College Guide For Students With Psychiatric Disabilities (Part 1)
According to statistics, 18.5% of the American population, which equals to over 43 million people, suffers from mental disorders. Mental ailment is defined as an illness that influences an individual’s thinking, mood, and behavior. In case it affects family life, education, and other everyday life aspects, it is called a psychiatric disability. These conditions are commonly caused by persistent disorders that exert a considerable long-term effect.
Students with these disabilities face many challenges. Most of them don’t know where to get the help. For this reason, each campus should have mental health counselors and coordinators. Students need to have easy access to these services and, what is more, must understand the essence and types of psychiatric disabilities.
Types of Psychiatric Disabilities
Under present-day conditions, the scientists consider over 200 classified types of mental disorders. The most common of them are:
- Depression – a severe mood disorder that affects one’s emotions, thoughts, and everyday activities. The general symptoms of depression are low energy, fatigue, sleep-related issues, prolonged sadness and/or irritability, changes in appetite, and suicidal thoughts. There are different forms of depression, including:
- Persistent depressive disorder: the depressive state that lasts longer than 2 years
- Bipolar disorder: the state characterized by sudden mood swings between manic conditions and depressions
- Psychotic depression: takes place when delusions or hallucinations accompany the depressive state
- Prenatal depression: occurs in women who have recently given birth
- Anxiety disorders – disorders characterized by high levels of stress that impact daily life. The symptoms of anxiety disorders are flowing between high-strung moods and fatigue, as well as physical pains, sleep issues, and irritability. There are 3 most common anxiety disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: prolonged periods of unreasonable worry and stress
- Panic disorder: sudden bursts of fear accompanied with dizziness, trembling, and heart palpitations
- Social anxiety disorder: insecurity and stress in all kinds of social situations
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – a common childhood condition that affects over 6 million Americans. It’s characterized by chronic hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsiveness.
- Addiction – a chronic condition that causes compulsive seeking of a drug or any other addictive substance or activity. One can develop an addiction to alcohol, drugs, nicotine, as well as gambling and sex.
- Eating disorders – disorders characterized by obsessions with one’s weight and nutrition that evolve into destructive habits and behaviors. The most common types are:
- Anorexia nervosa: causes one to see oneself as overweight and restrict the caloric intake to extreme levels
- Bulimia nervosa: involves overeating followed by purging through vomiting, fasting, or excessive physical activity
- Binge-eating disorder: chronic overeating
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – a condition characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that are repeated extremely frequently. Its symptoms are unwanted thoughts, irrational fear of germs, physical spasms, excessive counting, etc.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a condition that causes social awkwardness, communication issues, and repetitive behaviors.