What is a mental disorder? Common types of mental disorders

Statistics show that currently, about 30% of the population of Vietnam is suffering from some form of mental disorder, but it is not easy to detect. It is important to identify the right type of mental disorder early and correctly, so that the most accurate treatment can be given.

What is a mental disorder?

A mental disorder, also known as a mental disorder or mental illness, is a form of imbalance in the mind that leads to changes in speech, behavior, thoughts, and ideas. According to experts, about 15-20% of the population has experienced mental disorders at least once in their life, this number is increasing because these diseases are extremely common.


Mental disorders are characterized by hallucinations, delusions leading to behaviors, words, and thoughts that are not consistent with reality.

Psychosis is often associated with neurological and psychological disorders that lead to impaired brain function. These people themselves often feel disconnected from reality and have had scary experiences with them, which leads to abnormal behaviors. Those around, if they do not understand the nature of psychological disorders, are also prone to alienating and stigmatizing patients.

The symptoms of mental disorders are extremely diverse, manifesting in many aspects, from behavior, thoughts, words. Most typically, almost all forms of mental illness present two of the following symptoms:

  • Hallucinations: the patient may feel, hear, or see something that is not true to reality, leading to their behaviors, words, and emotions not being consistent with reality because they will change according to reality. the way they see things.
  • Illusion: people with delusions themselves will have strong beliefs in a certain issue, but society does not recognize or even does not exist. No matter how well the person is explained or given other proofs about the truth of the matter, the person still does not recognize and always maintains his or her unchanging beliefs.

Besides, some other symptoms of mental illnesses such as

  • Tendency to sleep disorders, may sleep too little or sleep too much but often accompanied by nightmares, easy to wake up in the middle, sleep difficult
  • Emotions tend to be more negative, easily upset, easily excitable and appear impulsive behaviors
  • Confused, illogical, unclear, confusing speech
  • Absent-minded, distracted, unable to study or work well
  • Weight changes, pale skin
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities, foods, or hobbies
  • Easily accompanied by some health problems such as stomach pain, headache..
  • Difficult to control emotions, can affect relationships with people around
  • Tendency to abuse alcohol, tobacco and other stimulants

In general, the symptoms of mental disorders are very diverse, expressed separately for each problem, so it is difficult to list them completely, but the above are all the most typical manifestations. Although these symptoms are often quite obvious, most mental illnesses are difficult to detect early, especially in children. This can greatly affect the treatment process and completely eliminate these problems.

Causes of mental disorders

Most psychiatric problems do not have an exact cause. These factors can involve both internal and external factors. Identifying these factors also plays an important role in better disease control and elimination.


An unhappy childhood is one of the leading causes of mental disorders

Specifically, some factors have a high risk of causing disease such as:

  • Biological factors: exposure to viruses, toxic chemicals, polluted environment or traumatic brain injury, etc. can also cause mental disorders, especially in infants and young children. pregnant.
  • Heredity: statistics show that most psychological disorders do not find inherited genes, but if there are parents or siblings living in the family, the later generations have a higher risk of developing the disease. This may be influenced by educational trends, interactions of people with abnormal psychology with children on a daily basis.
  • Brain biochemistry disorders: an imbalance of neurotransmitters such as Noradrenaline and serotonin, Dopamine is also thought to be associated with psychological and psychiatric problems because it directly affects emotions and mood. and everyone’s thoughts. Besides, hormonal imbalance, especially in women or pregnant women, postpartum women also contributes to this increased risk.
  • Impact from life: this is also one of the most common causes of psycho-psychiatric problems, which can affect anyone, at any age. For example, pressure from parents always forcing their children to do what they want, too much work, people with an unhappy childhood, money pressure or emotional problems.. These are easy factors. make the psychology become the most negative, if prolonged, it will cause the mood to become more and more stagnant, the appearance of other abnormal behaviors and emotions.
  • Personality bias: this is just a risk factor that contributes to an increased likelihood of psycho-psychiatric problems. For example, people who are inherently negative, introverted, less communicative, less shared, less social experience often have more difficulty in dealing with stress, if they do not receive timely support. often at risk of psychological disorders.

Each mental disorder can be caused by a different effect because each person’s psychological threshold is different. There are people who face many difficulties and pressures, but the spirit is still happy and positive, but there are also people who only have a small incident and think too much, leading to the possibility of these dangerous diseases.

The most common types of mental disorders

There are many types of mental disorders, the most typical of which are the following:


Depression is one of the most common psycho-psychiatric problems today, accounting for more than 6% of mental disorders, of which about 25% are adolescents. This number is also constantly increasing, often related to negative effects in life. Anyone can experience depression, from children, adolescents to the elderly or especially pregnant women.


People with depression always feel melancholy, sad, see life with negative eyes

The symptoms of depression are often quite difficult to detect because many people always think that those sad and uncomfortable states are very normal. This is also the cause of an increase in the number of people who commit suicide due to depression, especially in children. Some typical symptoms can include:

  • Always feel negative, depressed, sad, depressed
  • Insomnia, don’t want to go out, just want to stay in the room and don’t want to talk to anyone
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, tired, lost like myself no longer worth
  • Gradually decreasing interest in all issues around life even though I liked it very much before
  • More excitable or impulsive, crying alone
  • Having thoughts of suicide or engaging in self-harming behaviors for emotional release

Anxiety disorders

There are many types of anxiety disorders such as phobic anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia.. and outbursts in an excessive way. Statistics show that more than 10% of the population of Vietnam suffers from this mental disorder. The cause may be related to the obsessions from the past that the patient himself cannot overcome.

Some typical symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:

  • Having excessive anxiety about normal situations, such as people with social anxiety disorder who always dare not stand in front of crowds, do not dare to go to crowded places
  • When faced with anxiety-provoking situations, there is a tendency to panic, extreme agitation, heart palpitations, chest pain, difficulty breathing, redness of the whole body, even flare-ups of allergy symptoms.
  • Tends to stay indoors more to avoid exposure to anxiety-provoking situations, which can over time impair social skills
  • Depending on the type of anxiety, symptoms can flare up at any time, uncontrollably, greatly affecting the quality of life of each person.

Patients themselves may also know that they have irrational fears but still cannot control them.

Bipolar affective disorder

In people with bipolar disorder, often unable to control their own emotions, depression and euphoria occur alternately. What is body. However, there are times when the patient’s emotions return to a normal state, but compared to their emotional disturbances, they are still very limited.

Specifically, in the arousal stage, the patient often feels that everything is extremely happy, excessive joking, excessive shopping, hallucinations, delusions, hyperactivity, laughter even in the situation must be sad. In contrast, in the depressive stage, the patient tends to be sad, negative, melancholy, lose interest in things, cry even in situations that have to be happy.


Statistics show that 1 in 100 people with schizophrenia is characterized by abnormalities in cognition and emotional response. Patients often have delusions and hallucinations such as hearing many prompting voices in their head, which affects their actions, emotions, language, and thoughts and causes a lot of consequences. after.


People with schizophrenia always hear sound bars that correct their behavior

According to experts, although schizophrenia is a mental disorder with a high incidence, the symptoms and course are extremely complex. The treatment of the disease is also very difficult and needs to be treated early to bring about positive results.

The ability to express emotions of people with this disorder is also very poor. Without proper care and control, it can affect the process of personality formation, increasing the risk of crime of people with this disease.

Dissociative disorder

Dissociative disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder, is also an extremely dangerous mental illness. This condition is characterized by the existence of many separate personalities in one body, leading to a person who can have completely different expressions, voices, personalities, and heads at many times. These personalities may or may not know each other’s existence.

The cause of multiple personality disorder is often related to psychological trauma from the past that causes this person to form different personalities to protect himself. At least two of the personalities control the patient’s behavior, and there can also be conflicts between these personalities that make the main personality uncontrollable.

The main personality itself cannot know about the behaviors and events that other personalities have experienced. These personalities can be bad or good, which can lead to illegal behavior or self-harm. This is one of the extremely dangerous forms of mental disorder and is still facing many difficulties in treatment.

Mental disorders due to alcohol or drugs

As the name suggests, alcohol or drug-induced psychosis is the result of excessive abuse of these substances, which causes not only physical and mental deterioration. These people cannot stop using alcohol or stimulants because if they don’t use them, their spirit will be extremely agitated, frustrated, anxious, impulsive, lack of alertness, etc.

Even if someone stops using these substances, they will become extremely violent, harming those around them to satisfy their “addiction”. However, after using alcohol or drugs will not make them better, but only more agitated, violent, impulsive, and out of control behaviors appear.

This condition is extremely common now, especially in men, but often people just think it’s an addiction, not a mental illness. People with alcohol or drug psychosis may need to be treated in specialized settings in order to most effectively manage their symptoms under arousal.

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is better understood as an eating disorder, which is manifested by the patient often not wanting to eat, even when eating, vomiting causes the body to lose weight, weakness, no energy. living. The cause of this problem is often related to obsessions about weight, appearance, and physique, making this person always afraid of gaining weight, afraid of being fat, so they can’t eat.


People with anorexia nervosa are always obsessed with thinking that they are fat even though their bodies are actually very thin

According to statistics, anorexia nervosa usually occurs mainly in women between the ages of 20 and 30, in which the rate of women suffering from the disease is 20 times higher than that of men. In addition, people who used to have an oversized appearance, used to be stigmatized about their body are also prone to this mental disorder.

Antisocial personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is clearly manifested by the fact that these subjects always find it difficult to obey and comply with regulations, social moral principles and laws. This is a type of mental illness that belongs to the group of personality disorders and also causes a lot of difficulties in the treatment process.

Specifically, some typical manifestations of antisocial personality disorder such as aggression, robbery, violence, irresponsibility, disregard for life… The cause of the disease is believed to be related to the environment. violent school, unhappy family, often bullied…

Mental retardation

Mental retardation is a mental disorder characterized by a decrease in the patient’s intellectual ability lower than normal. Followed by the ability to think, logical reasoning, self-adaptation, ability to take responsibility for society … also gradually decreased.


Mental retardation has some effect on the social functions of the patient

Symptoms of mental retardation usually begin before the age of 18 and are often associated with causes such as meningitis, febrile seizures, problems with pregnancy and delivery that deprive the fetus of oxygen, Malnutrition..

The disease is diagnosed through the IQ scale, if the results show an index of less than 70 points, it is counted as intellectual retardation. In which, IQ below 20 is considered the most serious, but almost only 1-2% of cases.

Guidelines for the treatment of mental disorders

Most of the patients themselves hardly realize that they are having psycho-psychiatric problems, most of the time it is only when the symptoms are expressed in an exaggerated way that the family begins to suspect and bring the patient to the hospital. examination. Sometimes the patient himself does not accept that he has a mental problem, so he does not accept examination and treatment.

Patients need to be examined and treated at psychiatric hospitals and psychological centers at the same time, depending on their condition. Doctors and psychologists will ask patients to do some psychological tests or perform brain tests to have the most accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Drug treatment

In fact, there is no drug that can completely treat all forms of mental disorders, all drugs are currently used for the purpose of temporary control of symptoms, prevention of provocative behaviors. active or extreme, soothe the mind and improve the quality of sleep, thereby gradually helping the patient’s life to be more stable.


The use of drugs only helps to improve feelings partly, cannot help cure the disease completely

Depending on the patient’s condition, the prescribed drugs are also different, the most common of which are

  • Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, etc.
  • Mood stabilizers: Divalproex (Depakote), lithium (Lithobid), lamotrigine (Lamictal), etc.
  • Anti-anxiety medications: Alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (ATIVAN), etc.
  • Antipsychotics: Clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Groups of sedatives are used to help patients get enough sleep, limiting nightmares

However, most of these groups of drugs often come with a lot of unwanted side effects for patients, even those who have to take the drug for a long time also gradually lose their emotions. Therefore, the use of the drug needs to be done exactly as prescribed by the doctor, absolutely do not arbitrarily increase / decrease the dose because it can bring unwanted results.


With psychological problems in general and mental disorders in particular, it is often recommended to treat through psychotherapy. The main purpose of this method is to soothe the spirit, remove the problems in the mind, direct the patient to the right thoughts and perception with reality, remove negative emotions so that the patient gradually integrates. back to life.

Depending on the condition of the client, the counselor can apply measures such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, exposure therapy, hypnosis, individual therapy, group therapy.. The therapist will play the role of a listener and awaken the ego in each awakened person to direct to more correct paths in the future.

Although there is still a lot of controversy about the real effectiveness of psychotherapy for people with mental disorders, in fact, many patients with depression and anxiety disorders have been cured by this method. Responding well to therapeutic measures, patients gradually feel more comfortable and joyful, know how to control emotions, become more positive and happy.

The nature of most of these problems comes from negative things, pressures and frustrations in life that have been around for a long time but have not been resolved, making the spirit increasingly depressed. When the patient is able to share all the problems with the therapist, find the answers, the direction for the problems in the mind will be like a tangled pile of tinder that becomes neater and more beautiful.

However, with problems such as schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, treatment is not easy, some people have to maintain therapy for the rest of their lives to control themselves, limit their behaviors. maybe happiness can be harmful.

Mental disorders are a common disease and tend to increase every day, which can affect anyone, at any age. Each person needs to learn how to live more positively, be more optimistic, know how to release negative energies every day, improve social skills and love themselves more every day to minimize this risk.

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