to be “perfect.”

“The obsessions experienced by individuals with OCD are irrational and uncontrollable. They often recognize that they are unreasonable, but cannot prevent the intrusive thoughts from occurring.”

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that an individual feels driven to perform in response to their obsessions. These compulsions usually aim to reduce the anguish caused by obsessions. Among the most common compulsions include excessive handwashing, repeated verification of things such as locks or appliances, counting or the disposition of objects in a specific order, or the search for comfort by other people.

OBSETIONS OF TOC Toc compulsions
  • Fear of pollution
  • Unwanted violent thoughts
  • Excessive concern for order
  • Excessive hand washing
  • Repeated check
  • Count or organize

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Unearthing Hidden Traumas

The PTSD is not an uncommon disease, since it affects millions of people worldwide. It can develop after experiencing or witnessing events such as natural catastrophes, acts of violence, serious accidents or military fighting. Although the traumatic experience of each person is unique, the symptoms of the PTSD can be weakening and durable, and alter the functioning and everyday relationships.

Table 1: Common PTSD symptoms

Intrusive thoughts Recurring nightmares
Flashbacks Hyperactivation
Avoidance behaviors Irritability and anger

Decorating hidden traumas through the symptoms of PTSD is a complex process. It requires an exhaustive understanding of history and the unique experiences of an individual, as well as its current psychological and emotional state. The treatment of the PTSD implies addressing the underlying traumas, providing psychotherapy and, in some cases, medication to control the associated symptoms. It is essential to create a safe and support environment in which people feel comfortable sharing their experiences and working for healing and recovery.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

Cannabis and Hemp Testing Laboratory
Add a comment