The prevalence of mental health disorders is often underestimated. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or overall wellbeing, anyone can develop a mental health disorder at any stage in life. Much like other illnesses or ailments, the symptoms of a mental health disorder can range in severity and may not be easily distinguishable. Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether or not someone is experiencing a period of difficulty, or if they are exhibiting symptoms of a mental health disorder.

10 Most Common Mental Health Disorders

While there are numerous mental health disorders, some are more common than others. There is no way to know for certain if a person will develop a mental health condition in their lifetime, but there are some factors that may put them at greater risk. Family history of mental health disorders, childhood trauma, and social influences may put some at higher risk than others. Some of the most common mental health disorders seen are:


  1. Depression: Depression is characterized by general feelings of sadness, lack of interest in activities once enjoyed, exhaustion, inability to concentrate, and changes in sleeping and eating patterns. There are a number of factors that can play a role in its development. Family history, life events, medical conditions, and side effects of medications can all cause symptoms to develop.

    Depression is a long-last condition that can have ranging severity. This can cause it to severely impact a person’s relationships, employment, and quality of life. In its worst state, it can cause a person to struggle with suicidal thoughts or tendencies making it imperative to treat as soon as possible. With the help of therapy, medication, and other forms of counseling, symptoms of depression can become more manageable.

  2. Anxiety: Anxiety disorders are quite common, but a surprising number of people do not seek treatment for them. Anxiety disorders can manifest in the form of phobias, compulsions, and panic attacks. They may develop over time due to a life experience or changes in brain chemistry.

    Anxiety is highly treatable and there are numerous forms of therapy available to those who struggle with it. In some cases, medications may be used to manage symptoms of anxiety disorders and help prevent them from completely controlling a person’s life.

  3. Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder is characterized by manic and depressive episodes. Each person’s experience with it is different and some may end up on one end of the spectrum more frequently than the other. In manic episodes, a person is hyperactive, more irritable, and have no desire to sleep. In depressive episodes, they may feel lethargic, excessively sad, and hopeless. Bipolar disorder, like other mental health disorders, can have a genetic component to it, but it can also develop as a result of changes in brain chemistry and environmental factors.

    Bipolar disorder mood swings can be incredibly extreme and may cause a person to struggle in their work and relationships. Treatment for bipolar disorder often utilizes medication to help regulate mood and counseling to help individuals cope more effectively.

  4. Substance use disorders: Substance use disorders often coexist with other mental health conditions. In some cases, substance use develops as an attempt to self-medicate for an existing mental health condition. In other cases, a person may develop a mental health disorder as a result of prolonged substance abuse. Regardless of which originated first, side effects of substance use disorders often have a profound impact on mental health and overall wellbeing.

    Substance abuse disorders require extensive treatment in order to address; however, those with co-occurring mental health disorders must receive treatment for mental health needs simultaneously. This dual-diagnosis treatment reduces the risk of relapse and improves recovery outcomes. Because the two often fuel one another, treating one without the other puts a person at risk for worsened symptoms and poor quality of life.

  5. Eating disorders: Eating disorders are complex conditions that often develop as a result of biological and psychological factors. It may involve behaviors such as dieting, binging and purging, or skipping meals altogether. Many eating disorders are rooted in social pressures, anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia, and other factors that contribute to a person’s overall wellbeing.

    Treating eating disorders often requires treatment of other underlying mental health conditions that perpetuate it. Therapy and counseling coupled with nutritional planning can help a person strengthen their physical and mental health.

  6. Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a disorder that causes a person to hallucinate, experience delusions, or convey no emotion at all. People with this disorder often have difficulty relating to others, struggle with making decisions, have a hard time managing their emotions, and may have trouble thinking clearly.

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that requires life-long care. It often requires a combination of medications, therapy, counseling, and specialized treatment to address effectively. While there is no cure for it, treatment options for it allow those with schizophrenia to lead productive lives.

  7. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is an invasive set of urges that are repetitive, irrational, and excessive in nature. These obsessive urges can interfere with everyday life and make it difficult to complete basic tasks. It often has its roots planted in anxiety and requires various forms of therapy to address.

    Depending on the triggers for a person’s OCD, there are a variety of ways treating it may be approached. Some forms of therapy may focus on gradually exposing a person to their fear to help them develop healthy coping mechanisms. Other people benefit from talk therapy to help them uncover the underlying motives of their compulsive behaviors. Additionally, medications may be used to help a person cope with triggers.

  8. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): ADHD is commonly diagnosed in adolescents. It is characterized by impulsiveness, shortened attention span, and hyperactivity. Those with ADHD frequently become bored easily and may have difficulty concentrating which can cause them to act out or become disruptive.

    Depending on the person, medication and talk therapy may be utilized to help address ADHD early on. The earlier treatment is provided, the more likely it to is be effectively managed before entering adulthood.

  9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD often develops following the experience of a traumatic event. There is no clear line defining what is considered a traumatic event and what is not. Most commonly, PTSD is triggered by sexual assault, violence, witnessing trauma (such as a car accident or natural disaster), and being in war. A person with PTSD may struggle with unwanted memories and nightmares and they may engage in avoidant behaviors to reduce the risk of trauma resurfacing.

    PTSD is often treated with medication and therapy to help a person manage their symptoms and find healthy ways of coping with trauma. In some cases, a person may need to face their fears head-on in order to overcome the power it holds over them. While it may not be fully treated by therapy and medication, utilizing both can make life more manageable.

  10. Dementia: Dementia is growing as one of the most common forms of mental health disorders affecting adults today as people are living longer. It is a progressive disorder that becomes increasingly chronic as symptoms develop. Comprehension, memory, language, and emotional and social control can all be impacted. At this time, there is no known cure for dementia and a variety of diseases can cause its development.

    Every situation is unique and diagnosing symptoms varies from person to person. Because there is no cure, treatment is typically focused on easing the confusion and suffering of the person.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, addiction, and/or mental health we are here to help. Give us a call at 888.855.6877 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.


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