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Mental illness is any disorder that affects a person’s mood, thinking and behavior. It can affect any person regardless of age, education, cultural background or financial status. Mental illness includes conditions such as: mood disorders, anxiety disorders, developmental disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders and dissociative disorders. It is estimated that around 11% of worldwide population is affected by some type of mental disorder. In fact, in the US, mental illness is the second leading disabling category of disease right after heart disease. Symptoms of mental illness depend on the type and severity of specific disorder but any untreated mental condition can affect a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. Therefore, treatment by mental health professionals is necessary to help patients, to cope with this condition.

Symptoms of Mental IllnessAnxiety Disorder Symptoms

Anxiety disorder is a chronic condition that can be triggered by a stressful event that occured in one's life. This category includes several mental disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. Common symptoms of anxiety disorders are: hot flashes, excessive sweating, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, urinary incontinence, fatigue, poor concentration, muscle tension, panic attacks, palpitations, chest pain, nausea, fear of dying.

Psychotic Disorders Symptoms

The symptoms for psychotic disorder or psychosis are delusions, hallucinations, unusual behavior, thought disorders, withdrawing from people and activities, lack of interest and diminishing expression of emotions. This category of disorders includes schizophrenia and delusional disorder.

Personality Disorders SymptomsPersonality disorders are classified as eccentric, dramatic or fear related personality disorders. Common symptoms of personality disorders are: persistent abnormal behavior, frequent mood swings, impulsiveness, social isolation and problems with relationships. Personality disorders include: paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, avoidant, dependent and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Eating Disorders Symptoms

Eating disorders are characterized by abnormal eating habits and preoccupation with weight. This category of mental illness includes: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Symptoms of eating disorders include: refusing to eat or overeating, abnormally low body weight, self-induced vomiting, excessive exercising, menstrual irregularities of absence of menstrual periods in women and intense fear of gaining weight.

Mood Disorders SymptomsMood disorders include bipolar disorder and major depression. Bipolar disorders are accompanied with extreme mood swings that range from a manic phase to depression phase. Mania causes euphoria, pressured speech, racing thoughts, increased energy and decreased sleep. Depression is followed by persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, decreased energy, restlessness, loss of interest and suicidal thoughts.

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