common mental illness faced by adults in Singapore

Below are some commonly known mental illnesses affecting adults:

Anxiety Disorders

an anxious woman looks at her laptop in worry 
Anxiety disorders can arise from stress factors like​ work, finances and health.

Anxiety disorders arise from stress factors bearing down upon the individual, for example, worries about work, finances and health. If you have anxiety disorder, you are likely to display symptoms such as frequent and inappropriate worry, fear, breathlessness, tension, trembling/shaking, dizziness and muscular tension. Other symptoms include irritability, restlessness, insomnia, hyperventilation and frequent sweating.

Prolonged periods of anxiety can also lead to complications such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People who suffer from OCD characteristically tend to repeat certain actions excessively or entertain recurrent unwanted thoughts, such as the washing of hands or excessive double-checking.

Ironically, OCD sufferers perform these rituals in the hope of preventing and dispelling obsessive thoughts. Such repetition only gives an OCD sufferer temporary relief, and more anxiety is experienced when these repeated actions are not performed.

Related: What is Anxiety and How to Deal with Anxiety Effectively

Bipolar Disorder

a woman with bipolar disorder stares out of a glass window 
People with bipolar disorder experience mood swings between extremes.
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Bipolar disorder is another common mood disorder. While it is normal to experience a variety of moods throughout the day, bipolar disorder is evident when you have an extreme change in mood, usually swinging between extremes. These extremes or "poles" range from "mania" (a highly excited and elevated mood) to depression (extreme low and sad mood).

Related: Finding Emo: Managing Your Emotions


a woman with depression looks sadly at the ground 
Depression affects people with a greater intensity and can affect daily functioning.

Depression is classified as a mood disorder, and affects a person's feelings and emotions. Everyone feels sad from time to time, due to situations such as the loss of someone close, or a major disappointment. However, depression is of a greater intensity and lasts for a much longer period of time, to the point where it severely affects your daily functioning.

Related: Feeling Depressed? You Are Not Alone

Eating Disorders

a lone woman struggles with her eating disorder 
Eating disorders can be caused by a person's self-esteem and their concept of self and identity.

Eating disorders are mental illnesses that may be caused by problems with a person's self-esteem and his/her concept of self and identity. It is argued that in a society with an ever-increasing focus on beauty, perceptions about dieting and body types can become distorted, and in turn can have an adverse effect on one's eating habits.

Bulimia and anorexia are two forms of eating disorders. Bulimia is characterised by purging after binge eating, whilst anorexics suffer severe weight loss caused by an extreme reduction in food intake. Both can be life-threatening. People who suffer from anorexia or bulimia are extremely frightened of becoming fat, and this deep fear persists even after they have lost a lot of weight. Both conditions can be life-threatening once sufferers lose excessive amounts of weight.

Related: Mindful Eating Strategies: Eating with Awareness


a man with schizophrenia is distracted as a colleague talks to him 
Schizophrenia can affect a person's sense of reality which makes them seem disorganised in behaviour.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects a person's sense of reality, and the sufferer can be affected by delusions, hallucinations, or be extremely disorganised in speech and behaviour.

A person with schizophrenia may develop false beliefs of grandeur or persecution (delusions), or experience sights, sounds, smells, tastes or touch that others do not experience (hallucinations). Such symptoms make it difficult for sufferers to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined.

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