Descriptions of Mental Illness


Depression is the most common mental illness that presents with depressed mood, irritability, reduced patience and loss of interest or pleasure. Feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, poor concentration, and memory can be present. Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom or an attempt to commit suicide. People think more negative, remember more negative and perceive the moment more negative.

These symptoms last longer than two weeks.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental illness that causes people to have episodes of severe high and low moods. People who have this illness switch from feeling overly happy and energized to feeling very sad and vice versa.  Some people are very irritable and aggressive when manic. Because of the highs and the lows — or two poles of mood — the condition is referred to as “bipolar” disorder. In between episodes of mood swings, a person may experience normal moods.

Acute Stress Disorder

Acute stress disorder (ASD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop immediately following a traumatic event.

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders are abnormal exaggerations of our normal and adaptive reaction to fearful or stressful events.

A condition characterized by an excessive and persistent sense of apprehension or fearing something unknown that comes in a wave like manner. Physical symptoms such as sweating or hot and coldness, palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, being off balance, ringing in the ears, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, blurry vision, diarrhoea  and urinating frequently.

Panic Disorder

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear of dying that triggers severe physical reactions (pounding heart, chest pains, rapid breathing and sweating.) when there is no real danger or apparent cause.

Panic attacks can be very frightening and people attend casualty frequently to exclude heart attacks or strokes.

A person with panic disorder may have repeated panic attacks (at least several a month) and fear another attack.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychological condition triggered by a major traumatic event, such as rape, war, a terrorist act, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, or a catastrophic accident. It is marked by upsetting memories or thoughts of the ordeal, “blunting” of emotions, increased arousal, and sometimes severe personality changes.


Schizophrenia is a brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. It may result in some combination of hallucinations (Abnormal perceptions – voices, smells, or touch), delusions (abnormal believes that is not explained by a person’s culture, religion, or subculture) and disordered thinking and behaviour.

Contrary to some popular belief, schizophrenia isn’t split personality or multiple personality. The word “schizophrenia” does mean “split mind,” but it refers to a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thinking.

Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is a condition in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms — such as hallucinations or delusions — and of mood disorder symptoms, such as mania or depression.

Sleep Disorder

Sleep disorders involve any difficulties related to sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.


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