6 Most Misunderstood Mental Disorders You Should Know About

Mental disorders are classified as medical conditions that affect your moods, thoughts, and behaviors that cause distress or impairment of your personal functioning. You’ve likely heard of conditions like schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder, or perhaps you know someone diagnosed with one of those mental conditions. However, while these are commonly known disorders, there are many preconceived misconceptions about them that are harmful to the people who are afflicted with these types of mental health disorders.

How to Avoid these mental Disorders

To help raise awareness and reduce the stigma, here are six of the most misunderstood mental disorders. And today, we’re going to learn more about them.


Number one, schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a widely misunderstood condition. It’s a psychotic disorder typically characterized by delusions and/or hallucinations. People with schizophrenia tend to think and act in a peculiar manner, and it disrupts their thought process. Due to this, schizophrenia can make it hardtop carry out day to day activities and can greatly disrupt one’s daily life.

Types of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia has different subtypes ranging from paranoid, catatonic, disorganized, residual, or undifferentiated. Schizophrenia can be caused by drug abuse, trauma, or genetics. This disorder can be treated and though it may be difficult, recovery is possible.


Number two, dissociative identity disorder, DID. While dissociative identity disorders sometimes portrayed as a seemingly normal person with a random and psychotic split personality that is not usually the case. DID is a mental response to very traumatic events in a person’s life where the brain prevents access to those harmful memories by creating a complete behavioral shift in personality in order to protect that person from their trauma. People with this condition often have changes and lapses in memory, self-identity, and behavior that cause significant problems in their everyday lives. DID is defined as having at least two different mental states accompanied by significant changes in behavior and memory.


Number three, major depressive disorder, MDD. Depression is more commonly mentioned, but it’s also heavily misunderstood. Some people tend to doubt its validity while others think that major depressive disorders a normal part of life. MDD is a persistent feeling of sadness, apathy, and hopelessness that lasts longer than two weeks. This mental health disorders unique from person to person with varying symptoms and causes. It can cause great disruption in your daily life and activities as everything seems shadowed by a large black cloud that you can’t shake. MDD is treatable with therapy and medication.

Bipolar disorder

Number four, bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is yet another highly misunderstood condition. Some people water it down to just mood swings and entertained the term bipolar with mood swings. But bipolar disorder is much more complex than that. Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity, levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. There are three different types of bipolar disorder including bipolar I, bipolar Viand cyclothymic disorder. Bipolar I deal with periods of cloud flying highs and depressive lows, with manic episodes that require hospital care. Bipolar II is a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but without the full blown manic episodes that appear in bipolar I disorder.

cyclothymic disorder

The third type, cyclothymic disorder, is something like a middle of the road disorder with periods of hypomanic symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a complete hypomanic episode and a depressive episode. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and active lives. Talking with a doctor or licensed healthcare providers the first step to getting treatment.

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Number five, obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorders a culmination of obsessions and compulsions that impact a person’s functioning. It can feel like you’re ruminating over certain ideas, beliefs, or fears that interfere with the ability to live a normal life. OCD is more than having a few odd quirks or needing to obsessively clean. When someone can’t partake in the compulsion, it can be highly distressing for them. So they usually have a host of other activities that help give them peace of mind. Fortunately, OCD has many treatment options to improve one’s quality of life.

generalized anxiety disorder

And number six, generalized anxiety disorder, GAD. While anxiety and fear are normal emotions, as it pertains to the fight or flight response, it’s not so normal when you experience too much anxiety or fearing situations that you normally wouldn’t. Generalized anxiety disorders when someone has constant and intense feelings of worry that interfere with their normal functioning. It’s not something that someone can just get over, but rather it’s a condition that requires treatment to improve. When you have GAD, you might have panic attacks, insomnia, chest pains, and body aches. Mental disorders vary from person to person and can last either short or long-term. They also come with a variety of treatment options that also differ from person to person because what works best for one won’t work best for all. It’s also important to remember that anyone can have a mental disorder.

Big or small, young or old. Mental disorders come with all sorts of stigmatization. These misleading ideas create harmful visualizations of what these conditions truly are, making life even harder for those afflicted with these mental health disorders.

What are your thoughts about stigma and mental health?

Can you think of any other misunderstood conditions?

Let us know in the comments below

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