Five in-depth mental illnesses


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 400 types of mental disorders. On the occasion of World Mental Health Day that is commemorated on October 10, we present you the profile of five of them, which are among the most common in Spain and in the world.

Types of mental illness:


It can occur after a great disappointment, the loss of something valuable or someone important, long physical illnesses or the abuse of alcohol and drugs, among others. It can also have a biological origin, that is, caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.


Not all of them have to present, but most sufferers show at least five of the following:

Unhappiness most of the time.
Sadness is so intense that it interferes with daily life.
Loss of interest in life and not enjoying anything.
Feeling of being exhausted but at the same time restless and agitated.
Sleep a little.
Interest in sex is lost.
Feeling of irritability.
Suicidal thoughts.

Anxiety, panic, and phobias

Panic and phobias affect one in ten people at some point in life. According to the SEP, anxiety is a normal feeling of fear in difficult situations but, if it is too strong, it can paralyze the person.

“Panic is a sudden and unexpected increase in anxiety; in response, one wants to get out of the situation that has caused it ”, defines the Spanish Society of Psychiatry. For its part, the phobia “is a fear of situations or things that are not dangerous and that most people do not find bothersome.”


Anxiety. The patient feels worried all the time, tired, irritable and sleeps badly. Physically it presents symptoms such as pain, tremors, deep breathing, dizziness, fainting, indigestion and diarrhea.

Panic. It presents as a feeling of fear and sudden loss of control. The speed of the breath increases, the heart beats with force, one sweats and there are thoughts of death.

Phobia. It comes as anxiety but only on specific occasions. If a person is afraid of dogs at this level, he will try to turn his routine

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (O.C.)

As defined by the Spanish Society of Psychiatry, obsessions are “thoughts that appear even without wanting to, make no sense and can be unpleasant”, while compulsions “are acts that people think they have to do even when they don’t want to”.

Posttraumatic stress

It occurs after being involved in a traumatic event, directly or indirectly. Although many people get over it without help, there are others who channel it to the point of having physical symptoms that affect their daily lives.


The abuse of legal or illegal substances is linked to different mental disorders, from depression to psychosis. Here, the disease may lead to addiction or vice versa.

According to the president of the SEP, Miguel Gutiérrez, people who become addicted to a substance probably have genetic biological conditions that make them more vulnerable to having one of these mental illnesses.

The information is useful, emphasizes Dr. Miguel Gutiérrez, and it is important to go to a specialist if there is suspicion that you have any type of mental illness to treat it in time.


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