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By Asanda Mbayimbayi

Digital Intern

Four types of mental disorders and their impact on well-being

Mental health disorders are real medical conditions that can greatly affect a person's thinking, feeling, or mood.

Mental disorders can have a big impact on how people feel and live their lives.

They affect emotions, relationships, and everyday activities. This is why it’s important to understand how mental health and well-being are connected.

Affinity Health, a trusted source of top-notch healthcare coverage, examines the effects of four typical mental health conditions on overall well-being.

Murray Hewlett, the CEO of Affinity Health, talks about how mental disorders affect individuals.

“Millions of people worldwide grapple with various mental health disorders that affect their daily lives, relationships, and overall well-being.

“Understanding these conditions is critical for providing support, reducing stigma, and encouraging open dialogue about mental health,” said Hewlett.

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock


Contrary to common belief, depression, the most prevalent mental health disorder, involves persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and disinterest in life.

It can cause physical symptoms like fatigue, changes in appetite, and sleep disturbances. Emotionally, those with depression often feel empty and worthless.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders involve a broad spectrum of concerns, encompassing panic attacks and phobias. These conditions are defined by intense unease, fear, and irrational apprehension that can significantly impede daily life.

Frequently, anxiety disorders can induce physical reactions like a fast heart rate, perspiration, shaking, and difficulty breathing.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, categorised as a mood disorder, is identified by drastic fluctuations between highly elevated moods and deep depressive states.

In moments of mania, individuals might encounter increased energy, impulsiveness, and an elevated mood.

Conversely, depressive episodes bring about feelings of despair, hopelessness, and decreased energy.


Schizophrenia displays symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, disorganised thinking, and impaired social abilities.

It usually emerges during the late teenage years or early adulthood, causing difficulties in differentiating between what is real and what is perceived as delusions or hallucinations for those affected.

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Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

The importance of seeking help

Mental health problems don’t mean you are weak or a failure. They are like any other sickness and need the right treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling, it’s important to ask for help to feel better.

Treatment options

The type of treatment that works best for mental health issues differs depending on the particular condition and what each person requires. Possible treatments can include:

Therapy: Psychotherapy (talk therapy) can help individuals manage symptoms, develop coping strategies, and work through underlying issues contributing to their condition.

Medication: In some cases, medication prescribed by a mental health professional can help manage symptoms of certain disorders.

Lifestyle Changes: A healthy lifestyle (exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management) may help with symptom management.

Support Groups: Joining support groups or interacting with others who have gone through similar situations can provide vital emotional support and a sense of ‘belonging’ for people suffering from mental illnesses.

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