5 common mental illnesses psychiatrists treat

Prescription medication may help some people who deal with mental illnesses. (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)

Prescription medication may help some people who deal with mental illnesses. (Photo by Katie Jacewicz)

You or someone you know likely has been diagnosed with a mental health problem. According to the World Health Organization, more than 450 million people worldwide suffer from mental health or behavioral disorders.

A person with symptoms of mental illness more than likely should seek the help of a professional for counseling or medication as part of their treatment. The severity of the case could determine if it is advisable for them to seek the services of a psychiatrist rather than those of a psychologist.

A psychiatrist must earn a medical degree to practice and is generally allowed to prescribe medication to their patients to help them cope with ailment. A psychologist, on the other hand, has a doctorate or an equivalent degree and cannot prescribe medication. Both professions are trained to provide professional counseling services.

According to the Mayo Clinic and Mental Health America, there are more than 200 classified types of mental illness. The following conditions are among the most common types of mental illness that may require medication and counseling:

  • Depression – A chemical imbalance that causes sufferers to become sad and disinterested in their daily lives.  It can cause mood swings and the urge to injure oneself. Prescription medications can help alleviate symptoms in some people.
  • Anxiety disorders – Anxiety can be triggered by many different factors. There are several medications that can help with different versions of anxiety.  A psychiatrist will able to identify and treat each of these.
  • Eating disorders – Bulimia, anorexia and compulsive overeating are among the conditions that make up abnormal eating habits of people with abnormal eating habits that could prove harmful to their own health.
  • Mania –  This disease causes people to have an elevated mood and appear to be very happy when they may actually be depressed. Those diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder may experience giant mood swings from extreme highs to extreme lows.


If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, refer them to a mental health professional such as an Indianapolis psychiatrist to receive an evaluation and diagnosis.


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