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types of mental disorders

10 Common Types of Mental Disorders

There are many types of mental disorders, each of which produces a variety of symptoms that can impact individuals differently.

For this reason, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional for help. If you suspect you may be experiencing one or more symptoms of a mental disorder, you’re not alone.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 52.9 million U.S. adults live with a mental disorder.

Help is available. If you suspect you are experiencing the symptoms of one of the many types of mental disorders, consider contacting a mental health professional for help.

In this article, you will learn about the 10 most common types of mental disorders that affect millions of Americans.

Types of Mental Disorders

The American Psychiatric Association outlines the many types of mental disorders in the DSM–5, which is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States.

We will be providing a brief overview of the various types of mental disorders so you can gain a better understanding of these types of disorders.

While many people have types of mental disorders that go undiagnosed and untreated, experiencing any one type of mental disorder does not mean you will necessarily experience other types.

Some types of mental disorders are mild, while others can be serious and even debilitating if left untreated. It’s important to note that the types of mental disorders may overlap in some cases; for example, one type of disorder can evolve into another if not treated properly.

1. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common types of mental disorders. According to the NIMH, 40 million adults in the U.S. alone experience anxiety-related issues and concerns each year. The types of anxiety disorders include:

Panic disorder: Characterized by sudden episodes of intense fear that last for several minutes and may include palpitations or pounding heart, sweating, trembling, and/or a choking sensation

Social anxiety disorder: Characterized by overwhelming worry and self-consciousness in everyday social situations

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Occurs after exposure to a terrifying event in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened; this type of disorder can develop at any age, but the average age for diagnosis is around 30 years

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): Characterized by uncontrollable urges to perform certain activities, such as hand washing or counting

Generalized anxiety disorder: A type of anxiety disorder in which the individual experiences persistent worry for an extended period of time with no clear reason

The symptoms of an anxiety disorder will often affect individuals differently based on the specific types of anxiety disorder they are experiencing.

2. Depression

There are several types of depression, each of which shares similar symptoms. For this reason, it’s important to seek help sooner than later in order to identify the specific type of depression and for a treatment plan.

According to the NIMH, 16 million adults in the U.S. are affected by major depressive episodes each year.

The most common types of depression include the following:

Major depressive disorder: This type of depression is characterized by at least two weeks of depressed mood or loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, plus several other symptoms

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD): While this condition is similar to major depression, it’s diagnosed when an individual experiences symptoms for longer than two years; the types of symptoms include low self-esteem, fatigue, and feelings of hopelessness or sadness

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): This type of depression is diagnosed when a woman experiences depressive symptoms before her menstrual period; the types of PMDD symptoms include anxiety, mood swings, and irritability

Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder alternates between mood episodes—mania and depression; this condition is often mistaken for types of mental disorders with similar symptoms, such as types of depression

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): This type of depression is only diagnosed during a particular time of year—typically fall or winter—when there are fewer hours of daylight.

Many individuals turn to alcohol and other drugs in an effort to numb the uncomfortable feelings of depression. This is known as self-medicating and it is extremely dangerous. If an individual uses substances regularly, he or she may become dependent on the substance and develop a substance use disorder in addition to depression. This combination requires specialized treatment, known as co-occurring disorders treatment, designed to address both disorders simultaneously.

Learn more about Depression Treatment at Amend Treatment.

3. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common types of mental disorders. It’s typically diagnosed in childhood; around 7% to 12% of school-age children are affected by ADHD.

The types of symptoms associated with ADHD include the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating or staying focused
  • Fidgeting and restlessness
  • Impulsivity or difficulty waiting in lines
  • Hyperactivity, which may be more obvious at a young age

It’s important to understand that not all children diagnosed with ADHD will show the types of symptoms listed above. In fact, it’s often difficult for parents and teachers to notice the types of symptoms in girls because they typically display them differently than boys. Boys are more likely to be hyperactive, while girls are more likely to have inattentive types of ADHD.

While many children who are diagnosed with ADHD will continue to experience these types of symptoms into adulthood, it’s also possible for the types of symptoms to lessen over time. In those cases, individuals may eventually recover from ADHD and no longer be considered to have the types of disorder.

4. Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the types of sleep disorders that can interfere with an individual’s ability to function during the day.

According to the NIMH, 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults are affected by insomnia each year. This condition is most common among older adults and women; it’s also more likely to occur if you have other types of mental disorders, such as types of anxiety disorder.

The types of symptoms associated with insomnia include the following:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep at night
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Fatigue, low energy, poor concentration, and irritability during the day because you’re not getting enough sleep

Depending on its cause, insomnia can be classified as transient, acute, or chronic. Transient insomnia lasts only a few days and is caused by factors such as jet lag, stress, and illness. Acute insomnia lasts for a short period of time—typically up to three months—and it can result from things like grief or stress. Chronic types of insomnia last for longer than three months and it can be caused by medical conditions or types of mental disorders, such as types of anxiety disorder.

5. Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder is another common type of mental disorders.  Substance use disorder can affect anyone who uses certain types of drugs or alcohol often enough to develop a dependence on the types of substances—even if they’re using them for recreation, rather than managing types of pain.

There are four types of criteria that need to be met before an individual is considered to have types of substance use disorder. These types are as follows:

  • The types of substances used interfere with social activities or relationships.
  • The types of substances cause the individual to engage in dangerous behaviors, such as driving under the influence.
  • The types of substances used lead to health problems and issues at work and home.
  • The types of substance use substantially increase over time to the point where the types of substances are being used every day or in high quantities.

As mentioned, some people will turn to substance abuse in an effort to self-medicate uncomfortable symptoms of an existing disorder, such as anxiety or depression. When this happens, the individual may develop an additional disorder and require additional help.

Learn more about Substance Use Disorder Treatment at Amend Treatment.

6. Bipolar Disorder

There are several types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorders cause extreme mood swings, from severe highs (known as types of mania) to periods of low energy and types of depression.

In order to be considered to have types of bipolar disorder, an individual needs to experience at least one manic or mixed episode—which consists of both types of high and types of depression symptoms—along with one type of major depressive episode. These types of episodes are typically separated by periods without types of symptoms.

When an individual is in the midst of experiencing an extreme high, they may engage in impulsive or irresponsible behaviors, such as having unsafe sex or running up bills they can’t afford to pay. This can lead to detrimental life consequences and types of problems that need to be addressed.

7. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of the types of mental disorders that people are most familiar with. This condition affects how individuals think, act, and perceive things in the environment around them. It’s very rare that a person who experiences types of schizophrenia will have all types of symptoms or experience each type of symptom equally.

It’s important to understand schizophrenia is manageable despite common misconceptions. There are effective types of treatments available that can help an individual experience improved relationships with family, friends, and their community.

8. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is another type of mental disorder that’s commonly experienced after exposure to types of traumatic events. There are four types of symptoms that must be present in order for an individual to be diagnosed with PTSD:

  • The re-experiencing of the traumatic event.
  • The presence of nightmares related to the traumatic event.
  • Extreme anxiety or worry about getting into another dangerous situation that could lead to the re-occurrence of the traumatic event.
  • Avoiding places, people, and objects that are reminders of the traumatic event.

Individuals who have PTSD may benefit from types of treatment including talk therapy and medication. If you know someone with PTSD, it’s important to be supportive and approach them with care.

9. Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are characterized by extreme feelings of anxiety related to body weight and types of food. There are several types of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

There are three types of criteria that must be recognized by health care professionals before an individual is diagnosed with an eating disorder:

Extreme concern about the person’s body weight or shape: The individual is preoccupied with being too fat despite what are, at a healthy weight, an underweight individual.

A preoccupation with types of food and eating: The person eats even when they’re not hungry or eats all the time. Due to this behavior, they may begin to have health complications due to malnutrition.

Types of extreme behaviors: Fasting, self-induced vomiting, and excessive exercise: The individual engages in behavior such as starving themselves to lose weight or engaging in types of compensatory behavior after eating.

It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of eating disorders so help can be provided for individuals who may need it. The earlier a person gets treatment for an eating disorder, the better their chances of recovery will be.

10. Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is best characterized by severe fluctuations in the individual’s mood, behavior, and cognition. It can be difficult to understand why an individual with this type of mental disorder would behave impulsively or have extreme mood swings that don’t match what’s going on around them.

Borderline personality disorder has three common types of symptoms:

Extreme changes in self-image: The person may think about themselves as fundamentally bad or unworthy of types of love or respect.

Extreme mood changes that don’t match the situation: The person may sometimes feel intensely sad, frantic, or angry for no reason at all.

Unstable relationships with others: This person tends to have an on-again-off-again pattern in terms of their relationships with others. They may often push others away or have extreme reactions that are disproportionate to the events that are occurring around them.

This disorder is typically treated with types of medication and psychotherapy, which focuses on understanding the patterns behind the feelings of self-loathing and developing coping strategies for dealing with impulsive behavior.

Mental Disorder Diagnosis

In order to be diagnosed with a mental disorder,  an individual will need to meet the types of symptoms outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association.

In addition, an individual will need to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional in order to be assessed for mental disorder types.

Mental Disorder Treatment

A mental health treatment center will provide specific treatment based on the specific types of conditions an individual is experiencing.

For types of anxiety disorders, the treatments usually involve talk therapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Most types of depression can be treated with types of medications that include types of antidepressants, types of psychotherapies, or both. Individuals who are diagnosed with types of schizophrenia may need types of antipsychotic types of medications to reduce the effects associated with their symptoms. For this reason, it’s important to consult a mental health professional. This will ensure you have the best treatment plan in place.

There are several different types of mental health facilities and approaches to providing mental disorder treatment.

For the best results, an individual will need to schedule an initial assessment and evaluation. Once this is complete, a mental health professional will be able to guide the individual toward the best type of facility and treatment program.

Three types of mental disorder treatment include the following:

Teleconferencing Services

Technology has made it possible for individuals to receive treatment from the comfort and safety of their own homes. With the help of teleconferencing services, people are able to receive therapy from a qualified professional in their area at any time they feel that it is necessary.

This has been more important than ever in light of the recent pandemic, during which individuals experienced lockdown and quarantine mandates.

Residential Treatment

As the name suggests, clients live on-site, meaning they are there 24/7.

Clients are required to live at the facility for a specific amount of time, ranging from 30 days to 60 days in most cases.

A residential treatment program usually consists of daily group therapy sessions, individual therapy sessions, and recreational therapy activities designed to help improve an individual’s outlook and overall mental health.

Aftercare Programs

An aftercare program is designed to provide support to individuals transitioning back into their communities.

It can be beneficial to someone who has just completed a residential treatment program and is looking for help staying focused on their recovery goals.

An aftercare plan might consist of daily or weekly check-ins, group therapy sessions, one-on-one therapy sessions, and volunteer work in the community.


There are many types of mental disorders. If you believe you may be experiencing the symptoms of a mental disorder, you’re not alone. In fact,  according to statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults experience some form of mental illness each year.

Millions of Americans experience mental disorders every year, and there are a variety of treatments that can be helpful.

The first step is to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. They will help you understand the types of symptoms you’re experiencing and give you a diagnosis if necessary.

Once you have a diagnosis, they will be able to guide you toward the best type of facility and treatment program.

With the right help, you can experience relief from types of mental disorders.

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