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The Different Types of Mental Illnesses To Be Aware of

The past few weeks have been quite hectic and heartbreaking. Social media has been a buzz about depression resulting in suicide and people sharing their personal experiences about mental illnesses.

By Lwandlekazi Gwiji

The past few weeks have been quite hectic and heartbreaking. Social media has been a buzz about depression resulting in suicide and people sharing their personal experiences about mental illnesses.

Ace Chiheya a counselling psychologist and qualified social worker mentions that there is a variety of mental illnesses that people suffer from, they usually affect one’s ability to socialize with other people and may prevent them from living a normal life. Each condition usually varies from person to person.

Anxiety Disorders

People with this mental illness usually experience stress and frequent waves of fear, this usually happens when they have to stand in front of a crowd, being interviewed or anything that will make them the center of attention. The most common diagnosis of this mental illness includes:

• Social phobia also known as social anxiety disorder)

• Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

•Panic disorder

• Post traumatic disorder (PTSD)

Read More: SA Federation For Mental Health – Instalment 4: Mental Health And Social Factors

Eating Disorders

A chronic and serious condition that is life threatening if left untreated. It mostly affects females during their adolescent stage. Symptoms are usually different from each person, but the most common ones are overeating, concern of body weight and structure and self-starvation. The 3 types of eating disorders are:

•Bulimia Nervosa- excessive exercising and binge eating.

•Binge Eating Disorder- uncontrolled eating.

•Anorexia Nervosa- self starvation.

Mood Disorders

Everyone may have mood disorders however to some people it may be a bit overboard. This mental illness usually affects a person’s emotional state, they experience extreme sadness or happiness. The symptoms have to be present for about several weeks in order to be diagnosed with mood disorder.

The two most common disorders include depression and bipolar. Under depression there is major& clinical, postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder then there are two types of bipolar:

Seasonal affective disorder– it occurs during certain seasons. It usually starts in late autumn or early winter.

Read More: Mental Health Stigma Attacked

Depression (major & clinical)-This is the most common and known depression. It is usually caused by traumatic life experiences. If the depression continues to be present once those experiences have past it is then classified as clinical or major depression.

Postpartum depression-parents usually experience this mental illness, it often occurs during pregnancy or after delivery.

Bipolar I – a very serve mental illness and it may cause hospitalization as one may be a danger to themselves.

Bipolar II – this disorder is similar to bipolar I but it is less serve and manageable.

Dementia

A person usually experiences memory loss and motor skills The most common forms include:

• Alzheimer’s disease- destroys mental functions.

• Substance included dementia- substance abuse such as alcohol and drugs cause this illness.

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