Aside from the obvious mental breakdowns or insanities that send people straight to the mental Asylums or the streets in tattered clothing, several less disrupting mental disorders go unnoticed for the span of entire lifetimes, without detection or diagnosis.
Here are some fairly common mental illnesses that you might already suffer from but remain utterly unaware of. These mental disorders could have been entirely disruptive in your life or in the life of members of your family, but without a proper diagnosis from a physician, will be brushed off as probably “stupidity”, “laziness” or even “spiritual possessions” by the more religiously inclined member families or people, while the victim suffers the brunt of the side effect
- ADHD :
According to psychiatry.org, ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder) is one of the most common mental disorders in children and adults alike. ADHD shows up mostly in children and might be noticed during their primary/basic schooling or high school, where it surfaces in symptoms/behaviors like inattention (not being able to focus), or hyperactivity (restlessness, and excess movements that do not fit the setting.).
The sad thing about ADHD is that children suffering from this mental disorder are either seen as stupid and unserious where they have the hyper-activity end of the spectrum i.e (Hyper-Activity-HD), or slow and unintelligent, when they suffer from the order end of it, i.e (Attention Deficit-AD).
Not much thought is given to this disorder in third-world countries like Nigeria, and so this translates to massive failures in either exams or projects in the child’s future until adulthood. An estimated 8.4% of children and 2.5&of adults in the world today suffer from ADHD.
Causes of ADHD
Scientists are yet to identify the true cause of ADHD, but there is evidence to suggest that genetics play a part. For instance, 3 out of 4 children who have ADHD are likely to have a relative who suffers from the same illness.
Studies show that a combination of behavioral therapy and medication can damper the symptoms of ADHD, especially for those suffering from severe forms of it. ADHD is a serious mental disorder that needs to be diagnosed on time in kids, and adults alike. Learn more about ADHD here.
2. Social Anxiety disorder:
Oftentimes when we refer to people as shy or timid, what is likely to be overlooked is that these individuals might actually suffer from a mental disorder known as a social anxiety disorder.
To the untrained eye, these people are timid or unsure of themselves, and to them, they think they are not good enough, or just unsure of themselves. The sad thing about this disorder is that it often robs the society of true talent, and robs the individual of success.
In truth, social anxiety is quite different from shyness, while shyness is usually temporary and doesn’t disrupt one’s life or preferred lifestyle, social anxiety is persistent and debilitating. It affects one’s ability to work, attend school, and form meaningful relationships with non-family members.
Social anxiety exhibit more serious symptoms than just blushing, which is more attributed to shyness. Symptoms like nausea, sweating, difficulty speaking, and rapid heart rates are some of the more common as well.
If social anxiety goes untreated, it could really affect the success rate of the sufferer, especially in life-determining situations like job interviews and meeting life partners.
Learn more about social anxiety Here.
3. Persistent depression disorder:
A growing case of mental health disorder and a really dangerous one on this list is depression. Depression is tricky because it shows up like a mood that refuses to go away quickly. The mere fact that a very common mood mimics this disorder makes it easy to dismiss it as just a temporary state of mind that’ll blow away in a matter of time, but then it seeps in and takes a hold on the individual, who then begins to lose interest in normal daily activities and feel hopeless.
Depression causes a lack of productivity, low self-esteem, and a feeling of inadequacy. Depression for the sufferer feels more like the world is losing its colors and slowly getting grayed out. The individual finds it difficult to stay upbeat even in really happy situations, and at times when such expressions are expected, they fake a smile.
Coping with depression can be really difficult, but a combination of talk therapy and medication can make sufferers feel better about themselves, hence leading to a happier more productive life. Depression affects both young, and old people alike, and no one should be overlooked in this matter, as both teenagers and adults have taken their lives on many occasions. To learn more about depression, its symptoms, and treatment, click this link.
4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
This mental disorder is fairly known, but more attributed to veterans of war, because of the sheer number of movies Hollywood has made about it. However, PTSD is far more common than many people truly know.
There are four major forms that depression symptoms show up, they are; Intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Certain PTSD symptoms can remain dormant for a long time, while some typically show up within months after a traumatic event. For latent PTSD, sufferers are unlikely to be aware of it until a similar event is rehearsed one more time. In order cases, sufferers spend most of their afraid and distant from some everyday activities.
Women who have suffered rape are likely to fear the idea of intimacy or avoid sex with their partners, while children who were raised in an unstable home with parents who constantly fight, or were raised by abusive parents may fight it difficult to make meaningful connections with people when they grow up. In cases where they go into these relationships, they sometimes end up being awful partners or bad parents. PTSD is a serious mental disorder that is worth looking into. To learn more about PTSD, click here.
5. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD):
This mental disorder comes in form of a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that leads to certain repetitive behaviors or compulsions. This interferes with daily activities and causes a lot of distress to the sufferer.
OCD is a less common mental disorder than the aforementioned ones, but still quite hard to detect, and may go undiagnosed for a long time. An attempt for a sufferer to ignore their obsession only leads to more distress, ultimately causing them to engage in more compulsive behaviors just to ease their stress.
OCD comes in different forms, the fear of disorderliness can cause you to constantly clean and want things placed in certain places in precise orders, or a fear of contamination by germs might have you washing your hands and body all too often until they are sore.
The good news is that OCD is quite treatable, and oral therapy can go a long way. However, a distinction between being a perfectionist and an OCD patient has to be made first. A perfectionist simply wants things done right and in time, his thought is towards productivity and efficiency, while an OCD patient is obsessed with things that are not really meaningful. Their thoughts also affect the quality of their life and peace of mind. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to speak to a physician about it.
To learn more about OCD click here
Mental health is mostly ignored by a majority of the population mostly due to ignorance on the subject, but also largely due to the stigma associated with it. For many people, the thought of mental illness or disorder rhymes with insanity or madness, and are quick to dissociate themselves from any thought of it, and so are likely to suffer without a diagnosis.
In third-world countries like ours, mental disorders are quickly associated with spiritual attacks or punishment from a god or deity, for sins and transgressions.