Recent years have been successful in removing the stigma around mental disorders. They are not rare and they don’t necessarily mean institutionalization. 

In fact, according to WHO, every fourth person in the world experiences a mental disorder at some point in their life. As alarming as it may sound, many people function without even knowing they have a disorder. 

Find out if you’re dealing with any of the most common disorders without realizing it:

1. Panic Disorder 

Ever had an unexpected panic attack with a feeling of intense terror? If that’s not a one time thing, you possibly have this disorder. Panic attack can also occur in a relaxed state or during sleep.

2. Social Anxiety Disorder

Do you get labelled as coward or unsocial because you get anxious while performing or interacting with other people? Your fear of being negatively evaluated or rejected is social anxiety disorder. That’s the fear of embarrassment and humiliation holding you back.

3. Phobia Disorder

There might be objects or situations that trigger overwhelming anxiety and irrational fear reactions from you. That’s phobia. It leads to avoiding situations that might include such experiences. For example acrophobia, the fear of heights.

4. Alcohol/ Substance Abuse Disorder

Affinity for booze or drugs is not a disorder. It is the patterned use of alcohol, or substance in amounts or methods which are potentially harmful for the consumer or others. Be alarmed when it meddles with your life and causes significant behavioral changes.

5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

If you perform certain actions or routines over and over compelled by constant uncontrollable thoughts, that’s OCD. Such anxiety invoking thoughts are the obsessions, and the repetitive behaviors are called compulsions. For example, washing your hands again and again.

6. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Love the fidget spinner? It was designed for people with ADHD as they have trouble being still. Observable as an ongoing pattern of difficulty focusing and hyperactivity, this usually develops early in life and can continue into adulthood. 

7. Depression

Earlier considered a spin-story to cover-up irrational suicides, depression is very much real. A mood disorder with persistent sadness and a sense of hopelessness, it’s is a cry for help. Depression kills the will to do anything and distorts the person’s life in general.

8. Bipolar Disorder

People often call this drama and tantrums, but bipolar causes dramatic shifts between extreme moods, ranging from the highs of mania to the lows of major depression. The person might engage in behavior that is different from their usual self.

9. Anorexia Nervosa

If you’re obsessed with controlling the food intake amount so much that it’s leading to abnormally low weight, you are anorexic. Engulfed with constant overwhelming fear of getting fat, it’s a product of distorted perception of one’s own body.

10. Bulimia Nervosa

This eating disorder involves frequent episodes of binge-eating followed by behaviors to nullify weight gain due to it, such as self-induced vomiting. Bulimics associate their self-esteem to body weight.

11. Binge Eating Disorder

Finishing an entire tub of ice-cream watching Netflix is fine at times. But if you regularly consume abnormally large amounts of food and are not being able to stop, that’s different. You might feel embarrassed, guilty or disgusted as a result of overeating.

12. Histrionic Personality Disorder

If you have a long-standing pattern of attention seeking behavior and get uncomfortable without it, this might be the reason. Often called dramatic, people with this disorder emotionally manipulate their partners leading to difficulty in achieving emotional intimacy.

13. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Argued as what’s wrong with loving yourself, narcissists have a grandiose sense of self needing immense attention and admiration. Their relationships suffer as they get disappointed without the special treatment they think they deserve. Underneath all this lies a fragile self-esteem with low thresh-hold for taking criticism.

14. Borderline Personality Disorder

It’s a recurring pattern of instability in moods, behavior, relationships and self-image. If you experience irrational impulses and actions with episodes of intense anxiety, anger or depression which often last for days, you might be suffering from this disorder. 

15. Insomnia Disorder

If you like to be awake at night, that’s not insomnia. This disorder is characterized with having trouble falling asleep and, or experiencing a disturbed sleep. The lack of sleep results in extreme fatigue, inability to focus or concentrate, and also might lead to hallucinations and delusions.

16. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It develops in the aftermath of encountering a traumatic or damaging event and might make you emotionally numb. If you are struggling with long-lasting terrifying thoughts and memories of any incident such as death of a loved one, natural disaster etc, that’s PTSD.

Do not ignore the signs. Face the truth and don’t hesitate to get help. 

Design credits: Gauri Saxena