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Common adult mental health conditions

The most common mental health conditions to affect adults in England are:

  • mixed anxiety depressive disorder - a condition where a person experiences the symptoms of depression and anxiety; it is estimated to affect 1 in 10 adults in any given year,
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – a condition where a person experience persistent and severe feelings of anxiety; is estimated to affect 1 in 20 adults each year,
  • episodes of moderate to severe depression - which is estimated to affect 1 in 40 adults a year,
    phobias - an extreme, or irrational, fear, such as a fear of heights, or animals; phobias are estimated to affect 1 in 40 adults a year,
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – a condition where a person experiences obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours; is estimated to affect 1 in 75 adults a year, and
  • panic disorders (also known as panic attacks) - which are estimated to affect 1 in 80 adults a year.

Complex adult mental health conditions are generally less common than the mental health conditions that are mentioned above, but they can have a greater impact on the quality of a person’s life and can be more challenging to treat.

Complex mental health conditions

Complex mental health conditions include:

  • schizophrenia,
  • bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression),
  • post traumatic stress disorder,
  • anorexia, and bulima
  • personality disorders.

Personality disorders are a range of conditions that affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. Most people with personality disorders find it difficult to deal with other people.

Other uses of mental health services

There are a range of other conditions that while not strictly mental health conditions, can often benefit from the input of mental health services. These include:

  • autistic spectrum disorder,
  • dementia,
  • drug and alcohol dependency, and
  • stroke - many people who are recovering from a stroke experience symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Mental health in children and young people

As well as adults requiring mental health services, as many children and young people also experience mental health problems.

It is estimated that 1 in every 10 children and young people who are between 5-16 years of age are diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Mental health conditions that are known to affect children and young people include:

  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
  • OCD,
  • eating disorders, such as anorexia.