Types of Mental Illness

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Types of Mental Illness

As you are here you are probably a student who is studying psychology, going through something in your life right now or you are just curious to know more about this mental health condition. Whatever is your motto, its always good to have more awareness about it, just in case someone near or dear one might be suffering from it. With more awareness, it can be treated with the help of medicines and counseling if consulted early with a doctor.

These days it has become very common for people to use the word depression in general life. ” Oh I am so depressed my car broke down”, ” I am so depressed my friend called off our trip”or any other such expression. But we need to understand that depression is a very severe health condition. Maybe its just sadness or grief or some other emotion which we might label as depression. Before jumping on to a conclusion, we must understand what exactly your mental health status is. There are different ways (like some scales to diagnose – HAM-D, HAM-A, OCI etc.) to measure which type of mental health problem one might be suffering from and at which stage they are at. Accordingly, the treatment will be provided by your health consultant. You must visit a doctor near you to diagnose it in a proper way.

So let’s begin with what exactly is a mental illness? Whether it is actually an illness or just a phase one is going through in life at the moment?

What Is Mental Illness?
Mental Health involves effective functioning in daily activities resulting in
Productive activities (work, school, caregiving)
Healthy relationships
Ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity
Mental Illness refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders — health conditions involving
Significant changes in thinking, emotion and/or behavior
Distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities

Mental illnesses take many forms. Some are mild and only interfere in limited ways with daily life, such as certain phobias (abnormal fears). Other mental health conditions are so severe that a person may need care in a hospital.

Many different conditions that are recognized as mental illnesses. The more common types include:

Anxiety disorders: People with anxiety disorders respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread, as well as with physical signs of anxiety or panic, such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
Mood disorders: These disorders, also called affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. The most common mood disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.
Psychotic disorders: Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking. Two of the most common symptoms of psychotic disorders are hallucinations — the experience of images or sounds that are not real, such as hearing voices — and delusions, which are false fixed beliefs that the ill person accepts as true, despite evidence to the contrary. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.

Personality disorders: People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or social relationships.  Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): People with OCD are plagued by constant thoughts or fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions. An example is a person with an unreasonable fear of germs who constantly washes his or her hands.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster.
Other diseases or conditions, including various sleep-related problems and many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, are sometimes classified as mental illnesses, because they involve the brain.

Role of Ayurveda in Mental disorders.

Diet According to Psychophysiological Type : There are primarily three kinds of Ama: Vata ama, Pitta ama, and Kapha ama. Vata ama can cause nervousness and occasional anxiety; Pitta ama can cause irritability; and Kapha ama can cause low ambition and sadness. Both our psychophysiological type (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha)

Exercise According to Psychophysiological Type : The degree of exercise that is recommended is dependent upon our psychophysiological type. Too little or too much exercise can be harmful, so it’s useful to know whether we are Vata, Pitta, or Kapha predominant. 

Herbal Recommendations : Particular herb or combination of herbs target a particular organ or physiological function, physics views this in a parallel manner.

Body Purification : Also called Panchakarma in Ayurveda, this has been shown to be very beneficial to mental and emotional functioning. Some of the treatments used in Panchakarma are oil massage (Abhyanga), Shirodhara (oil poured over the forehead), and Basti (herbalized enemas). The combination of these and other purification therapies work to systematically remove toxins from the cellular level of the body

Daily Routine : The importance of a healthy daily routine for optimal mental health cannot be overemphasized.  It’s well established in medical literature that not getting enough sleep can increase feelings of sadness and occasional anxiety, and impair cognition and mental focus. According to Ayurveda, getting to sleep by 10:00 p.m. is ideal, as that’s the time when Kapha dosha dominates and we are most likely to be naturally sleepy. 

Relationships : Learning skills to effectively communicate and work through the disharmony when it arises is vital to our mental peace and happiness.

Mental illness is treatable. The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function normally in their daily lives.

I have given a very crisp introduction here, for further details please contact me at dr.pashupatinath@gmail.com or call at +91-94140-43016

If you feel you might have any symptoms of the above mentioned condition, consult a doctor near you. We, at Padmanabham Ayurvedic Centre diagnose these conditions and treat them with the help of medicines (only if its required) and/or with counselling.

Thank you for reading my write up. Stay healthy and happy.


About the Author

Dr. Pashupati Nath is a well renowned Ayurvedic Doctor (MD),a coach, consultant. With 18+ years of experience as an Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Pashupati Nath works with his patients to help them unearth dormant capacities that lead to more fulfilling life through the physical, psychological and spiritual way of Ayurveda

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3 thoughts on “Types of Mental Illness”

  1. V nycly explained abt mental illness which is most hot topic among society. Well done Dr.Pashupatiji. thanks a lot for such valuable article.

  2. A much needed article which is very well written. It would also be great if some future article can throw more light on the ways in which ayurveda can help in tackling the mental health issues.

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