Mental disorders and substance abuse often go hand in hand, but what exactly is a mental illness? This term can cover a wide range of conditions, and is used to refer to people who are a little depressed as well as someone who is a dangerous psychopath who is a menace to everyone in society. Mental disorders include anxiety disorders like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and certain specific fears and phobias. Also included are eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating. Mental health professionals even consider substance abuse itself and other addictions like gambling and shopping to excess as mental disorders. Treatment for any type of mental illness must include a treatment plan that is specific to the individual, because everyone is different and has different experiences and beliefs.
Some types of mental disorders are more common and more well known than others, just like some forms of substance abuse have a wider recognition and appeal. Psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are familiar to most people in terms of recognition and education. Personality disorders are also common enough to be recognized by most, with television shows and movies showing characters like Monk who have OCD or other disorders. Stress Response Syndromes, previously referred to as adjustment disorders, do not occur in a large part of the population so there is less public awareness of these mental disorders. Dissociative disorders are fairly rare, and this type of disorder generally occurs when there has been extreme trauma that shocks the mind and causes dissociation at one or more points. Very rare cases may involve multiple personality disorder, but these cases are very few and far between thankfully.