- Mood disorders: These disorders, also called affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. The most common mood disorders are depression, mania, and bipolar disorder.
- Personality disorders: People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or social relationships. In addition, the person's patterns of thinking and behavior significantly differ from the expectations of society and are so rigid that they interfere with the person's normal functioning. Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder.
- Anxiety disorders: People with anxiety disorders respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread, as well as with physical signs of anxiety or nervousness, such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating. An anxiety disorder is diagnosed if the person's response is not appropriate for the situation, if the person cannot control the response, or if the anxiety interferes with normal functioning. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
- Psychotic disorders: Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking. Two of the most common symptoms of psychotic disorders are hallucinations - the experience of images or sounds that are not real, such as hearing voices - and delusions, which are false beliefs that the ill person accepts as true, despite evidence to the contrary. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.
- Substance-related disorders are disorders of intoxication, dependence, abuse, and substance withdrawal caused by various substances, both legal and illegal. These substances include: alcohol, amphetamines , caffeine, inhalants, nicotine, prescription medications that may be abused (such as sedatives), opioids (morphine, heroin), marijuana (cannabis), cocaine, hallucinogens, and phencyclidine (PCP).
- Eating disorders: Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviours involving weight and food. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are the most common eating disorders.
- Cognitive disorders are a category of mental health disorders that primarily affect learning, memory, perception, and problem solving, and include amnesia, dementia, and delirium. While anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychotic disorders can also have an effect on cognitive and memory functions, the DSM-IV-TR does not consider these cognitive disorders, because loss of cognitive function is not the primary (causal) symptom. Causes vary between the different types of disorders but most include damage to the memory portions of the brain. Treatments depend on how the disorder is caused. Medication and therapies are the most common treatments; however, for some types of disorders such as certain types of amnesia, treatments can suppress the symptoms but there is currently no cure.
The psychodynamic framework argues that mental health problems are determined by the history of the individual’s prior emotional experiences, which unconsciously serve to disrupt the normal path of development through psychosexual or psychosocial stages. Psychodynamic theories can also be seen to draw on a broad range of foundations, including biological and evolutionary theory, religion and the arts and as such ‘psychiatric disorders are not viewed as illnesses with disease based causality but as conflicts between different levels of mental functioning. Psychodynamic approaches generally view mental health problems as rooted in negative childhood experiences, with treatment emphasising the therapeutic alliance and the effects of early