Four Common Mental Health Conditions

Know the signs and symptoms of the top four mental health conditions

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Among the top five national health conditions contributing to poor health, depression, anxiety and mood disorders are ranked number one in almost every county of every state in the U.S. Of these individuals, nearly 60 percent did not receive mental health services last year. “Mental Illness Awareness Week” focuses on addressing the stigmas that exist around mental health disorders and encouraging individuals and loved ones to understand the signs and treatment options available.

Anxiety Disorders

Feelings of anxiousness are a normal part of life. However, when these feelings begin to conflict with everyday tasks, it may be time to seek professional care. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the United States, with an estimated 40 million adults managing these disorders. The term encompasses a variety of disorders, such as generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias. Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

· Cold or sweaty hands or feet

· Dizziness

· Dry mouth

· Heart palpitations

· Inability to stay calm and still

· Nausea

· Panic, fear and uneasiness

· Shortness of breath

· Sleep related problems

· Tense muscles


An estimated 16 million Americans have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. These experiences go beyond having a bad day, they involve symptoms that continue for long periods of time. If the below symptoms persist for two weeks or more, it is recommended that individuals seek mental health services:

· Changes in sleep

· Changes in appetite

· Changes in weight

· Lack of concentration

· Loss of energy

· Lack of interest in activities

· Hopelessness or guilty thoughts

· Changes in movement

· Physical aches and pains

· Suicidal thoughts

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder affects almost eight million adults and is the result of a traumatic event, such as military combat, assault, an accident or a natural disaster. The disorder is often accompanied by other common mental health disorders like depression, substance abuse or another anxiety disorder. If the symptoms of PTSD last more than one month, individuals should consider professional care options.

· Avoiding certain places

· Easily startled

· Feelings of guilt or depression

· Feeling tense

· Flashbacks to moment of trauma

· Nightmares

· Outbursts of anger

· Out-of-body experiences

· Scary thoughts

· Trouble sleeping

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms typically last more than one hour each day, interfering with the daily activities of the nearly 3.3 million people who are currently managing it. The main components of OCD are obsessive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. Most people with OCD notice the symptoms themselves, but are unable to stop due to the obsessive thoughts.

Symptoms of obsessions: 

· Doubts about doing things right

· Fear of shouting inappropriate things

· Sexual or violent thoughts

· Thoughts about harming others

Symptoms of compulsions:

· Constant hand washing

· Counting and recounting things

· Mental checking

· Rechecking completed tasks

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