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Mental Illness, Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Complications, Tests and Diagnosis, Classification and Treatment

Table of Contents

  1. Mental Illness
  2. Symptoms
  3. When to see a doctor
  4. Risk factors
  5. Complications
  6. Tests and diagnosis
  7. Classes of mental illness
  8. Treatments and drugs

Mental Illness

Mental illness is not a single disease it is referred to as wide range of mental conditions. It include disorders which directly affect your behavior, thinking and mood. The common examples of mental illness are depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety and addictive condition.

mental illness

Mental health concerns are related to many people but it become mental illness when signs and symptoms cause regular stress and in return affect your functioning ability. Mental illness make your life miserable and cause severe problems in your everyday life both at work and in relations.


Signs and symptoms of mental illness depends on the disorder and condition of the individual and vary from person to person. This condition can affect emotions, thoughts, and specially behavior of the individual. Some common signs and symptoms are:


  • Sadness
  • Reduction in the ability to concentrate and being confused
  • Uneven fears and extreme guilty feelings
  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Tiredness without any reason, less energy and problems during sleeping
  • Departure from reality and living with illusions
  • Unable to cope with daily stress and related problems
  • Felling trouble in identifying people and situations
  • Excessive use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Uneven changes in habits such as eating
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Excessive violence and anger
  • Desire to commit suicide

In addition to these symptoms some other symptoms are physical such as back pain, stomach pain, headache, and other body pains as well. Contact psykolog aarhus for more help.

When to see a doctor

If you feel suffering from any of these conditions you must need to visit a consultant and if mental condition left untreated then it get worsen with the passage of time.


Mental illness may be caused by several genetic and environmental factors and many factors are known to induce mental illness.


  • Inherited traits: It is common in those people whose relatives are also suffering with mental illness. Some genes are known to increase risk of having mental illness and life style can also trigger the condition.
  • Environmental exposures before birth: Mental illness may also be cause by exposure to toxins, viruses, alcohols and other drugs. The situation may arise inside the womb as well.
  • Brain chemistry: In the brain biochemical changes are known to affect the mood and behavior which can trigger mental illness. Neurotransmitters which are naturally occurring brain cells have the tendency to initiate mental illness.

Risk factors

Some factors are known to increase mental health conditions and thus induce mental illness.

  • If you having mentally sick person in family such as parents or siblings
  • If during period in the womb your mother exposed to viruses or anything that increase mental illness.
  • Situation of stress such as financial problems or death of loved one
  • Sometime it is also induced by chronic medical condition
  • Damage in the brain due to injury may be due to bow on head
  • Military combat or traumatic experiences
  • Excessive use of illegal medicines
  • Mental retardation due to abusiveness or neglected during childhood
  • Increased due to illness in the past


According to one estimate almost every 1 in 4 adults are suffering from mental illness. It can begin at any age without any restriction of age.


Disability is directly related with mental illness, if it is left untreated than it causes emotional, physical and behavioral problems. Mental illness If remain for years results in severe loss both in terms of physical and financial. Common complications related to mental illness are:


  • Happiness will gone and enjoyment of the life decreases
  • Decease in the overall resistance of the body
  • Family clashes
  • Difficulties in understanding relationships
  • Social life become dead
  • Always missed the common works such as home work
  • Increase in poverty and in extreme cases individual become homeless
  • You may harm to others or may commit suicide
  • Increase risk of accidents during driving
  • In severe cases heart diseases and other medical complications are also relate to it

Tests and diagnosis

For diagnosing mental illness and to check the conditions and complications you may have:

  • A physical exam: first thing your doctor will do is to eliminate all the physical factors causing the symptoms.
  • Lab tests: it includes the examination of your thyroid gland and screen you for alcohol and other drugs.
  • A psychological evaluation: in this examination your physician ask you simple questions related to the symptoms and condition which you are feeling

Classes of mental illness

Mental illness can be classified n to different types which include:

  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders: this class covers individuals who are living with illusions and are not understanding the reality.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders: it is a general and versatile class commonly include problems that appear in infancy and teenage. Examples include ADH, autism spectrum disorder and learning disorder as well
  • Bipolar and related disorders: in that particular class people with alternating episodes of mania or excessive activity are included. classes
  • Anxiety disorders: it is the extension of emotional disorder which is characterized by the anticipation of future danger. Common disorders are anxiety, panic and phobia.
  • Depressive disorders: this class include disorders related with emotional behaviors such as level of sadness and happiness. Common disorders include premenstrual dysphoric anxiety and major depressive disorders.
  • Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders: as the name suggest this class include preoccupations and obsessions. The common examples include obsessive compulsive disorder, hair pulling and hoarding.
  • Dissociative disorders: this class include disorders relate to self-respect like dissociative identity disorder.
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders: in this class disorders included in which a person fails to recover after having a stressful life event such as post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sleep-wake disorders: this is one the most dangerous class and needs clinical attention like sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and insomnia.
  • Somatic symptom and related disorders: this class is characterized by physical symptoms with no clear indication of medical cause.The disorders are known to be relate to distress and impairment.
  • Feeding and eating disorders: this class include disturbances commonly related to eating like anorexia nervosa and binge-eating.
  • Gender dysphoria: this class covers disorders in which a person desires to change a particular gender.
  • Elimination disorders: it include the inappropriate elimination of urine or sometime stool due to sudden accident, bedwetting is the common example.
  • Sexual dysfunctions: it includes premature ejaculation in males and female orgasmic disorder.

Treatments and drugs


It is known that psychiatric medications are not very healthy in killing mental illness but they help in improving symptoms.  Psychiatric medication also help in making other treatments which include psychotherapy. Some common medication classes are: antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizing conditions and antipsychotic medications.


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