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Did you know there are over 200 different mental illnesses?

This week (9th May to 13th May) is Mental Health Awareness week. Did you know there are over 200 mental disorders? Some are much more common than others, but each one falls into 7 separate categories based on how and what areas the symptoms impact.

With there being over 200 mental illnesses this blog is not going to list every single one. However, this blog will list what category each falls into and whether or not that is a mood disorder or a personality disorder or any further categories which will be further covered.

Also, we will be looking at some of the most common mental illnesses and those that are the least common. We will also be looking into hidden links to our mental health.

Before understanding the different mental illnesses, it is helpful to have an understanding of what is meant by the term mental illness. In brief, a mental illness is a condition which can affect emotions and rational thinking at times. This will be covered in more detail later when we look into the differences between mental health and mental illness.

What are the different categories of mental illnesses?

Each mental illness falls into its own category, based on what exactly that mental illness entails. So how does it affect someone? For example, if it impacts just their mood or personality or more.

Some of the categories that mental illnesses fall into are:

  • Mood disorders - Depression, Bio polar any disorder that affects mainly someone's mood.

  • Anxiety disorders - Social anxiety, General anxiety or any further disorders that relate to someone being anxious.

  • Personality disorders - Borderline personality disorder (BPD), Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) as well as any further disorders that impact someone's personality.

  • Psychotic disorders - Schizophrenia, Delusional disorder any disorder that will include psychotic symptoms.

  • Eating disorders - Anorexia, Bulimia and mental illness that have an impact on eating will fall into this category.

  • Trauma-related disorder - PTSD (post-stress traumatic disorder), ASD (Acute stress disorder) mental illnesses impacted due to trauma will fall into this category.

  • Substance abuse disorder - being an addiction to a substance, this can be illegal drugs or even prescription drugs/medication. Addiction and substance misuse (alcohol, drugs, gambling)

Each mental illness will fall into one of the above categories, what category they fall into is all dependent on the impact of the mental illness.


What mental illnesses are more common?

Some mental illnesses are more common than others and as well as common mental illnesses, phobias can often commonly be seen in people.

The most common mental illnesses are:

  • Depression

  • Generalized anxiety disorder

  • Panic disorder

  • OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder)

  • PTSD (post-stress traumatic disorder)

1 in 4 people will experience a common mental illness each in England alone. Highlighting that common mental illnesses occur quite often.

Statistics show that in an average week in the UK:

  • 8 in 100 people are diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depression.

  • 6 in 100 people are diagnosed with general anxiety

  • 4 in 100 people are diagnosed with post-stress traumatic disorder

  • 3 in 100 people are diagnosed with depression


What mental Illnesses are less common?

As with anything, we have a side of things that are more common as well as a side of things that are less common.

Mental Illnesses that are less common than others:

  • Erotomania - is a psychiatric illness creating the delusional belief that they are loved by another person, generally of a higher social status. E.g., a TV actor/actress that they believe uses a secret lounge to communicate with them that only they can understand. (Erotomania is often presented alongside Bipolar, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders)

  • Alien Hand Syndrome - is a rare neurological condition in which one hand is not under the control of the mind. Moves as though it has a mind of its own.

  • Factitious Disorder - a mental disorder in which someone deceives others by appearing sick, by purposely getting sick or by self-injury. For example, someone may look into a mental illness and try to present themselves as if they have a particular mental illness even without it actually occurring.

  • Capgras Syndrome - meaning someone has a belief that a place or a person has been replaced with an exact duplicate or imposter.

A person's mental illness diagnosis can change at any point over time. This is called the Mental Health Continuum. We discuss this in our Mental Health First Aid Courses.


Hidden Links to Mental Health

Mental health is such a complex topic, therefore there are many different opinions and theories about what causes mental health problems and also many things that link to our mental state.

For example, our environmental surroundings may impact our mental health. Financial situations, home circumstances and others such as personal relationships may all link to our mental status.

However, there are more links to our Mental Health that are less known about. Things such as our eyesight, which will be covered in a later blog. Prenatal damage, studies have shown that an unborn child being in a stressful environment may lead to mental health problems down the line. Even having poor nutrition and a poor diet can have a negative impact on your mental state.

Psychologists also believe children who had difficult births are more likely to be angry, aggressive, and anxious compared to children who had easy births. Although the infant has an unconscious mind, these early experiences become the blueprint on which future psychological development takes place. []

Also looking at our previous blog regarding maternal mental health we have an understanding that our bladder and incontinence are linked to our mental health. People suffering from pelvic floor problems have much higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population. Current statistics state that 50% of women have weak pelvic floor issues (I know that this is a lot higher because many are too ashamed to talk about it and see help and support). Statistics like this really speak for themselves and this is why it’s so important we bring this education into schools and break down the taboo of talking about these problems.


Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Illness

Mental Health and Mental Illness are not the same things and many are not aware of this. The difference between the two is very similar.