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College of Nursing

Types of Mental

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BSN 401
Mental Illness
- disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. A mental illness can make you
miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at school or work or in
relationships. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of
medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).

There are five major categories of mental illnesses:

• Anxiety disorders
• Mood disorders
• Dementia
• Schizophrenia
• Eating disorders

1. Anxiety Disorders
- Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder that can affect ability to
concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary tasks. People with anxiety disorders often feel
compelled to avoid stressful situations and in extreme cases avoid going out altogether.

All anxiety disorders share some general symptoms:

 Panic, fear, and uneasiness

 Sleep problems
 Not being able to stay calm and still
 Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
 Shortness of breath
 Heart palpitations
 Dry mouth
 Nausea
 Tense muscles
 Dizziness

Common diagnosis of mental illness, under the category of anxiety disorders, includes:

• Panic disorder
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Social phobia (social anxiety disorder)
• Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

2. Mood Disorders
- are characterized by a serious change in mood that cause disruption to life activities.
Though many different subtypes are recognized, three major states of mood disorders
exist: depressive, manic, and bipolar. Major depressive disorder is characterized by
overall depressed mood. Elevated moods are characterized by mania or hypomania. The
cycling between both depressed and manic moods is characteristic of bipolar mood
disorders. In addition to type and subtype of mood, these disorders also vary in intensity
and severity.

3. Dementia
- Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere
with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer's is the most common type of
The most common forms of dementia include:

• Alzheimer’s disease
• Health conditions (e.g., head trauma, HIV, Parkinson’s); and
• Substance-induced dementia (e.g. drugs/alcohol abuse, inhalants, or exposure to

4. Schizophrenia
- Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks,
feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with
reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the
symptoms can be very disabling.

The most common symptoms of schizophrenia include:

• Hearing voices
• Hallucinations
• Delusions
• Social withdrawal
• Incoherent speech
• Abnormal reasoning

5. Eating Disorders
- Eating Disorders describe illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and
severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.
Eating disturbances may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can
ultimately damage an individual’s well-being. The most common forms of eating
disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder and
affect both females and males.

• Anorexia Nervosa – self-starvation

• Bulimia Nervosa – binge eating followed by purging, fasting or excessive
• Binge Eating Disorder – episodes of uncontrolled eating, without the abuse of
laxatives or vomiting, associated bulimia.