Aug 17th 2023
Mental health disorders cover a wide range of conditions relating to the mind and how we perceive the world around us. Anyone can have a mental health disorder and some of us may only feel the symptoms of one from time to time.
The term mental health disorders, also referred to as mental illness or mental health conditions, covers a wide range of mental states that affect behavior, mood, and thought patterns. Some people feel the effects of these disorders more than others and certain disorders can have a larger impact on a person’s life than others.
Some disorders are more common than others, and we may all experience some symptoms of them in our life. These conditions include anxiety disorders, depression, and addictive disorders. While common, these conditions range in severity, and someone experiencing more intense symptoms may require a higher level of treatment.
Less common conditions such as borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia often require specialized treatment that will involve ongoing monitoring from a team of psychiatric care providers, such as psychiatrists, social workers, and counsellors. Treatment for almost all mental health conditions will involve a combination of medication and talk therapy (psychotherapy).
Mental health disorders can affect anyone at any point in their life, from children to senior citizens. Some disorders can affect mood, making the person susceptible to dramatic highs and lows, some affect personality and behavior, and others alter the person’s perception of reality. All disorders have their own levels of severity and are all treatable with dedicated psychiatric care.
Examples of mental health disorder types include
If you feel your mental health is not good, then visit your doctor for an assessment. They will ask specific questions and evaluate your circumstances in order to determine whether you have a mental health disorder or not. They will look at:
A doctor will often evaluate your mood, behavior, and thoughts, as well as other symptoms in order to see what criteria you meet for certain mental health conditions. For instance, experiencing low mood, avoidant behavior, and negative thoughts may suggest depression, while panic attacks and high levels of stress could suggest anxiety.
Mental health disorder diagnoses can change if symptoms become more severe and you may be referred to a psychiatrist or another mental health professional for further tests.