Mental health conditions are more common than you might think. In the U.S., more than 18 percent of adults lived with a mental illness in the past year, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Here are the top 10 most common mental disorders among adults in the U.S.:
People with borderline personality disorder have highly changeable moods and behaviors. They often react in extreme ways and have unstable, volatile relationships. They may also act impulsively or have problems controlling anger.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by large swings in mood from depression to elation. A person may feel depressed for a couple of weeks, for example, and then feel extremely energetic for a week. The up period is known as a manic episode, and the down swing is known as a depressive episode.
The telltale symptom of panic disorder is a panic attack, a sudden feeling of extreme fear. Panic attacks cause physical reactions such as a pounding heart, sweating, and shaking. A person may begin to worry about when the next attack will occur and avoid places where panic attacks have happened.
Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, refers to excessive fear and worry. These feelings occur frequently and interfere with daily life. For example, a person may worry so much that they have trouble concentrating and can’t focus on work or school tasks.
After a traumatic or dangerous situation, it’s normal to feel emotional. But people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) don’t recover from these feelings over time. Months after the event, they may feel fearful even when they are not in danger. They may also have flashbacks and nightmares, or avoid certain places that might trigger reactions.
Both children and adults can have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD. People with ADHD have trouble focusing and concentrating. They may also move constantly or fidget all the time, which is known as hyperactivity.
Personality disorders refer to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are different from what’s culturally acceptable and cause problems functioning. People with avoidant personality disorder feel inadequate and avoid many social situations. They are preoccupied with being liked and very afraid of being criticized.
People who suffer from depression may feel hopeless, worthless, very sad, or guilty. Physical problems such as fatigue and oversleeping can also occur. To be diagnosed as depression, these symptoms must last longer than two weeks.
Although many people get nervous around new people, people with social anxiety disorder feel extreme anxiety in social situations. As a result, they may avoid social situations altogether.
A specific phobia refers to a fear of a certain thing or activity, such as heights or spiders. People who are afraid of flying, for example, may avoid long-distance plane travel. Nearly 9 percent of Americans have a specific phobia, making it one of the most common mental disorders.
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