10 Mental Disorders You Should Know About

Top 10 – Mental Disorders

Keeping with our health theme from last month, and with more and more films and TV beginning to centre the plot around mental health, I thought this list would be an interesting topic. Especially, with the films being released, it can be easy for people to develop this image of people suffering from mental illness, as psychotic murderers or estranged paedophiles. This is not the case, and it is important to have a good understanding about the differences of each illness. One thing that became apparent in my research is that regardless of how well you developed during adolescence, you could still potentially develop a mental condition. One in 5 Australians between 16-85, experience a mental illness during their lifetimes. So, it is important to have an idea of the distinct conditions and the differences between them. For more information on specific conditions, there are an abundance of organisations which give information on the essential facts and they will be listed below.

10. Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder)

This disorder is rare, that is the main point of this disorder; it is very rare. Despite it being overrepresented in Hollywood, like the new James McAvoy film split, and it’s infamy in classic texts such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or Hitchcock’s legendary Psycho. This is a rare disorder where a person can develop more than one personality. It is an unfair an wrong assumption that these additional personalities are automatically murderous and often they are quite harmless. They are the results of a “failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory, and consciousness in a single multi-dimensional self”.

For more information, see https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder

9. Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is neurological development disorder that specifically hinders a sufferers ability to interact with others. This may be an inability to recognise emotion or sarcasm. Generally, people with Autism struggle to recognise social ques and thus fit in. As it a spectrum disorder (which the most recent publication of the DSM merged Autistic conditions into), it encompasses a variety of diagnoses. Asperger’s is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. It is important to note though, that there are varying degrees of severity, and some people are basically unaffected while others are unable to go about their daily lives because of it. The amount of Australians who suffered from actual autism is roughly 115,400, according to the ABS.

For more information, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/autism-spectrum-disorder-asd

8. Schizophrenia

This is the reason I picked this topic, with the emergence of the split-personality villain (Cough James McAvoy Cough). Many people will begin to mistakenly perceive schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder as the same. They are not the same. Sufferers of schizophrenia do not have another personality, and are not intellectually disabled. Aggression as a symptom of schizophrenia is rare, and they are not psychopaths, as some media would have you believe. The common symptoms of schizophrenia are delusions, and hallucinations of things that are not really there. Sadly, this has a domino effect of socially isolating sufferers of schizophrenia because they struggle to fit in with society. This isolation actually worsens the mental condition of the sufferer. It is important to take away, schizophrenics are not psychopaths.

For more information, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/schizophrenia

7. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder translates to mood-swings. However, unlike regular hormonal mood swings, these highs and lows can be quite severe, like the low of manic depression. Mood swings are quite normal, but when your irregular moods begin to affect your work-life or social-life, it is not a bad idea to check in with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Bipolar Disorder 1 is a severe disorder, which can result in mania, having longer highs, that can encompass psychotic episodes. Bipolar Disorder 2 is the same highs, but without the psychotic episodes.

For more information, see http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/bipolardisorder/bipolardisorderexplained/

6. Anti-Social Personality Disorder

This is where I am going to end a common myth. The terms sociopathy and psychopathy are describing patterns and conditions. They are not disorders, themselves. The condition everyone believes a sociopath has is actually, anti-social personality disorder. This is a more dangerous condition, than other mental disorders. This disorder, is characterised by a lack of empathy and remorse for human feelings, or humans in general, repeatedly breaking the law, indifference to suffering. Something that is interesting, is this disorder does not inhibit the sufferers social skills. In fact, sufferers can actually be quite charming, witty, and flattering. This is because a trademark of this disorder is the remarkable ability of a suffering to indifferently manipulate a person. Thus, scammers are often people with this disorder. There is a lot of more information about this condition and all of it is interesting.

For more information, see


5. Paranoid Personality Disorder

This is a relatively harmless as a disorder, but it is actually one of the more common mental disorders. It is the continued distrust and suspicion of others. Inevitably, they will always automatically assume that other people are hostile towards them and they are out to get them. The nature of this disorder means it is harder to for sufferers to have close relationships. This isolation like other conditions only worsens the disorder.

For more information, see


4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder affects around 690,000 of the Australian population. It is a simple disorder, that repeats anxious thoughts that disrupt day-to-day functioning. Often this obsession annoys others, and the sufferer can feel intense shame about succumbing to the compulsion. Overall, it is not actually harmful, just more of a hindrance on the sufferer.

For more information, see


3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is a disorder that everyone can be potentially susceptible to. It occurs after a person has witnessed a traumatic event. This means in countries of war, or soldiers who witness horrible events are more likely to develop PTSD. Other very high trigger rates especially for women, were rape and molestation. The actual symptoms of the disorder are both internal and external. Internally, the sufferer came be hit by waves of immense fear, or flashbacks of the events. Externally, the sufferer can be seen as being agitated or over-vigilant, as well as showing a detachment from their life. As I said earlier, anyone who is witness to a traumatic event could potentially develop PTSD.

For more information, see


2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

This is a disorder that affects childrens learning and development. 11.2% of Australian children suffer from this condition. This disorder is basically a behavioural issue. Children who suffer from it have problems with overactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. This can affect a child’s learning and development, as well as test the patience of parents. However, apart from potential accidents from the overactivity, a child who suffers from ADHD is not psychotic or anything associated with violence.

For more information, see


1. Depression

This goes at the top because of the unfortunate truth of how common it is. Depression has been the third global burden of disease. It also can be dangerous, not necessarily to others, but to a sufferers own self. Depression if not dealt with has the potential to lead to suicide, occasionally taking more than just a sufferer’s own life. The World Health Organisation predicts depression will be its number on health concern by 2030. With proper help, depression can be both medicinally and non-medicinally managed.

For more information, see


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