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Understanding 5 Common Mental Health Disorders

understanding 5 common mental health disorders

The mind is a complex system, impacted by everything from genetics and health

to circumstances and environment. When things are not operating the way they should,

causing the mind to be in a state of persistent dysfunction, this may result in what is

known as a mental health disorder. There are a variety of mental health disorders, but

here we will cover five common ones with which people struggle.

1. Depression

What pops into your head when you hear this word? Is it ‘sadness’? If so, that is

because that is how depression was commonly understood for a long time. According to

InspiraHealth, we now understand that depression is actually much deeper and more

complex than bouts of sadness, and more than 17 millions American adults struggle

with it. In order to be diagnosed with depression, there must be the presence of a

‘depressive episode’ that lasts more than two weeks, characterized by feelings such as

hopelessness, numbness, lack of interest, energy, and/or motivation, or self-injurious

thoughts or behavior.


Standing for post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD is a mental health disorder

affecting about 7 percent of our population, the majority of which are women. PTSD can

result from, “violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents,

combat, and other forms of violence” (National Institute of Mental Health), and

symptoms may include, “experiencing vivid flashbacks of the traumatizing event,

avoidance of situations or places that may remind the individual of the event or having

trouble recalling the experience altogether” (InspiraHealth).

3. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Also known as GAD, this mental health disorder is characterized by a variety of

symptoms such as excessive worry, tension, trouble with sleep, irritability, and

distressing physical reactions such as nausea and lightheadedness. In order to receive

a diagnosis, symptoms must occur on more days than not for six or more months. GAD

is more common in women and can result from a variety of factors such as genetics and

trouble coping with stress (Johns Hopkins Medicine).

4. Eating Disorders

Eating disorders generally manifest as an unhealthy, controlling relationship with

food or one’s body. There are a variety of types of eating disorders, each one indicating

mental struggles that reach much deeper than food. Common types include anorexia

nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, and all can be extremely

detrimental to one’s physical health. Symptoms can include, “the severe restriction of

food, food binges or purging behaviors, such as vomiting or over-exercising” (Davis

5. Social Anxiety Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, this mental health disorder

manifests as, “symptoms of anxiety or fear in situations where they may be scrutinized,

evaluated, or judged by others, such as speaking in public, meeting new people, dating,

being on a job interview, answering a question in class, or having to talk to a cashier in

a store.” Naturally, this can strip everyday activities of ease and enjoyment, and fill them

with difficulty. Symptoms may include avoidance, tension and rigidity, lack of eye

contact or natural conversation, or being sick to one’s stomach.

If you or someone you love struggles with anything described above, there is

good news- These mental health disorders are all treatable, and do not have to control

your life. You also don’t have to struggle alone. There are professionals trained to help

treat these very things and improve your mental health and well-being. Compass

Community Health’s Psychiatric Mental Health providers are ready to meet you exactly

where you’re at and take on the journey with you. Don’t let your health wait! Make an

appointment today by calling (740) 355-7102.


Your health is important. Compass Community Health is here to help.

Reach out today!


-Message us on Facebook @ Compass Community Health

-Call: 740-355-7102

-Address: 1634 11th St, Portsmouth, OH 45662


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