Types of mental disorders


Typical mental disorders include: stress related disorders, adaptive disorders, anxiety disorders, neurosis, obsessive–compulsive syndromes, depressions, maniacal states, bipolar disorders, schizophrenic disorders, dementia, disorders induced by somatic diseases and by organic brain injury or disease, disorders induced by somatic diseases and by organic brain injury or disease, disorders associate with alcohol or psychoactive substance, problems with eating, sleep disorders, affected libido and psychosexual dysfunctions, personality disorders, impairment of mental development.


An identification of typical symptoms of mental disorders is of key importance for their correct diagnosis.

Mental diseases and disorders Symptoms
stress-related and adaptive disorders tension, irritability, decreased mood, anxiety and fears, together with concentration of experiences on stressful situation, conflict or traumatic event
anxiety disorders diffuse, slow passing, causeless or fear attacks, as well as anxiety experienced unexpectedly in contact with specific situations / circumstance (phobias)
the compulsive-obsessive syndrome (obsessive-compulsive neurosis) intrusive, persistently recurring thoughts, concerns, compulsion of doing unnecessary activities, rituals
depression long-term lowering of mood and decreased ability for pleasant experiences, constant worrying, susceptibility to guilt feelings, negative assessments, pessimism, unwillingness to act and talk, decline in functional capacity and vigour and no spirit of initiative, retardation, limited concentration span, loss of zest for life, suicidal thoughts
maniacal states states of elevated, excessively brightened mood, enhanced energy and hyperactivity, inflated self-esteem, being more talkative than usual, racing thoughts and high mobility, inadequately increased self-esteem and wrong situation assessment, unjustified optimism, inclination towards hasty, reckless decisions
bipolar affective illness (manic-depressive illness (MDI)) alternating, few-day or few-week or even multiple-month periods of mania and depression, immediately following one another or separated by shorter or longer periods of mental normality
schizophrenia changes in perception and interpretation of inner and outer world phenomena; false hearing, visual, tactile, palatable and olfactory perceptions (hallucinations and illusions) of phenomena and objects, which either do not exist in the real world or exist in a way different from the patient's perception, also false judgements, wrong interpretations of events, which a schizophrenic person is not able to correct, despite an opioids evidence for their erroneousness (delusions); deteriorated integration of mental functions - perception, thinking, emotional and motor sphere, what leads to mental disorganisation and difficulties to act and take decisions, to odd behaviours,  unclear to the environment; weaker drive and motivation and a lack of interest may occur together with a tendency towards the lack of activity and social withdrawal.
delusional disorders persistent, false judgements and wrong interpretations (delusions), undertaking of actions, which result from them, without disorganisation of psyche and personality
problems with eating loss of appetite or refraining from eating (anorexia), excessive appetite and overeating (bulimia)
sleep disorders problems with falling asleep, waking up during night hours, waking too early in the morning, sleep shortening, excessive drowsiness
mental impairment deterioration of memory, thinking (information processing) and learning skills (acquisition of new information) from the early developmental period
dementia secondary, progressive loss of memory capacity, especially regarding fresh memory, attention deficit disorder and disturbed intellectual functions, progressive loss of skills in the scope of daily tasks, mental and behavioural confusion (excessive mobility, agitation, aggression or passivity, apathy, loss of interest, sometimes episodes of delusions, hallucinations, disturbances of consciousness); usually in older people (most often in senility)
addictions, disorders related to alcohol and psychoactive substance (medicinal agents, drugs) abuse repeated states of intoxication, an overwhelming need to take substances, impaired ability to control substance intake, substance use despite sustained injuries and at the cost of ceasing other life activities, decreased tolerance and the need to increase substance doses, the occurrence of mental and somatic, negative symptoms after substance withdrawal (abstinence symptoms); chronically repeated intoxication episodes may result in various syndromes of mental disorders - e.g. depressive, anxietal, delusional, behavioural and dementia
personality disorders lasting from puberty, permanent, maladaptive (dysfunctional) patterns of inner experiencing and behaviours, manifested in the cognitive sphere (the way phenomena are perceived and interpreted), emotionality, emotional reactions and control of mental impulses in relations with other people; suspicion, mental withdrawal, concentration on their own needs. low frustration tolerance, emotional instability, impulsiveness, suggestiveness, theatricality, meticulousness, perfection, timidity, dependency (depending on dominating patterns of experiencing and behaviours); individual suffering or undesirable impact on the environment, distorted social relations
Common symptoms of mental disorders.


In a number of cases, the diagnosis is not simple as the majority of symptoms are not specific in their character and may thus indicate various disorders.

Stock photo. Posed by model.

For example, eating disorders may be either isolated or concomitant with other mental disorders. And so, for example:

  • the loss of appetite may occur in depression and in anxiety disorders,
  • excessive appetite – in mania,
  • overeating or appetite loss - in stress-related disorders,
  • refraining from eating or changes in eating habits are typical in schizophrenia and delusional disorders.


Sleep disorders may, in a similar way, be either spontaneous, i.e. not associated with any other mental disorders, or non-specific symptoms, concomitant with many other mental disorders, e.g. stress related, depressive, anxiety, manic, delusional disorders, as well as with schizophrenia and dementia.

Just as the above-mentioned disturbances, also libido and sexual dysfunctions may coexist with other mental disorders and somatic conditions, but may also appear, either as adverse effects of psychotropic medicinal agents or as primary disorders (psychosexual disturbances).

It is worth knowing that...

All the so far discussed disorders may be of secondary symptomatic character - in result of brain injury or disease or as a consequence of systemic disease, affecting the central nervous system.

Such disorders may appear, among others, in consequence of neurodegenerative diseases, tumours, traumatic brain injuries, as well as of infective, autoimmune, systemic-metabolic, endocrine or cardiovascular diseases.


Therefore, prior to the identification of mental disorders, one should exclude any systemic condition or brain injury or disease as the underlying cause of disorders.

Do you know that...

An important diagnostic indication may also be confirmed genetic susceptibility (in family history), as well as an analysis of stress-inducing factors, both actual and in the past, which may be significant for triggering mental deviations.

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