Efforts are being made to better understand the complexity of mental health and how to effectively help those struggling. Chances are you or someone you know will experience a mental disorder at some point in life. Here is a look at three of the most common mental health disorders in the United States.
Around 19 million Americans ages 18 to 54 struggle with an anxiety disorder. This category includes panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and many phobias. It is not uncommon for anxiety disorders to co-occur with other problems, such as depression, eating disorders, or substance abuse.
Symptoms are often worse during times of stress and can vary depending on the severity of the anxiety. A person may experience sleeping problems, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, trembling, twitching, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness.
Everyone feels sad sometimes, but depression is a mental disorder that is more than just feeling sad. Many people describe depression as feeling empty, angry, numb, or fatigued. Depression can be mild and temporary or severe and constant. To be diagnosed with clinical depression, which is a more severe form, your symptoms must be serious enough to cause visible problems or changes in relationships or daily activities, such as work or school. This common mental health problem can affect all ages, including children. Psychological counseling, antidepressant medications, or a combination of the two can help improve even severe depression.
Unusual changes in mood, activity levels, energy and the ability to perform daily tasks are all signs of manic-depressive illness, or bipolar disorder. It is normal to go through mood swings and have highs and lows in life, but for those with bipolar disorder, their highs and lows are extreme. People suffering from this disorder have troubled relationships, poor job or school performance, and thoughts of suicide. Fortunately, there is medication that can treat bipolar disorder, allowing people to live active, normal lives.
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