Mental Health: Types of mental illness, Diagnosis, and, Treatment

What is mental health?

Mental health refers to your emotional and psychological wellness.

According to the world health organization (WHO), mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his/her abilities, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and can make contributions to his/her community

Different ways can help you in having good mental health. They include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Being physically fit
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Having a daily workout routine
  • Socializing with family and friends
  • Having a positive attitude of life

What is mental illness?

Mental illness also called mental health disorder can be defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder

Millions of people in the U.S are affected by mental disorders each year.

While one in five U.S adults experience mental illness each year, one in twenty-five experience serious mental illness

 One in six U.S aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder. Additionally, 50%  of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are more likely to experience serious mental illness (SMI) than men.

 People with a mixed-race background are also more likely to experience SMI than people with other ethnicities. This was according to research done in 2017

Mental health disorders


It’s estimated that 264 million people are affected by depression globally, and more women are affected than men

Depression is characterized by sadness, loss of appetite, poor concentration, and a feeling of guilt.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly

Bipolar is uncommon in children but its average age-of-set is about 25


Schizophrenia is a mental illness where you interpret reality abnormally. It can result in hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech. Schizophrenia begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, and it requires lifelong treatment.


Dementia is not a disease in itself, but it’s a term used to describe symptoms of impairment in memory, communication, and thinking. Dementia affects memory, thinking, comprehension, learning capacity, and language.

Dementia is caused by certain diseases and injuries that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or accidents

Mental health symptoms

Each type of mental disorder has its symptoms. But many share common symptoms

Common signs of various mental illnesses are:

  • Thinking of hurting self or others
  • Loss of hope
  • Mood swings
  • Hearing voices in your head
  • You are unable to carry out your normal chores/duties
  • A feeling of fatigue
  • Eating too much or a loss of appetite
  • Drinking alcohol or smoking more than you’ve ever before
  • A lack of empathy
  • Distancing yourself from other people
  • Sleeping too much or less
  • Forgetfulness, confusion, anger, anxiety, or sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • A constant argument with family and friends over small things

Mental health treatment

Treatments for mental health disorders tend to reduce symptoms, address underlying causes and make your condition manageable

Mental health treatment may include one or a combination of the following:


Psychotherapy is a treatment for mental illness provided by a trained mental health professional

Psychotherapy examines your behavior, feelings, thoughts, and works on improving your wellness

Examples of psychotherapy treatments include Cognitive-behavior Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, etc.


Hospitalization can be necessary in some cases, so that you may closely be monitored, accurately diagnosed or have your medication adjusted when your condition worsens

Home remedies

You can use alternative treatments in addition to your doctor’s treatment. This may not be a cure but they can be helpful. They include avoiding alcohol, drugs, smoking, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. It’s also vital to include a healthy diet that may benefit your brain.

This includes Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fish oil that occurs naturally in some high-fat fish

Mental health exercises

Mental health exercises take a few minutes and even seconds to help you stay focused and balanced all day. 

  • Take deep and conscious breaths. When you are overwhelmed or feeling stressed, sit down and take a few and deep conscious breaths. Breathe in until you feel an expansion in your diaphragm and slowly breathe out.
  • Meditate as you breathe deeply. Meditation has a wealth of benefits for your mental health. Besides, it’s not time-consuming.

      You can use a meditation phone app to work your way through meditation. You can also       focus on an object or close your eyes and turn your focus inward

  • Listen to calm music. Put on your favorite music when you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed. Music gives a relaxed feeling. Slow songs with familiar melody improve mood and will help with your mental health
  • Engage with others. Interacting and engaging with other people gives insights that you previously overlooked and gives you a new perspective that helps you overcome challenges in your life. This also improves your mood
  • Stand and stretch. Whenyou have a busyday it might be difficult to move and exercise through your day. A simple way to stay focused is by standing up and stretching regularly. 

You can take a short walk also to reduce the tension that develops when you stay in one position for a long time


To maintain mental health, you need to eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and maintain a daily workout routine.

Mental illnesses such as depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Dementia, and anxiety are treatable. Stay on the lookout for any symptoms as mentioned here and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Speak out and talk about it to your family and friends as this may speed up your healing process.