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Understanding Mental Illness

The American Psychiatric Association considers mental illness to be a group of conditions that involve changes in a person’s emotions, thinking, and behavior. These changes can lead to personal distress as well as problems with family, work, and social interactions. While substance abuse is a serious problem today, it is not considered to be a mental illness in itself, although many people experience mental illness in addition to addictive disorders. Learn more about the types of mental illness below from Specialty Care Services, providers of home care in Silver Spring and the surrounding area.

What Are The Types Of Mental Illness?

Because mental illness is an umbrella term, it encompasses a wide range of disorders. To make them easier to understand, they can be grouped into the following categories.

Depressive Disorders

Depression is a serious mood disorder that causes severe symptoms which negatively impact the way you feel, think, and engage in daily activities. Types of depression include persistent depressive disorder (also known as dysthymia), major depressive disorder (MDD), postpartum depression, psychotic depression, and seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD).

Bipolar Disorders

While someone who has a bipolar disorder will also experience depression, this is actually a separate condition because those with bipolar disorders also have manic or hypomanic episodes, which are characterized by extreme, often irrational, highs that may be euphoric or ill-tempered. There are four types of bipolar disorders: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic, and unspecified bipolar disorder.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety in itself is actually a normal, often helpful, reaction to stress. Anxiety disorders, however, involve an extreme or unending state of anxiety. They involve far more than temporary fear or worry. For a person who suffers from an anxiety disorder, the anxiety doesn’t go away and often gets worse over time, interfering with daily activities including job and/or school performance, relationships, and even daily life. Types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are mental illnesses in which people experience extreme disturbances in their eating behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. People with eating disorders become obsessed with food and/or their body weight. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of mental illness that can occur in individuals who have experienced and/or witnessed a traumatic event. The types of events that can lead to PSTD include natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist acts, war, combat, rape, or other violent personal assaults. People with PTSD experience a wide range of symptoms related to the trauma they have experienced.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a mental disorder characterized by a continuing pattern of inattention and lack of focus accompanied by hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that interferes with an individual’s functioning or development. A subcategory, ADD, feature a marked pattern of inattention without the hyperactivity. While ADHD is most often diagnosed during childhood, adults may also suffer from this disorder.

The only way to properly diagnose mental illness is through a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. It’s essential that you get the specific psychiatric condition diagnosed and treated in order to live the happiest, healthiest life possible. And if you need assistance with daily tasks of caring for someone else, reach out to Specialty Care Services for support today! Contact us to schedule a free in-home assessment or to learn more about our compassionate home care in Silver Spring and the surrounding areas.

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