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8 Types of Mental Illnesses: Understanding and Conquering

Updated: May 22

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a dedicated time for organizations and individuals to raise awareness about mental illness, fight stigma, and advocate for better mental health resources.

A healthy mind is as essential as a healthy body. Yet, when it comes to types of mental illnesses, there can be a lot of fear and confusion. Widespread and affecting millions, mental illness manifests in various forms. Each has distinct symptoms and requires tailored treatments. 

This blog post aims to explain some of the most common types of mental illnesses in a clear and approachable way. By understanding these conditions, we can better support ourselves and help others.

Understanding Mental Illness

Mental illness is a general term for a wide range of conditions that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. These conditions can cause significant distress and interfere with your daily life. However, it's important to remember that mental illness is treatable. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people with mental illness can live a whole and productive life. 

What Are the Common Types of Mental Illnesses?

Mind Matters: Unveiling the Many Faces of Mental Illness

1.     Anxiety Disorders


These include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder. They involve excessive fear or worry that can interfere with daily activities.


2.     Mood Disorders


This category includes major depressive disorder (depression), bipolar disorder, and dysthymia. Mood disorders involve disturbances in mood, such as prolonged sadness (depression) or alternating periods of depression and mania (bipolar disorder).


It is profoundly saddening to acknowledge that the writer recently faced the heart-wrenching loss of a family friend who succumbed to depression. This serves as a stark illustration of the immense pain and turmoil that individuals battling depression may silently endure. Losing someone to suicide not only leaves behind an intense sense of grief and loss but also underscores the urgent need for greater understanding, compassion, and support for those grappling with mental health challenges.


This loss emphasizes the importance of reaching out to loved ones, offering support, and destigmatizing discussions around mental health. It serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize mental health, seek help when needed, and foster a community where individuals feel safe to address their struggles without fear of judgment or shame openly. Let this tragedy be a catalyst for positive change, prompting us to advocate for better mental health resources, educate ourselves and others, and actively work towards preventing such heartbreaking losses in the future.


3.     Psychotic Disorders


These include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and delusional disorder. Psychotic disorders involve disruptions to thoughts and perceptions, often leading to difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is not.

4.     Eating Disorders


Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. These conditions involve disturbances in eating behaviors and body image.


5.     Personality Disorders


These include borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. Personality disorders involve enduring patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience that deviate from cultural expectations and cause distress or impairment.


6.     Substance Use Disorders


Also known as addiction, these disorders involve the compulsive use of substances despite adverse consequences. Common substances include alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.


7.     Neurodevelopmental Disorders


These include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and intellectual disability. Neurodevelopmental disorders typically manifest early in development and involve impairments in brain function.


As reported by the Centers for Disease Control, current estimates indicate that autism impacts approximately 1 in 36 children and 1 in 45 adults across the United States.


8.     Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders 

This category includes obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), body dysmorphic disorder, and hoarding disorder. These disorders involve intrusive thoughts, urges, or behaviors that cause significant distress or impairment.

How Does Born Brown: All Rights Reserved Promote Mental Health Awareness?

Born Brown: All Rights Reserved advocates for mental health awareness through various avenues on its website. We provide information, resources, and support for mental health, particularly within communities of color. This may include articles, blog posts, or personal stories discussing mental health challenges and strategies for coping. Additionally, we might offer links to mental health organizations, hotlines, or support groups for individuals seeking help. By raising awareness, sharing personal experiences, and providing resources, Through raising awareness, sharing our personal experiences, and providing resources, we at Born Brown aim to destigmatize mental health issues and encourage people to seek support when they need it.

Getting Help

If you think you or someone you know may be struggling with a mental illness, it's essential to seek help. A mental health professional can diagnose the condition and develop a treatment plan. Treatment may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.


In exploring the diverse landscape of mental health, we have embarked on a journey to understand and conquer the various types of mental illnesses that impact individuals worldwide. From anxiety disorders to psychotic disorders, each condition presents its own set of challenges and complexities. However, armed with knowledge, empathy, and support, we can navigate these challenges and work towards better mental well-being.

It is essential to remember that mental illness does not define a person, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. By fostering open conversations, reducing stigma, and promoting understanding, we can create a more compassionate and supportive environment for those facing mental health struggles.

Let us continue educating ourselves, supporting one another, and advocating for improved mental health resources and services. With collective efforts and perseverance, we can strive towards a future where mental health is prioritized, and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

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