7 Mental Disorders of Our Time

Mental disorders are one of the global medical problems of our time. Only depression accounts for 4.3% of the total incidence. More than 260 million people live with anxiety disorders. According to WHO estimates, the damage that mental disorders will cause to the global economy will amount to $16.3 trillion between 2011 and 2030. We will talk about some of them in this article.

What are some common mental disorders today?

7 Mental Disorders of Our Time


Depression is a complex of mental disorders associated with the emotional sphere. This disorder is characterized by a prolonged feeling of longing, guilt, anxiety, avoiding communication and familiar entertainment. A person may experience anhedonia, that is, a loss of the ability to experience pleasure, or apathy – emotional detachment when positive and negative emotions are not felt. People with depression get tired quickly, it is difficult for them to perform everyday tasks, maintain concentration, they are haunted by gloomy thoughts about themselves and their own environment. Physiological manifestations may be noticed: sleep disturbances, improper bowel function, problems in the sexual sphere, and discomfort in the body.

The causes of depression can be both physiological (disturbances in the exchange of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin), and psychological (disturbances in self-esteem, problems in close relationships, dramatic changes in lifestyle). There is also postpartum depression, which is provoked both by a woman’s poor physical health after giving birth and by a change in her social role, accompanied by forced isolation from her usual environment. In addition, depression has social causes: a cult of success and well-being is instilled through the media and education. As a result, a person accepts criteria – often this is a certain list of achievements – compliance with which automatically makes him a “worthy member of society”. If a person discovers inconsistency with this image, this becomes a prerequisite for a depressive state. Treatment for depression can be either pharmacological or psychotherapeutic, and most often these methods are combined. Specialists from My Canadian Pharmacy recommend paying attention to antidepressants based on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, sertraline, vortioxetine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and vilazodone.


A person with schizophrenia loses the unity of mental functions: thinking, emotions and motor skills. The manifestations of this disease are extremely diverse. A decrease in mental activity and emotional impoverishment may occur. A person also experiences hallucinations, neurotic disorders, and delusions (culturally inadequate, absurd, impossible, or grandiose). People with schizophrenia can “hear” their thoughts and feel that others know their content; they also note the presence of “voices” that comment on their actions. The speech and behavior of a person with schizophrenia can be disorganized.

The causes of schizophrenia are diverse: biological, social, psychological and even environmental. It is believed that people with schizophrenia have a genetic predisposition to it, which is realized under the influence of external factors. However, it is impossible to predict from the genes whether a person will have schizophrenia. The main method of treatment is psychopharmacology. It can be also combined with psychotherapy or psychocorrection.

Panic disorder

This disorder is characterized by the regular spontaneous onset of panic attacks. These are very intense bouts of fear or panic, which are always accompanied by bodily reactions: pressure rises, heart pounds, various parts of the body go numb, the person experiences chills, dizziness, shortness of breath. All this time, a person may be haunted by secondary fears: that he or she will die or faint (which is impossible with a panic attack), that he or she will be considered crazy or sick, that he or she will lose control of him- or herself.

If a person has experienced a panic attack at least once, this does not mean that they will happen regularly: the disorder occurs when there are persistent secondary fears. A panic attack can occur in conditions of stress, physical or psychological exhaustion, as well as in the abuse of alcohol and psychostimulants. Due to the fears present during and after the panic attack, a person begins to avoid an active lifestyle: he or she prefers to stay at home by the belief that he or she will not be able to get help during an attack in a public place.

Dissociative identity disorder

This is a very rare disorder that is often confused with schizophrenia. The totality of mental disorders, such as memory lapses, impaired consciousness and feelings of personal identity, leads to the feeling that several different personalities (ego states) exist in the body of one person. These individuals may have a different gender, age, social status, mental ability and character. Similar sensations can occur in a person with schizophrenia, however, in this case, the core of the personality itself is destroyed. With dissociative disorder, the underlying mechanisms of the psyche are turned on, but the person’s personality is preserved.

The causes of this disorder are severe emotional trauma in early childhood, repeated physical, sexual or emotional abuse. A person’s psychological defense mechanisms are triggered, such as repression (eliminating a traumatic episode from consciousness) or dissociation – in this condition, a person perceives what is happening to him or her as if it was happening to someone else. As a rule, people with a dissociative personality disorder do not show other disorders, with the exception of the amnesia of some episodes that occur when one person replaces another (but amnesia does not always happen). Switching between personalities, as a rule, happens unexpectedly, without certain prerequisites and periodicity.

Eating disorders

These are psychogenic-caused behavioral syndromes associated with eating disorders. The most common disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and psychogenic overeating. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a deliberate weight loss that is caused or maintained by the person. Moreover, he or she has a distorted image of his or her own body, which often leads to an extreme degree of thinness and disruption of the internal organs. With bulimia nervosa, a person is overly concerned about the weight of his or her own body, there are often repeated bouts of overeating, which lead him or her to take extreme measures – inducing vomiting or taking laxatives. With psychogenic overeating, a person is inclined to eat food in a state of sadness, fatigue, severe emotional shock, without feeling hungry and not controlling the amount of food eaten.

The development of eating disorders is influenced by biological, psychological, cultural and social factors. Genetics as well as abnormal levels of many hormones, especially serotonin, are also responsible for eating disorders. These disorders affect people with a certain type of personality. In particular, an obsessive type often suffers from anorexia, which is characterized by a desire for perfectionism, low self-esteem, and controlling behavior. In addition, eating disorders are common in industrialized cultures, where thinness is associated with beauty and replicated in the media.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

This condition occurs as a result of a single or recurring traumatic situation, such as war, physical trauma, sexual violence or the threat of death. It develops only in some people. The criterion for the diagnosis is a past extreme stressful event associated with a life threat and violation of one’s own physical integrity or that of other people, as well as the experience of strong emotions at that moment: fear, horror and helplessness. The experienced situation and the experiences associated with it are reproduced in nightmares, involuntary recurring memories or flashbacks. A person avoids thoughts and conversations, as well as actions, places and people one way or another connected with traumatic experience: these situations can serve as triggers that recall unpleasant experiences. There is a point of view that post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder of the mechanism of emotion regulation.

Many studies of the post-traumatic disorder have been conducted during major military conflicts. So, during World War I, traumatic neurosis, was discussed; after World War II, a classic study by Grinker and Spiegel on pilots appeared, which can be considered a detailed description of post-traumatic stress disorder. Many publications on post-traumatic disorder were reported during and after the Vietnam War. However, not only war veterans but also people who have experienced another severe shock suffer from post-traumatic disorder, and the cause of the injury may be the subjective significance of the event but not its objective danger.

Imitated disorder, or Munchausen syndrome

This mental disorder belongs to a group of simulated or imitated disorders. A person imitates, exaggerates or artificially causes the symptoms of the disease to be given medical attention: for example, he or she takes medications that cause side effects or inflicts injury on him- or herself. This does not mean that a person pretends to be ill in order to avoid undesirable events, such as military service or prosecution for an offense committed by him or her, or to benefit from it. The most common cause of Munchausen syndrome is an unconscious desire to get attention and extra care. This may be due to psychological trauma, lack of love and care in childhood. People with the syndrome can look for or cause symptoms of the disease in themselves, or they can spread it to loved ones, who for some reason are very dependent on them, for example, children or elderly relatives. As a rule, the doctor recognizes the simulated disorder by the set of symptoms described by the patient that are not found in this ratio. In addition, the presence of the syndrome can be indicated by the records in the patient’s records that he or she regularly comes to the same clinic with very diverse symptoms.

Category: Health and Wellness

Tags: depression, health problems, Mental Disorders, Mental Health