There is wide range of mental health conditions or illnesses that can affect our mood, thinking and behavior and vary in severity and duration. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. However, a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when signs and symptoms are persistent and cause significant disruption of how a person functions and copes in everyday life if not diagnosed and treated.
Research undertaken in Qatar revealed that
Anxiety are the most common mental illnesses experienced by people locally.
These are some of mental health conditions experienced by people in the community:
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
Both children and adults can have ADHD, however, ADHD is one of the most common mental health conditions affecting children, with behavioral symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. (See Mental Health in Children & Adolescents section).
Adults with ADHD may have trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals and completing work or home duties. Symptoms include fidgeting or restlessness, impatience, being disorganized or lacking focus. For example:
Not paying close attention to details or making careless mistakes in job tasks
Appearing not to listen when spoken to
Avoiding or disliking tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as preparing reports and completing forms
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development that affect a person's ability to communicate, interact with others and make sense of the world around them. The characteristics of autism are impaired social development, diminished communication skills, and restrictive or repetitive behavior. For a diagnosis of autism, there must be evidence of unusual development in the
first 3 years of life (See Mental Health in Children & Adolescents).
Individuals' diagnosed with ASD must show symptoms from early childhood, even if those symptoms are not recognized until later. Symptoms and their severity vary widely - from relatively mild challenges for someone on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum to more severe cases when repetitive behaviors and lack of spoken language interfere with everyday life. While autism is usually a life-long condition, all children and adults benefit from interventions, or therapies, that can reduce symptoms and increase skills and abilities.
Learning (Intellectual) Disabilities
Learning or intellectual disability are general terms that refer to individuals who find it harder to learn, understand and communicate. Many people with learning disabilities prefer to use the term 'learning difficulty'.
For the majority of people, the presence of a learning disability is from birth or during the early development period of life (See Mental Health in Children & Adolescents). However, acquired brain injury in later life may also result in a learning disability.
People with learning disabilities can be of average or above average intelligence. A person may have difficulty learning and using certain skills in a typical manner, such as with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, but may not have a significant impairment in intelligence.
Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restlessness can affect overall health, safety and quality of life. Lack of sleep can take a toll on nearly every part of our life and there are techniques that can be helpful to
improve sleep (Tools for mental wellbeing).
Sleep disorders are irregular changes in sleeping patterns or habits. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep and difficulty sleeping. Some abnormal sleep behaviors include:
Sleep disorders can be the side effect of some medications or due to other underlying physical or psychological problems, such as stress and anxiety.
Eating disorders often develop in the teen and young adult years (See
Mental Health in Children & Adolescents), but they can develop at other ages too.
Eating disorders are serious, potentially fatal conditions and most people with eating disorders need both psychological treatment and physical health treatment (e.g. nutritional advice).
Anxiety are common in people with eating disorders. Early intervention is vital in promoting recovery. With proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals can return to healthier eating habits and sometimes reverse serious complications caused by this disorder.
We tend to become more forgetful as we get older. Dementia is a brain disease which often starts with memory problems, but goes on to affect many other parts of the brain. Dementia produces difficulty coping with day-to-day tasks, difficulty communicating and changes in mood, judgment or personality. Dementia usually gets worse over time and is much more common in older people. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of a progressive dementia and produces particular problems with memory and thinking and learning new information becomes harder.