Skip to content

4 Common Mental Health Disorders – May 2024

Taking care of your health means taking care of your mental health, too. Mental health problems can often go untreated.

There’s no shame in having mental health issues. Nearly 23% of U.S. adults have a mental health disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But not everyone knows they have one. And that means they may not get the treatment they need to help them live life to the fullest.

Knowing the warning signs of some of the most common mental health disorders is a good place to start in determining if you or a loved one might be suffering from one of these disorders.

Anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term for several anxiety-related mental illnesses. More than 19% of U.S. adults struggle with an anxiety disorder each year.

If you have an anxiety disorder, you may experience excessive worrying that you cannot control. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless, on edge, or wound up
  • Feeling easily fatigued or tired
  • Having difficulty concentrating or feeling like your mind goes blank
  • Feeling irritable or tense
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomach pain, and other unexplained physical problems
  • Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Major depressive disorder

Also known as depression or clinical depression, more than more 8% of adults experience a major depressive episode each year. You may have depression if you have any of these signs and symptoms for at least two weeks:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, working, remembering things, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, waking up earlier than usual, or sleeping more than usual
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Body aches and pains that have no known cause or don’t respond to treatment
  • Thoughts of self-harm, death, or suicide

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

At any given time, nearly 4% of U.S. adult experience PTSD — a severe stress response to a traumatic event. Some events that can cause PTSD include accidents, military combat, personal assaults, natural or humancaused disasters, and other forms of violence. Some signs and symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Persistent, frightening memories and thoughts of the event
  • Sleep problems, including insomnia and nightmares
  • Feeling detached or numb
  • Being easily startled
  • Difficulty functioning in social settings

Bipolar disorder

Formerly called manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder impacts nearly 3% of U.S. adults each year. If you have bipolar disorder, you experience distinct and unusual shifts in your energy, mood, activity levels, and concentration. These shifts can make it difficult for you to perform the daily tasks of living.

You can shift between manic episodes to depressive episodes. During manic episodes, you can feel elated, irritable, and/or energized. During depressive episodes, you can feel indifferent, hopeless, and/or very sad.

Diagnosing and treating mental health disorders

If you recognize the signs and symptoms above in yourself or someone you love, it’s important to get medical help. Like physical problems, mental health disorders require medical treatment. Left untreated, these mental health issues can get worse and may increase risk for self-harm or suicide.

Your doctor can make sure you don’t have a physical condition that is causing your symptoms. They can refer you to a mental health professional to get a proper diagnosis, and treatment, which could include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. If you or someone you know has thoughts of selfharm or suicide, get help right away. A good source for urgent help is the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. To reach them, call or text 988.

Related Posts