Mental health is often viewed as a taboo topic. This is unfortunate because mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, mental health can affect our physical health. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences a mental illness in a given year. Is mental health a disability? Mental illnesses can lead to disabilities if they are not treated.
In this blog post, we will discuss 10 types of mental health conditions that can lead to a disability.
What is Disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” This includes conditions that limit a person’s ability to walk, hear, see, speak, breathe, or take care of themselves.
Is Mental Health a Disability?
Yes, mental health is a disability if it substantially limits one or more major life activities. For example, if a person has schizophrenia and they are unable to work because of their illness, then they would be considered disabled.
10 Types of Mental Health Conditions That Can Lead to a Disability
The following are ten types of serious mental health conditions that can lead to a disability, which you should learn about:
1. Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness. They include conditions such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
People with anxiety disorders often have difficulty with everyday activities such as going to work or school, shopping and socializing.
2. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes people to experience extreme mood swings. These can range from feeling very happy or energized (known as mania) to feeling very sad and hopeless (known as depression).
People with bipolar disorder often have difficulty maintaining relationships, keeping a job, and functioning in day-to-day life.
3. Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that causes people to have difficulty regulating their emotions. This can lead to impulsive behaviors, such as spending too much money or engaging in risky sexual activity.
People with borderline personality disorder may also have difficulty maintaining relationships.
Depression is a mental illness that causes people to feel persistently sad, hopeless, and empty.
People with depression may have difficulty sleeping, eating, and concentrating.
5. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a group of mental illnesses that cause people to have an unhealthy relationship with food. This can include conditions such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
People with eating disorders may have a distorted view of their body weight and shape. They may also engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as starving themselves or purging after eating.
6. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that causes people to have intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and to engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions) to try to relieve their anxiety.
People with OCD may have obsessions, such as fear of contamination or of losing control. They may also have compulsions, such as excessive hand-washing or counting. OCD can be a very debilitating illness, but it is treatable.
7. Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is a mental illness that causes people to have sudden and recurring episodes of intense fear. These episodes, known as panic attacks, can include physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shortness of breath.
People with panic disorder may avoid places or situations where they have had a panic attack. This can lead to significant problems in their daily life.
8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. This can include events such as a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.
People with PTSD may have flashbacks of the event. They may also have difficulty sleeping, feeling angry or irritable, and avoiding things that remind them of the trauma. People with PTSD may benefit from therapy, medication, or both.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes people to experience delusions, hallucinations, and other cognitive problems. People with schizophrenia may believe that people are out to get them or that they are being controlled by outside forces.
People with schizophrenia may have difficulty living a normal life. Schizophrenia is a chronic illness, but it is treatable with medication and therapy.
10. Substance Abuse Disorders
A substance abuse disorder is a mental illness that causes people to use substances, such as alcohol or drugs, in a harmful way. People with a substance abuse disorder may have difficulty controlling their use of the substance, even though it is causing problems in their life.
People with a substance abuse disorder may continue to use the substance even though it is causing problems in their life, such as job loss or financial difficulties. Substance abuse disorders are treatable, but people may need to seek professional help to overcome them.
Mental illness is a real and serious problem that can lead to disability. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness, seek help from a mental health professional. There are treatments available that can help people manage their symptoms and live healthy, productive life.
Thanks for reading!
- National Institute of Mental Health: What Is Mental Illness?
- American Psychiatric Association: What Is Intellectual Disability?
- Mayo Clinic: Mental Illness.
- MentalHealth.gov: Depression
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Treating Concurrent Substance Use Among Adults
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): About Mental Illness & Types of Mental Illness
About The Author
M.D Mark D. is a Health and Wellness professional writer. Mark has authored many health articles around the following topics: Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Pets Health, Mental Health, Medicine, and Supplements.