Mental health problems are the leading cause of disability in the U.S., costing our society countless hours of productivity each year.
The types of mental illnesses are wide-ranging and are classified according to symptoms and characteristics. It is not always easy to pinpoint a specific mental disorder. This is in part due to similarities between some of the symptoms of various illnesses. Although many established treatment methods have proven to be effective, approaches to treatment are continuously evolving and depend upon circumstances and contributing factors that are unique to each individual.
The Most Prevalent Types of Mental Disorders
Nearly nine percent of Americans suffer from some form of depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Depression falls into the “mood disorders” category and can range from relatively mild depression to potentially debilitating “major depression.”
Other mood disorders include manias and manic disorders — which are indicated by abnormally elevated moods and elation — and bipolar disorders, which carry symptoms such as fluctuations between mania and depression or “mood swings.”
Personality disorders are another common category of mental illness. These are indicated by unstable and socially abnormal behavior patterns and include disorders such as schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Mental illnesses such as OCD and various phobias are often also categorized as anxiety disorders.
The statistics on mental illness in our society are sobering. But the good news is that expertise in the areas of OCD treatment, depression treatment and overall mental health treatment continues to advance. Innovations in research, medications, psychotherapy, behavior modification techniques and the advent of technology such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS treatment) are resulting in increasingly positive results in the treatment of a wide spectrum of mental disorders.