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THE TOP 10 MOST COMMON MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS



There are many different types of mental health disorders. Their prevalence varies depending on the population studied, stressors and other subjective factors. However, some of the most common mental health disorders can be both diagnosed and treated before things get worse. Recently, I was reading an article on PsychCentral about various psychological disorders and felt it might be advantageous for us to consider certain patterns, symptoms, and other things that might contribute to changes in one’s mood or behavior.


1. Anxiety disorders: These are a group of disorders characterized by excessive fear, worry, or nervousness. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, panic attacks, agoraphobia, separation, anxiety disorder, specific, phobias, postpartum, anxiety and social anxiety disorder.


2. Mood disorders: mood disorders are described as mental health conditions that can vary from the highs of mania to the lows of depression. These are a group of disorders characterized by significant changes in mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Other examples include major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, situational depression and cyclomatic disorder.


3. Substance use/abuse disorders: These are disorders characterized by a problematic pattern of use of a substance, such as alcohol or drugs, leading to significant impairment or distress. Individuals who struggle with this disorder may actually feel that the abuse of the substance is helping them cope with stress or anxiety. However, statistics show that substance abuse only compounds the problem.


4. Psychotic disorders: These are a group of disorders characterized by a loss of contact with reality, such as schizophrenia. These disorders are mainly categorized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thoughts or speech,  and abnormal movements. The symptoms are usually negative and should be handled with a mental health professional.


5. Obsessive compulsive disorders: There are a several disorders that can be tied to OCD. The primary conditions include obsessions and compulsions. Some experts describe this as a condition and not a disorder. It is a common assumption that “hoarding” should be placed in this specific category.


6. Eating disorders: This specific disorder includes practices that disrupt one’s eating patterns. Examples include anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. The onset of this disorder may come from specific trauma or subjective and situational. This disorder can affect both weight, overall personal health, and mental stress.


7. Stress related disorders: The number of stressors in one’s life is completely subjective. Some may specifically deal with anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, or dissociative disorders (next). However, stress related disorders are based on individual trauma or an event that causes extreme stress. Reactive attachment disorder and adjustment disorder also fall into this category.


8. Dissociative disorders: This disorder includes anything that might disrupt or impair an individual. Continued stress or trauma can exacerbate this disorder.  Examples may include amnesia, identity related disorders, and a vast amount of other issues that would impair memory, emotions, and perception.


9. Neurodevelopment disorders: This disorder more than likely begins in early childhood development. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopment disorders. Other examples would include autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, social learning or similar communication disorders. If left untreated, these disorders may cause more issues later in life.


10. Personality disorders: These are a group of disorders characterized by deeply ingrained patterns of behavior. These symptoms deviate from the norm and cause significant social or occupational impairment. Examples include borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder.


Time and space does not permit us to discuss a host of other mental health conditions. There are many who deal with sexual dysfunctions,  voyeurism, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless, leg syndrome, neurocognitive disorders, and LGBTQ+ related mental issues. There is a host of manias and phobias that could also be discussed at a later date.


It's important to note that mental health disorders are complex and can often co-occur with one another. I highly encourage you to visit with a mental health professional if you or a loved one struggles with one of these disorders. There is hope! Take your mental health seriously.


You are loved.

Dr. Ray Reynolds


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