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Main Types Of Mental Disorders

There are plenty of mental disorders/illnesses. So many, that it would probably take days just to go through them all…we don’t have that kind of time. So, I’m just going to narrow it down to the ones that I believe are the main types of mental disorders. Along with those; I’m going to give different types that fall in the category, causes, and ways it can be treated.

**please note that I’m only a Psychology major, I’m not a licensed Psychologist and you should get professional help for more information if you feel you have any of these disorders**

The main types of mental disorders that I will touch subject on are:

  • mood disorders
  • anxiety disorders
  • personality disorders
  • psychotic disorders
  • eating disorders
  • trauma-related disorders
  • substance abuse disorders

Mood Disorders

Definition: Your general emotional state or mood is distorted or inconsistent with your circumstances and interferes with your ability to function. You may be extremely sad, empty or irritable (depressed), or you may have periods of depression alternating with being excessively happy (mania).

Cause: Can be caused due to an imbalance in chemicals in the brain, different life events, and many other factors.

Some types include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder– prolonged and persistent periods of extreme sadness.
  • Bipolar Disorder– also called manic depression or bipolar affective disorder, depression that includes alternating times of depression and mania.
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder– a disorder of chronic, severe and persistent irritability in children that often includes frequent temper outbursts that are inconsistent with the child’s developmental age.

Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and/or medication can help greatly improve mood disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Definition: People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).

Cause: Not 100% understood what the causes are, but inherited traits can play a factor as well as life events.

Some types include:

  • Agoraphobia– a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder– includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and affects how you feel physically. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.
  • Panic Disorder– involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they’ve occurred.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder– involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
  • Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder– characterized by symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are a direct result of misusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.


  • Psychotherapy
  • Medications

Personality Disorders

Definition:A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school.

Cause: Genes, as well as environmental factors, can help cause personality disorders.

Some Types Include:

  • Paranoid Personality Disorder– Pervasive distrust and suspicion of others and their motives
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder– Disregard for others’ needs or feelings
  • Borderline Personality Disorder– Impulsive and risky behavior, such as having unsafe sex, gambling or binge eating
  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder– Preoccupation with details, orderliness and rules


  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication (antidepressants, mood stabilizers, etc.)
  • Hospital and residential treatment programs

Psychotic Disorders

Definition: Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses lose touch with reality.

Cause: could be caused by genetics, lack of sleep, abuse of alcohol and drugs, etc.

Some types include:

  • Schizophrenia-Schizophrenia affects people’s thoughts, perceptions and behavior and interferes with their ability to function at work, school or relate to other people.
  • Schizoaffective Disorder– Patients with schizoaffective disorder have symptoms of both a mood disorder, such as depression and schizophrenia.
  • Delusional Disorder– Patients that have false, fixed beliefs involving real-life situations that could be true, such as having a disease or being conspired against, are diagnosed with delusional disorder. These delusions persist for at least one month.


  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Psychotherapy

Eating Disorders

Definition:Eating disorders are mental health conditions that all involve an unhealthy relationship with food and eating, and often an intense fear of being overweight.

Cause: genetics, biology, and psychological and emotional health

Some types include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa– is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted perception of weight or shape. People with anorexia use extreme efforts to control their weight and shape, which often significantly interferes with their health and life activities.
  • Bulimia Nervosa– is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. When you have bulimia, you have episodes of bingeing and purging that involve feeling a lack of control over your eating. Many people with bulimia also restrict their eating during the day, which often leads to more binge eating and purging.
  • Bing-Eating Disorder– When you have binge-eating disorder, you regularly eat too much food (binge) and feel a lack of control over your eating. You may eat quickly or eat more food than intended, even when you’re not hungry, and you may continue eating even long after you’re uncomfortably full.


  • healthy eating
  • psychotherapy
  • medications
  • hospitalization

Trauma Related Disorders

Definition:exposure to a traumatic or stressful event.

Cause: Stressful experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you’ve gone through in your life; inherited mental health risks; etc.

Some types include:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder– is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.


  • psychotherapy
  • medications
  • coping and support

Substance Abuse Disorders

Definition: a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.

Cause: environment, genetics, changes in the brain

Some types include:

  • Alcohol Use Disorder– People with alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, exhibit compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over how much alcohol they consume, and experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not drinking.
  • Drug Use Disorder– drug use disorder can include illegal drugs, prescription medications, or a combination. Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, steroids, and inhalants are all highly addictive and can lead to a substance use disorder very quickly. Because drugs change how the brain is wired and interfere with its natural reward system, people with a drug use disorder continue using despite the harm caused to their health, relationships, and careers.


  • Chemical dependence treatment programs
  • detoxification
  • behavior therapy
  • self-help groups

I hope you all enjoyed my post and was able to learn something. Please remember that I’m not a licensed Psychologist nor a doctor, so please get professional help if you feel you have a mental disorder.

*information taken from,,,,*

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