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The 15 most frequent psychiatric disorders

The 15 most frequent psychiatric disorders

June 24, 2021

The human psyche is really complex, its normative functioning being an essential element in order to develop and adapt to the environment in a successful manner. However, sometimes it is possible to find that for some reason there is some kind of alteration that makes this adaptation difficult, causing a deep discomfort to the sufferer and greatly altering his life and / or those of those around him. It's what happens in psychiatric disorders .

There is a wide variety of these disorders, which greatly alter and make life difficult for those who suffer from them. However some are more frequent than others. In this article we present fifteen of the most common.


  • Related article: "The 15 most frequent neurological disorders"

What are the most frequent psychiatric disorders?

Next we reflect which are the 15 disorders psychiatric disorders that more frequently can be found in clinical practice.

1. Major depression and other depressive disorders

Major depression is one of the most prevalent disorders in the world, being characterized by the presence of a sad mood and the presence of apathy and anhedonia along with other symptoms such as sleep disturbances, feeding, feeling of hopelessness, loss of concentration, mental and physical slowness, frustration and passivity. Suicidal ideation may occur.


In addition to major depression, dysthymia is also very common, in which depressive symptoms appear less severe than in major depression but continued over time (almost daily for at least two years).

  • Related article: "Major depression: symptoms, causes and treatment"

2. Panic disorder with agoraphobia

The set of anxiety disorders are the most frequent type of disorder in the clinical population, although each of them separately may not be as frequent. One of the most common is panic disorder, in which there are frequent anxiety attacks in which there is tachycardia, sweating, respiratory acceleration, a feeling of loss of control of one's behavior and fears such as dying or to get mad. The idea that they happen again generates anticipatory anxiety , favoring the behavioral avoidance of situations in which it could appear.


In the cases in which agoraphobia appears, anxiety occurs in situations in which the subject can not escape or may not receive help if he suffers a crisis, such as in places with a large influx of people or very open places, so that tends to avoid them (which is very limiting).

  • Maybe you're interested: "Agoraphobia: the fear of losing control (causes, symptoms and treatment)"

3. Alcohol dependence

Alcoholism is a very frequent problem, due among other aspects to the relatively good social vision of alcohol consumption. Dependence on this substance it can lead to serious health problems , like liver problems, ethylic comas and can even lead to death to the sufferer.

4. Anorexia nervosa

It is one of the most prevalent disorders in today's society, derived from the cult of the body and the high appreciation of aesthetics and current beauty canons. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a rejection of food intake, the refusal or refusal to maintain a minimum body weight, the distortion of one's body image and other symptoms such as amenorrhea or absence of a rule .

It is common to cause vomiting after eating, hide food or exercise excessively to avoid gaining weight. It is one of the few psychiatric disorders that is capable of killing itself, due to the consequences of lack of nutrients.

  • You may be interested: "Types of anorexia (symptoms, causes and characteristics)"

5. Bulimia nervosa

Together with the previous one, it is part of the most frequent eating disorders. Bulimia nervosa resembles anorexia in the fact that there is an obsessive fear of gaining weight and there is some distortion of the body image, but it is characterized by the presence of massive binge eating in which it loses control.

After them, guilt and shame appear, and the individual who suffers from it uses compensatory methods to avoid gaining weight, such as provoking vomiting.

6. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is without a doubt the most well-known psychotic disorder. It is characterized by the presence of hallucinations , delusions, behavior and / or disorganized language, catatonia and / or negative symptoms such as alogy or poverty of thought for at least six months and producing a significant alteration in one or more vital domains.

  • Related article: "Hallucinations: definition, causes, and symptoms"

7Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is one of the neurodevelopmental disorders most known and diagnosed worldwide, to the point of a high overdiagnosis of it. It is characterized by the presence of symptoms of inattention such as distraction, loss of objects, forgetting activities or inability to complete tasks among others together with symptoms of hyperactivity such as motor restlessness, inability to take turns or interruption in other people's activities.

Despite the above, it is possible that there is only attention deficit, in which case we would only be facing an ADD.

  • Related article: "Attention deficit or selective attention in ADHD"

8. Autism Spectrum Disorder

Another of the most well-known neurodevelopmental disorders, autism is characterized by the presence of difficulties in communication and socialization, with difficulties for the management, expression and reception of emotions , difficulties in the pragmatic use of language, lack of understanding and use of non-verbal language, isolation and lack of social reciprocity.

There are also patterns of behavior and restricted and repetitive interests, facing changes or requiring stable routines. Sometimes hyper or hyposensitivity to sensory stimulation also appears.

It must be borne in mind that the concept of autism covers a series of phenomena that may or may not be present in each person diagnosed with ASD. Further, there are many degrees of autism , which are expressed both through people with intellectual disabilities and unable to speak, up to cases of individuals capable of speaking and with high intelligence.

9. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD is a disorder characterized by the continuous presence of persistent intrusive thoughts recognized as their own, that the subject considers irrational and that awaken in the subject a high anxiety for considering them inadmissible and that he will try to block actively, which causes a centering and overvaluation of these. This will end up generating its reappearance, generating obsession.

The patient usually uses a series of ritual acts that momentarily relieve anxiety but that in the long term facilitate the reappearance of this, called compulsions. A vicious circle is established between obsession and compulsion that will cause a deep suffering in the subject and an increasing level of anxiety, dedicating a great deal of time in his life to the realization of compulsions and active avoidance of obsession.

  • Related article: "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): what is it and how does it manifest?"

10. Bipolar disorder

Along with depression, it is part of mood disorders. This disorder is characterized by the presence of episodes of mania or hypomania that may or may not alternate with depressive episodes. The former are characterized by the presence of expansiveness, grandiosity, euphoria and disinhibition. They often become irritable and take more risks than usual, often performing actions that they would not normally do.

There are two types of bipolarity, type 1 that corresponds to the condition of at least one manic or mixed episode may or may not have an alternation with one or more depressive episodes and type 2 in which there has been at least one hypomanic episode followed or preceded in time by at least one depressive episode. In this type of disorder the mood can fluctuate rapidly, and can be very disabling. In fact, it is the type of disorder that poses the greatest risk of suicide , above the major depression.

  • Related article: "Bipolar disorder: 10 features and curiosities you did not know"

11. Dependence on other substances

Substance dependence is a very frequent and relevant disorder in the current population. In this list we have previously separated the alcohol dependence because it is one of the highest prevalence, but also frequent dependence on cocaine and heroin.

The fact that these disorders are very widespread can not be understood without taking into account the influence of culture and political and economic dynamics.

12. Post-traumatic stress disorder

It is a disorder derived from the experience of a deep trauma in which the subject has seen his life or integrity threatened or has witnessed a situation that has caused him a high feeling of vulnerability, helplessness or fear .

After this experience the subject manifests continuous reexperiences, avoidance of stimuli associated with this situation and a high level of hyperactive as physiological for more than a month. It is typical in situations of gender violence, rape or in situations of armed conflict.

13. Personality dependence disorder

It is one of the most frequent personality disorders, characterized by the excessive need to deal with the subject. Relations of submission and obedience are established with respect to the environment in order to be loved and not be abandoned.It usually occurs in people with low self-esteem and it is common to have mood disorders

14. Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is one of the most serious personality disorders, characterized by the presence of high emotional instability, the presence of impulsivity and a fluctuating mood with the presence of fear of abandonment, feelings of emptiness and alterations in self-consumption and in personal relationships . In many cases they self-injure and may have autolytic behaviors.

15. Antisocial personality disorder

The antisocial personality disorder is characterized by the existence of a pattern of behavior in which disobedience to social norms, lack of respect for the rights and opinions of others, cruelty, irritability and low tolerance to frustration.


Brain and Mental Health | Nucleus Health (June 2021).


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