psychological disorders

14 Common Types of Psychological Disorders

Most people in their lives can be affected by a mental health problem at some point. Mental health problems (or mental illnesses) are a major cause of disability in our society. In recent years, interest in the early identification of symptoms of psychological disorders has increased and, consequently, the importance of prevention becomes clear. In order to identify some of these symptoms and go to a specialist, we must have some basic knowledge of the main psychological disorders. In this Psychologyorg article, we show you the 14 Common Types of Psychological Disorders.

psychological disorders

Mental anxiety disorders

We have all experienced anxiety or nervousness at some point, which is completely normal. However, when anxiety manifests itself through symptoms that generate stress and interfere with different contexts of the person’s life (academic, work, or family performance), we may be talking about an anxiety disorder.

1. Panic disorder

Panic attacks are represented by sudden and intense fear or panic and anxiety that are often associated with emotions of death. These attacks include symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations, chest discomfort, and a feeling of suffocation. This disorder is diagnosed when there is a series of unexpected and recurring panic attacks.

2. Agoraphobia

Normally, when people have panic attacks, the episodes are so intense and overwhelming that they try to do anything to avoid having the experience again. This avoidance behavior is called agoraphobia. Most people think that agoraphobia means fear of crowds or open spaces, but it is actually the fear of having a panic attack in a situation where the person believes that escape may be difficult or where help may not be possible. be available.

3. Social anxiety disorder

It is one of the most familiar anxiety disorders. It is characterized by fear of being negatively evaluated or judged by others and, as a result, feeling ashamed or humiliated. People with social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia ) ​​may be very afraid of speaking in public, going to social gatherings, talking to people they don’t know, etc.

4. Specific phobia

There are people who are afraid of certain objects, for example, needles, but that fear is not disabling. In the case of specific phobias, the fear is not manageable. The person experiences overwhelming fear when exposed to the feared animal, object, or situation. Some of the stimuli that can cause phobia are: going to the dentist, the doctor, injections, bridges, tunnels, etc.

5. Traumatic stress disorder

This disorder occurs when a person has experienced or witnessed traumatic events that cause them to experience distressing psychological symptoms that can become very disabling. There are moments in which the person relives the traumatic event and experiences a series of symptoms such as flashbacks, isolation from others, anger, fatigue… Because of this, the person will try to avoid objects or situations associated with the traumatic event.

6. Obsessive-compulsive disorder

It is a disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts or ideas. They are usually very annoying and can make the person anxious ( obsessions ). To alleviate this anxiety, the person carries out a series of acts or rituals ( compulsions ). Typically, obsessions include fears, doubts, thoughts of hurting others, or thoughts of doing things the person feels are inappropriate. Compulsions can involve repeated checks, such as cleaning, touching, or arranging things over and over again until they are symmetrical or “perfect,” etc.

7. Generalized anxiety disorder

Worrying about something from time to time is completely normal, but when worry starts to interfere with a person’s life, it can be a generalized anxiety disorder. This disorder is characterized by excessive and chronic worry and anxiety. The main symptoms are physical: vomiting, tiredness, muscle pain, restlessness, concentration problems, etc.

psychological disorders

Mental mood disorders

8. Bipolar disorder

This disorder affects the person on an emotional, cognitive, and behavioral level. It involves a series of sudden changes in the mood of the person, being able to go from the maximum levels of mania to the lowest levels of major depression. More than a good or bad state of mind considered normal, that is, transitory, this disorder is a cycle that can last days, weeks, or even months and affects various areas of life (social, work, academic…). For some, the duration between outbreaks of illness can be regular and effective.

However, research suggests that when left untreated, illness episodes that depend on the type of bipolar disorder occur more frequently and are more severe. During a manic episode, a person may impulsively abandon work or an important commitment, spend large amounts of money, or feel rested after only two hours’ sleep. In a depressive episode, that person may feel too tired to get out of bed and hopeless about her overall situation.

9. Depression

Most of us feel unhappy or depressed at some moment in our lives. Feelings of frustration or despair are normal reactions to some loss or disappointment, lasting for days before gradually reducing. For some, however, depression is a continuum in their lives. Depression is a serious and disabling illness that strongly affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

It can last for years and, without treatment, can cause permanent disability. Depression not only affects the mental but also the physical, altering eating and sleeping patterns, increasing restlessness and, consequently, general fatigue and even causing mysterious physical symptoms.

Eating disorders

10. Anorexia Nervosa

It is characterized by the obsession to control the amount of food eaten. Often the root of anorexia is the belief that controlling your body is a way to control your life. A particular characteristic of this eating disorder is the distortion of the body image, that is, they perceive themselves fatter than they are.

11. Binge eating disorder

People living with binge eating disorder consume excessive amounts of food at one time, this consumption is characterized by a loss of control. Often they do so either because the diet has made them hungry or to control themselves in stressful situations. A common myth is that people with binge eating disorders compensate for binge eating by vomiting, fasting, exercising excessively, or abusing laxatives, but this behavior is more characteristic of people affected by bulimia nervosa and anorexia.

12. Bulimia

It is characterized by cycles of binging and purging. As with anorexia, the desire to regulate feelings and concerns about body weight contributes to bulimia and its characteristic behavior. The cycle begins when the person rapidly eats large amounts of food in one sitting, which can lead to discomfort and anxiety about weight gain. And as a consequence, the person tries to rid the body of the food that was consumed through vomiting, the use of laxatives, enemas, excessive physical exercise, omission of meals, or diet.

psychological disorders

Personality and psychotic disorders

13. Personality disorders

There are different types of personality disorders. These types of disorders are characterized by patterns of thought and behavior that cause stress in the ways of relating that limit them when it comes to working and establishing relationships. Some personality disorders are paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, dependent, obsessive-compulsive, or avoidant personality disorder.

14. Psychotic disorders

The word psychosis is used to describe those disorders that produce a distortion of the person’s mind, which causes them to lose contact with reality. Hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disorganization of thought and speech are some symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms may seem so real that the person does not realize that he has psychosis. Also, behavior and feelings are influenced by these kinds of symptoms. There are many disorders that can cause psychotic symptoms: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychotic depression, among others.

If you want to read more articles similar to 14 Common Types of Psychological Disorders, we recommend that you enter our Mental Disorders category.

Read Also: 10 Tips for Effective Communication psychologyorg


What is a psychological disorder?

A psychological disorder refers to a condition that affects an individual’s thoughts, emotions, behavior, or overall mental well-being, leading to significant distress or impairment in functioning.

What are the common types of psychological disorders?

Some common types of psychological disorders include anxiety disorders (such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder), mood disorders (such as depression and bipolar disorder), schizophrenia, personality disorders, eating disorders, and substance use disorders.

Can psychological disorders be treated?

Yes, psychological disorders can be treated. Treatment approaches may include therapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychotherapy), medications, lifestyle changes, and support from healthcare professionals. The specific treatment depends on the type and severity of the disorder.

How common are psychological disorders?

Psychological disorders are relatively common, with millions of people worldwide experiencing them. The prevalence rates vary depending on the specific disorder, geographical location, and other factors. It’s important to note that seeking professional help and support is crucial for managing psychological disorders effectively.

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