What are the most common mental disorders? (2023)

insanityIt is defined as changes in a person's behavior, emotional response, or thinking that cause stress or problems functioning in social situations, at work, or in family life. Mental health issues are widespread and affect millions of people every year. Experts estimate that one in five American adults suffers from a mental illness each year.

There are many different types of mental illness, ranging from anxiety and depressive disorders to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental disorders are diagnosed and treated according to the criteria described inDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition(DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association.

This article describes the most common mental disorders in a comprehensive list.

What are the most common mental disorders? (1)

What causes mental illness?

There is no single cause of mental illness. Instead, mental illness can often be attributed to a number of factors, including brain chemistry, developmental experiences, and environmental causes.

Some common factors that have been linked to an increased risk of mental illness include:

  • Genetic: Mental illnesses tend to run in families. Research has shown that children of parents with mental illness are at greater risk of developing mental illness.However, genetics alone do not explain all risks. Additional environmental factors can make someone more susceptible. For example, genetic risk for major depression alone may not result in the development of major depression, but adding a traumatic event to genetic risk may make someone more susceptible.Epigenetics studies how genes and the environment interact to cause mental illness.
  • physical environment: The environment in which a person lives also influences the risk of mental illness. Studies have shown that living in an urban area is a risk factor for mental illness.However, the researchers note that urban environments may be an indicator of other underlying risk factors. For example, people living in urban environments may experience greater exposure to pollutants or toxins, or higher living costs, leading to chronic stress.
  • social atmosphere: Stressful life events can have a significant impact on mental health. Stressful life events vary widely, but significant personal conflicts, e.g. Being in an unhealthy relationship is an example strongly linked to anxiety and depression.

A list of mental illnesses: types of mental disorders

There are different types of mental health disorders, and each has specific criteria. Details on individual mental illnesses can be found atDSM-5that healthcare professionals and mental health professionals use to diagnose a mental health problem.

Mental disorders can be broadly divided into categories. Some of the most common ones are:

(Video) Top 3 Most common Psychological disorders explained

  • anxiety disorders
  • eating disorder
  • mood swings
  • personality disorder
  • Trauma and stress-related disorders
  • psychotic disorders

anxiety disorders

Anxiety is usually characterized by feelings of tightness, disturbing thoughts, and physical bodily sensations such as sweating or an increased heart rate.

people thatanxiety disorderThey usually deal with recurring intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are unwanted, automatic thoughts that lodge in your head, causing great distress and anxious thoughts that can be extremely difficult to get out of.

There are a few main types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Chronic preoccupation with a variety of worries and other anxiety symptoms, often without a specific trigger
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Now in its own diagnostic category, this includes recurrent unwanted thoughts and behaviors (such as cleaning, hand washing, or hitting), often performed to try to alleviate the stress caused by the intrusive thoughts.
  • Panic Syndrome: Repeated episodes of intense anxiety or panic attacks causing physical symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath
  • Social anxiety disorder (or social phobia): Overwhelming fear of social situations

eating disorder

Eeating disorderit is characterized by significant and persistent disturbances in eating behavior and is often associated with an unhealthy preoccupation with one's body. These disorders can have potentially serious medical consequences.

Although it is a mental health condition, it is also a physical one, as severe changes in eating habits affect physical health. For example, severe caloric restriction, as is the case with anorexia nervosa, can lead to decreased bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures.

There are different types of eating disorders:

  • anorexia: intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, leading to hunger
  • bulimia: A cycle of binge eating and voiding behaviors such as B. Self-induced vomiting
  • binge eating disorder: Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, often accompanied by feelings of loss of control and shame.
  • Other specific eating and eating disorders: Any other eating disorder that causes stress and affects the ability to function at home or at work
  • Avoidant Restrictive Eating Disorder: Condition characterized by an extremely selective diet, leading to malnutrition.
  • pica: Recurrent episodes of ingestion of non-food objects, such as chalk, metal coins, pebbles or paper
  • rumination disorder: again and againbelchingFood (swallowed food recovery), for chewing and swallowing

mood swings

Mood disorders encompass a range of depressive and bipolar disorders. While everyone feels sad or depressed from time to time, a mood disorder is different. Mood disorders are very intense and persistent and significantly interfere with daily life.

The following are the most common types of mood disorders:

  • Depression: Sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in normal activities, along with other physical and mental symptoms lasting for two weeks or more
  • persistent depressive disorder(formerly known asDysthymia): chronic depressive symptoms lasting two years or more
  • Bipolar disorder: A condition usually characterized by alternating periods of depression and feelings of mania or euphoria
  • Substance-induced mood disorder: When alcohol, drugs, or medication cause depression or other mood disorders

personality disorder

personality disorderThey are characterized by persistent and maladaptive thoughts and behavior patterns that can make it difficult to establish or maintain relationships and cope with everyday stress in private and professional life.

(Video) 10 Common Mental Illnesses Crash Course

People with a personality disorder may not realize they have a mental illness.

There are many personality disorders that can be grouped into three main categories:each with their own personality disorders:

  • Group A: Strange or eccentric behavior
  • schizoidPersonality Disorder: Lifelong indifference to others and social isolation
  • Paranoid Personality Disorder: High level of suspiciousness and distrust of others without good reason
  • schizotypalPersonality disorder: A strange or eccentric pattern of behavior and difficulty connecting in relationships
  • Group B: Dramatic, emotional, or erratic behavior
  • antisocial personality disorder: Long-term pattern of remorselessly manipulating or exploiting others
  • borderline personality disorder: Persistent pattern of impulsive behavior, mood swings, unstable self-image, and relationship problems.
  • narcissistic personality disorder: Extreme self-esteem and lack of empathy for others.
  • Group C: Anxious anxious behavior
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder: Extreme social inhibitions characterized by fear of rejection and feelings of inadequacy.
  • dependent personality disorder: Symptoms may include feelings of helplessness, submissiveness, or an inability to make simple decisions or take care of yourself
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: Preoccupation with order, compliance with rules, control and perfection.

Trauma and stress-related disorders

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)is the central flaw in this category. It is a psychiatric disorder in which a traumatic experience experienced or lived in the past causes severe suffering and disruption of daily life. A natural disaster, serious accident, war, rape and sexual violence are examples of traumatic events that can lead to PTSD.

People with PTSD experience strong, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic event, even a long time ago. They may avoid situations that might trigger a memory of the traumatic event or react strongly to common things that bring them back to that traumatic moment.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is sometimes classified into the following types, although it is not included in theDSM-5:

  • complex PTSDPTSD that develops after prolonged, repetitive trauma (for example, prolonged physical or sexual abuse) rather than an isolated traumatic event
  • delayed expression PTSD(formerly called late-onset PTSD): PTSD that occurs more than six months after the triggering event
  • Dissociative PTSD: Clear presentation of dissociation or derealization and depersonalization when remembering the traumatic experience

psychotic disorders

psychotic disordersIt is mental illness that causes abnormal thoughts and perceptions, which in turn cause a person to lose touch with reality.

hallucinationsjhallucinationsThey are common. Psychotic disorders can cause great stress and functional challenges in everyday life.

types of psychotic disordersIncludes the following:

  • schizophrenia: Characterized by hallucinations, delusions, unusual behavior, and withdrawal
  • schizoaffective disorder: Combination of psychotic features such as delusions and mood symptoms such as depression
  • schizophreniform disorder: Episode of schizophrenia lasting more than one month but less than six months
  • delusional disorder: Delusions without the other symptoms or unusual behavior seen in schizophrenia
  • brief psychotic disorder: Brief episode of psychosis lasting less than one month
  • Substance-induced psychotic disorder: Psychosis caused by the short- or long-term effects of certain drugs, such as LSD
  • Psychotic disorder due to illness

Diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses

Mental illnesses are usually diagnosed by a psychiatrist whoDSM-5to assess whether someone meets the criteria for a particular mental illness. Sometimes it may be necessary to see more than one health professional to get a formal diagnosis, and it often starts with a conversation with a GP who can refer you to a mental health specialist.

(Video) What are the Most Common Mental Health Disorders | Mental Health

Diagnosis may involve a medical evaluation to rule out underlying physical causes that may be contributing to the mental illness. For example, a doctor may order blood tests to rule out anemia or thyroid problems ahead of time.Diagnosis of an ongoing depressive disorder. A psychiatrist or psychologist will ask about symptoms and family history and may use psychological assessment tools, such as a questionnaire, to make a diagnosis.

The good news is that mental illnesses are treatable and exist.different treatment optionsfor mental illnesses, medication and psychotherapy are the most common. Sometimes they are used in combination, or psychotherapy alone may be required. Psychotherapy can be particularly effective because it involves tools and techniques for dealing with unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that can help a person deal with them in the long run.


There are many types of mental illness, varying in severity and impact on everyday life. There is no single cause of mental illness, and it is often caused by multiple factors, many of which are beyond a person's control. Diagnosis requires a doctor who can also advise on treatment options.

A Word from Verywell

Mental illnesses still have a lot to doStigma. But as mental health awareness grows, we can reduce the stigma around each individual's personal struggles and create more opportunities for everyone to get the help they need.

When you or someone you love is struggling with thoughts, behaviors or emotional distress related to mental illness, it can be frightening and isolating. However, we hope that when you know more about the types of mental illness and have the resources to learn more about them, you will feel more empowered to seek help from a psychologist, support group or friend.

While mental illness can be caused by things beyond your control, learning more about mental illness and seeking help doesn't have to be.

common questions

  • Is there a list of the most common medications used to treat mental illness?

    The type of medication depends on the mental illness being treated. Common medications can be divided into the following categories:

    • antidepressants
    • anti-anxiety medications
    • stimulants
    • antipsychotics
    • mood stabilizers
    (Video) What are the most common types of mental illness?
  • What symptoms on a mental health checklist are needed to diagnose a mental illness?

    Symptoms that must be present for a doctor to make a diagnosisDSM-5The criteria vary depending on the type of illness, but there are some common warning signs of mental illness. These include:

    • Excessive worry or anxiety
    • Feeling overly sad or depressed
    • Extreme mood swings, including intense, uncontrollable euphoria.
    • suicidal thoughts


1. 5 MOST COMMON Mental Illnesses EXPLAINED
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2. What are mental health problems?
(Mind, the mental health charity)
3. Types of Psychological Disorders – Behavioral Health | Lecturio
(Lecturio Medical)
4. Mental Health Speakers Bureau | Mental Health Advocates Inspire Change | Evidence Based & Engaging
(Top Youth Speakers: Education Speakers Bureau)
5. Categories of mental disorders | Behavior | MCAT | Khan Academy
6. What Is The Most Common Mental Disorders In Young Adults
(Sandstone Care)
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