What are the Different Types of Mental Illness?

Felicia Dye

There are numerous types of mental illness, such as psychotic disorders, which are often incurable. Some people have mood disorders, which affect how they feel. Then there are the types of mental illness, such as personality disorders and dissociative disorders, that are characterized by an inability to deal with people normally. Furthermore, it may be surprising to know that even eating disorders are considered to be a form of mental illness.

Personality disorders are a form of mental illness.
Personality disorders are a form of mental illness.

Schizophrenia is a condition that the general public may believe they are slightly familiar with due to publicity from the media and film industry. This condition belongs to a group known as psychotic disorders. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes psychotic diseases as severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People suffering with these conditions may be delusional and experience hallucinations. These types of mental illness are often deemed incurable.

Eating disorders are commonly included among the types of mental illness.
Eating disorders are commonly included among the types of mental illness.

Mood disorders are conditions characterized by abnormal changes in the way a person feels. These changes often reach an extreme that is unhealthy and debilitating. Examples of this type of mental illness include depression and bipolar disorder, which is sometimes referred to as manic depression.

Schizophrenia is classified as a psychotic disorder.
Schizophrenia is classified as a psychotic disorder.

Personality disorders are conditions that are long-term and may exist throughout a person’s life. According to Mental Health America (MHA), people with these conditions tend to be inflexible, rigid, and unable to respond to the changes and demands of life. Due to this, individuals with these types of mental illness often display abnormal behaviors that stress or damage social and intimate relationships. Examples of conditions that are categorized in this group include narcissism and borderline personality disorder.

Dissociative disorders, although generally considered different from personality disorders, are conditions that also make relationships and social interaction difficult. Sufferers often lose touch with reality. Symptoms may include depersonalization, amnesia, and unrealistic perceptions of personal identity. The positive aspect of these conditions is that sufferers are commonly able, with proper treatment, to develop healthy habits that allow them to lead seemingly normal lives.

Many people may be unaware that eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and binge eating, are generally included among the types of mental illness. These conditions have not historically and still may not be accepted as widely as some other mental conditions, but increasing amounts of research show that these disorders have complex psychological causes. Although medical attention is usually required, it is believed that complete treatment cannot exist without mental health care.

Mental illness can stem from childhood trauma.
Mental illness can stem from childhood trauma.

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Discussion Comments


@anon173000, Post 1: You should go to doctor or it will get worse. I think you're suffering from Schizophrenia. If you're too scared to go out alone, take someone with you, and try to be with someone most of the time. Don't spend too much time alone, because loneliness will make you more depressed. Don't visit crowded areas, either, though. Sometimes that makes you more depressed, too. Don't get stressed, try to make yourself relax, sleep well and eat healthy. Don't pay attention to people who insult you or hurt your feelings. Try to be with loved ones.

I don't know why you're sad, or what the reason is behind your depression. Just try to forget about it and don't think about things that give you pain. I hope you will be OK very soon. Take care.


I have suffered from depression for the last 12 months,

And I'm now struggling to lead a normal life. I struggle to get up and face the day ahead. I feel as if I'm being followed everywhere and hear voices, but no one is there. Can anyone help?

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