More than 57 million people are affected by some type of mental illness each year. Many patients with a mental disorder suffer from more than one disorder. Forty five percent of those diagnosed with a mental illness has two or more different disorders.

Types of Mental Illneses Anxiety and Depression

There are many different types of mental illnesses, including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders. Anxiety and depression are two different types of mental illnesses; however, they normally occur together.

Major depressive disorder affects more than 14 million Americans each year. This type of mental disorder affects both men and women; however, more women than men develop depression. Although it can happen at any age, the median age for this mental illness is 32 years old.

Another type of depression is called dysthymic disorder. Dysthymic disorder, also known as mild or chronic depression, affects approximately 3.3 million Americans each year. The average age of diagnosis is 31 years old. In order for a diagnosis, patients must have had ongoing symptoms for a minimum of two years.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are many different types of anxiety disorders. These include post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic disorders and generalized anxiety. Over 40 million Americans suffer from some type of anxiety disorder each year.

These disorders are often caused by another mental illness or substance abuse. The median age for an anxiety disorder is 21 years old. Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is caused for a variety of reasons, including rape, theft, terrorism, natural disasters, accidents or domestic violence. The median age for this disorder is 23 years old. Many of those who have fought in wars and other military skirmishes have been affected by post traumatic stress disorder.

Phobias affect millions of people every year. There are many different types of phobias. These include agoraphobia which is the fear of places or situations where escape may seem difficult; thus, patients prefer to stay home and avoiding crowded places. Other types of phobias include heights, water or any number of other objects.

Anxiety and Depression

Panic disorders cause sudden attacks of fears that can last anywhere from several minutes to several hours. During a panic attack, the patient is fearful of a disaster or losing control of emotions even there’s no real danger. Symptoms can include a pounding heart, trouble breathing, dizziness, weakness and chest pain.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Finally, generalized anxiety disorder patients are unable to relax. They may have difficulty concentrating, falling asleep or staying asleep. Many also complain with headaches, tension, trembling and trouble breathing.

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Women are more likely to develop a mood disorder than men. Anxiety and depression can also affect children who have be subjected to a traumatic event. Additionally, there are numerous medical reasons for anxiety and depression. If a patient has experienced a traumatic event, is a drug addict or has blood relatives with a mental disorder, they are more likely to develop a disorder. Finally, stress from illnesses, such as tumors, thyroid problems, diabetes, asthma or heart disease increases the risk of developing a mood disorder.


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