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Spreading the News on Mental Illnesses

If you’ve been to my page before, you know that mental illness is a touchy subject but a subject that needs to be discussed. I had the honor of working with ‘drugwatch.com’ to go more in depth about mental illnesses; what they are, side effects, treatments, etc. 


There are many disorders out there, some more serious than you may think. There are anxiety disorders, Mood disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, and ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). There is autism, personality disorders, eating disorders, and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).


Did you know that 46 million Americans, that’s 1 in 5, suffer from a mental illness, with 1 in 24 having a serious illness. That blew my mind, but I also wasn’t entirely shocked based on observation of this world we live in today. If you’re part of that 1, don’t lose hope because 80% of people with depression and 90% with panic disorders get better after receiving treatment. Now let’s dive into each disorder individually.


  • Anxiety

  • Symptoms: rapid heartbeat, sweating, can’t be controlled

  • Other disorders associated with anxiety include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, OCD, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)


  • Panic Disorder

  • Symptoms: fast heartbeat, chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness

  • Panic disorders can happen with no warning at all. 

  • Treatment: medication and therapy


  • Depression (over 17 million Americans have had a depressive episode)

  • Symptoms: sadness, loss of interest in activities they would normally enjoy, weight gain or loss, trouble sleeping, lack of energy, feeling worthless, thoughts of death or suicide.

  • Causes: genetics, environmental, biochemical

  • It comes as no surprise that during the COVID-19 pandemic the rates for depression were raised by 25%.


  • Bipolar Disorder (Depressive and mania)

  • Cause: emotional highs and lows

  • Depressive symptoms: extreme sadness and feeling worthless

  • Mania symptoms: extreme elation, jumpiness, overblown feelings of self esteem

  • Treatments: atypical antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and psychotherapy

  • 10 million people in the US suffer from bipolar disorders and they cycle through both depressive and mania mood swings


  • Schizophrenia

  • This disorder affects one's emotions, behaviors, concentration, and perception of reality.

  • There are 3 different categories of symptoms: positive, negative, and cognitive.

  • Positive symptoms: movement disorders, hallucinations, delusions, fixed false beliefs

  • Negative symptoms: reduced feelings/pleasure in life, reduced speaking, difficulty beginning tasks

  • Cognitive symptoms: trouble paying attention, problems processing information, difficulty understanding information

  • Treatment: antipsychotics and psychotherapy

  • Other treatments include a combination of psychotherapy, medication, case management, family and employment involvement


  • ADHD

  • Symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, trouble staying organized, trouble focusing on tasks, restlessness, forgetfulness, excessive talking, difficulty paying attention to instructions and conversations

  • Treatment: stimulants

  • Often times ADHD will come with another disorder such as anxiety, depression, or autism


  • Warnings signs: social withdrawal, reduction in functioning activities at work/school/home/etc., problems with thinking, such as concentration, memory or logical thought, and speech, sensitivity increase, lack of interest in things, feeling disconnected, illogical thinking, exaggerated beliefs, feelings of nervousness, fear, or suspicion around others, unusual behavior, changes in sleep, appetite, and/or mood


  • Risks factors and causes: alcohol/substance abuse, chemical imbalances in the brain, exposure to toxic chemicals or viruses in the womb, genes/family history, having a serious medical condition such as cancer, brain injury, social isolation, stress, history of abuse or other negative life 


If you or someone you know have any of these disorders, just know you are not alone. I personally understand the struggle of not wanting to rely on therapy or medication to ‘feel better’ because I was the same way. One day I decided enough was enough and I feel 90% better than I did before starting medicine. Turning to medicine or therapy doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger. There is always someone out there who can help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.


For more information on this topic, please visit https://www.drugwatch.com/health/mental-health/mental-illness/



Citation: Llamas, M. (2023, September 5). Mental illness guide: Types of disorders & treatments. Drugwatch.com. https://www.drugwatch.com/health/mental-health/mental-illness/ 


This was written based on facts listed on the drugwatch, mental illness page.

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