The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in five people in this country has a diagnosed mental illness. The exact cause of different types off mental illness remains unclear, but there appear to be both biological and environmental factors involved. To better understand how to treat these conditions, you should know more about the types of mental health disorders.

Types of Mental Illness: What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness is a condition that affects your ability to think or feel. It may also involve your mood or behavior. Mental illness impacts your mental health, which includes your well-being at three levels:

  • Emotional
  • Psychological
  • Social

It’s not that clear cut, though. Mental health involves how you react to things that happen, how you handle stress and the choices that you make in life. Addiction directly impacts your mental health, for example, as do your life experiences.

Types of Mental Illnesses: Categories

Types of mental health disorders break down into categories such as mood, anxiety, disordered, personality, eating, substance use, and conduct, to name a few. Each class comes with a group of conditions; some are rare like dissociative identity disorder, while others are more common like depression.

What Are Some Types of Mental Illness?

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is one of the more common mood disorders and the leading cause of disability in this country for those between the ages of 15 and 44. Characteristics of depression include sadness, emptiness, and feelings of hopelessness. Other mood disorders would consist of bipolar disorder, dysthymic disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.

Mood disorders can be a side effect of medication or related to substance use, as well. Depression is just one type of mental health disorder.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are what people usually call panic attacks or phobias. Generalized anxiety disorder is an irrational fear that something terrible is going to happen. Social anxiety disorders are a fear of social situations. Even phobias, like the fear of spiders, fall into this category.


Schizophrenia is one of the types of mental health disorders you tend to hear a lot about these days. It involves difficulty interpreting reality. Often people with this condition exhibit abnormal behavior and may speak strangely. They may experience delusions or hallucinations, as well.

The condition first appeared in the early to mid-’20s. Schizophrenia requires lifetime treatment and, usually, medical management.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition triggered by something terrifying. For instance, it is common in veterans who have seen battle or in victims of a crime. People with PTSD can experience intrusive memories of the trauma, negative thinking, and dark moods. They may have both physical and emotional symptoms of the condition.

Types of Mental Illness: Getting Treatment

Most forms of mental illness will benefit from some form of treatment. Sometimes the person with the mental health condition will also have an addiction disorder that requires treatment at a facility that offers dual diagnosis programs like Westwind Recovery.

Westwind Recovery, with 15 locations throughout California, treats types of mental health disorders and substance abuse. Along with traditional treatment programs, Westwind offers innovative choices such as adventure therapy.

The adventure therapy program at Westwind offers weekend outings to nearby beaches and waterfalls. We also provide activities such as surfing and hiking.

Westwind Recovery has:

  • Six residential beds
  • Six detox beds
  • 80 outpatient slots

We specialize in the LGBTQ community and treat different types of mental illness, especially when accompanied by a substance abuse problem.

For more information about dual diagnosis treatment, mental health disorders, or the treatment center and programs, give Westwind Recovery® a call at 855.340.8832.