Types of Mental Illness

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Mood disorders – involve changes and disruptions in a person’s mood and emotions. Depression and bipolar disorder are examples of mood disorders.

Anxiety disorders – are the most common type of mental disorder. They cause people to be overly anxious and afraid of situations or events that most people consider normal. Panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are anxiety disorders.

Schizophrenia – involves people losing the ability to know what’s real and what isn’t (this feature is called psychosis). Schizophrenia also makes it difficult for people to think, speak and interact in an organized way. Psychosis is not just a part of schizophrenia, but may also be seen on its own, or with other disorders like mood disorders.

Eating disorders – involve a distorted body image along with serious behaviours to manage food and weight, making it difficult to nourish oneself properly. Eating disorders can be life-threatening. Examples of eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia.

Personality disorders – affect the way a person acts, feels and gets along with other people. They can also cause people to be more impulsive.  Borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder are examples of personality disorder.

Substance use disorders (commonly called addictions) – occur when a person becomes dependent on a substance such as alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

Dementia – involves the loss of brain cells and results in loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, along with changes in mood, behaviour and communication abilities (beyond what might be seen in normal aging).  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD or ADHD) – can be diagnosed in adults but is usually found in children and youth and affects their ability to focus their attention. This condition may also include hyperactivity, which is when a person becomes easily over-excited.

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