If you have ever known someone who suffered from a mental or emotional illness before, you know that these types of sicknesses are no joke. They can take over someone’s life in an instant, changing how they act, what they think, how they eat and function overall. These are very complicated diseases, and some doctors admit they do not know enough about some of these problems to fully heal those afflicted by them. However, if you have a basic idea of what to expect when you find out someone has a particular mental illness, you may be able to understand them and their affliction a little better.
There are several categories of mental disorders: organic brain disorders, personality disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and psychotic disorders. The following mental illnesses each fall under different categories.
This mental illness falls under the psychotic disorders category. People who have schizophrenia may show symptoms of delusions and hallucinations, basically seeing or hearing things or voices that do not actually exist. They may also seem to lack emotion, will withdraw from social situations, and may even neglect their personal hygiene. The causes of this disease are not clear, though some doctors believe genetics and prenatal development may have something to do with it.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
If you are incredibly depressed in the winter or summer months, you may have seasonal affective disorder, also known as the winter blues or the summer blues, depending on when you feel depressed. This illness falls under the category of mood and anxiety disorders. There are many people who experience a significant mood change with the change in the seasons. People dealing with seasonal affective disorder, aptly nicknamed SAD, may stay in bed sleeping much longer than usual, and may feel a significant decrease in the amount of energy they have.
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
You may know someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the most obvious symptom you will probably notice is that they seem to have a compulsion to do a particular behavior repeatedly. They perform these rituals obsessively and if they are unable to complete them, they deal with a great amount of anxiety. For example, some people must wash their hands thoroughly and repeatedly because they have a great fear of germs. Usually, people who have OCD are aware that they are acting in an unreasonable manner, but are unable to stop. This disorder is categorized as a personality disorder.
Sadly, many older people must deal with the fact that they may develop Alzheimer’s disease as they age. This disease is one of the more common causes of dementia, which basically means that the person will lose their brain function. Dementia can be caused by several other diseases, but Alzheimer’s is the more likely cause. This disease is categorized as an organic brain disorder. While Alzheimer’s is known as a disease that makes you forgetful, you should be more concerned about symptoms like finding you put your keys in an odd place like your sock drawer, or forgetting entire conversations instead of bits and pieces, or being unable to follow directions in a recipe that you used to know like the back of your hand.