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A psychological disorder, also known as a mental disorder, is a pattern of behavioral or psychological symptoms that impact multiple life areas and create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms. The latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, defines a mental disorder as: "a syndrome characterized by a clinically significant disturbance in an individual's cognitive, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental process underlying mental functioning. Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress in social, occupational, or other important activities. There are 4 models of causes of psychological disorders i.e.
- Biological Model
- Psychoanalytic Model
- Cognitive Behavioral Model
- Bio Psychosocial Model
Neurodevelopmental and Dissociative Disorders
Neurodevelopmental disorders are those that are typically diagnosed during infancy, childhood, or adolescence. Intellectual Disability is caused by neurodevelopmental disorders. It is referred to as mental retardation. It is a result of deficits in general mental ability such as reasoning, problem solving, planning, abstract thinking. Signs and Symptoms include intellectual functioning significantly below average; IQ less than 70. In Global Developmental Delay, developmental disabilities occur in children under the age of five. Such delays relate to cognition, social functioning, speech, language, and motor skills. Communication disorders Impact the ability to use, understand, or detect language and speech. Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by persistent deficits in social interaction and communication in multiple life areas as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by a persistent pattern of hyperactivity-impulsivity and/or inattention that interferes with functioning and presents itself in two or more settings such as at home, work, school, and social situations. Dissociative disorders are psychological disorders that involve a dissociation or interruption in aspects of consciousness, including identity and memory. Dissociative Amnesia involves a temporary loss of memory as a result of disassociation. In many cases, this memory loss, which may last for just a brief period or for many years, is a result of some type of psychological trauma. Dissociative Identity Disorder formerly known as multiple personality disorder, involves the presence of two or more different identities or personalities.
Bipolar and Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Bipolar Disorders are characterized by shifts in mood as well as changes in activity and energy levels. It often involves experiencing shifts between elevated moods and periods of depression. Mania is characterized by feeling overly excited and even hyper. Depressive episodes are characterized by feelings of intense sadness, guilt, fatigue, and irritability. During a depressive period, people with bipolar disorder may lose interest in activities that they previously enjoyed. Bipolar disorders are caused by biological neurotransmitters, hormones, inherited traits, and environment factors. Trauma- and stressor-related disorders involve the exposure to a stressful or traumatic event. Acute Stress Disorder is characterized by the emergence of severe anxiety within a one-month period after exposure to a traumatic event such as natural disasters, war, accidents, and witnessing a death. As a result, the individual may experience dissociative symptoms such as a sense of altered reality. Adjustment Disorders can occur as a response to a sudden change such as divorce, job loss, end of a close relationship, a move, or some other loss or disappointment. It affects both children and adults. Reactive Attachment Disorder can result when children do not form normal healthy relationships and attachments with adult caregivers during the first few years of childhood.
Anxiety disorders are those that are characterized by excessive and persistent fear, worry, anxiety and related behavioral disturbances. Fear involves an emotional response to a threat. Generalized anxiety disorder, a type of Anxiety Disorders, is marked by excessive worry about everyday events. According to DSM 5 Criteria, it is characterized by uncontrollable and excessive worrying/anxiety. In GAD, there is increased activity in the amygdala. GAD may involve in the disruption of brain circuits. GAD runs in families, and a significant genetic component. Agoraphobia is characterized by a pronounced fear a wide range of public places. People who experience this disorder often fear that they will suffer a panic attack in a setting where escape might be difficult. Social Anxiety Disorder involves an irrational fear of being watched or judged. Panic Disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterized by panic attacks that often seem to strike out of the blue and for no reason at all. People may begin to avoid situations and settings where attacks have occurred in the past or where they might occur in the future. Separation Anxiety Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder involving an excessive amount of fear or anxiety related to being separated from attachment figures. Researchers don’t know exactly what brings on anxiety disorders.
Somatic Symptom and Personality Disorders
Somatic symptom disorders are a class of psychological disorders that involve prominent physical symptoms that may not have a diagnosable physical cause. It involves a preoccupation with physical symptoms that makes it difficult to function normally. Illness anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive concern about having an undiagnosed medical condition. Those who experience this psychological disorder worry excessively about body functions and sensations. Somatic Symptom Disorders also involve:
- Conversion Disorder
- Factitious Disorder.
Conversion Disorder involves experiencing motor or sensory symptoms that lack a compatible neurological or medical explanation. Factitious Disorder occurs when an individual intentionally creates, fakes, or exaggerates symptoms of illness. Personality disorders are characterized by an enduring pattern of maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can cause serious detriments to relationships and other life areas. Following are some personality disorders:
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing disregard for rules, social norms, and the rights of others. Avoidant personality disorder involves severe social inhibition and sensitivity to rejection. Borderline Personality Disorder is associated with symptoms including emotional instability, unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, unstable self-image, and impulsive behaviours. Dependent Personality Disorder involves a chronic pattern of fearing separation and an excessive need to be taken care of. Histrionic Personality Disorder
is associated with patterns of extreme emotionality and attention-seeking behaviors. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is associated with a lasting pattern of exaggerated self-image, self-centeredness, and low empathy. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, inflexibility, and mental and interpersonal control. Paranoid Personality Disorder
is characterized by a distrust of others, even family, friends, and romantic partners. Schizoid Personality Disorder
involves symptoms that include being detached from social relationships. Schizotypal Personality Disorder involve features eccentricities in speech, behaviors, appearance, and thought. Genes and environment is the cause of personality disorder. Psychological disorders can cause disruptions in daily functioning, relationships, work, school, and other important domains. With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, however, people can find relief from their symptoms and discover ways to cope effectively.