Psychology is related to mental health. How our brain responds to the environment and how its growth and development is linked to the “nature & nurture”- this is what is covered in psychology.
Human brain is complex! The poor mental health is denoted by a number of disorders, which impact the life of an individual or those connected with him/her.
The abnormal behaviour in ancient times was considered to be the effect of “evil spirits and demons”. The old premonitions involved treatments using magic spells and typical potions. Now, the science has brought some light on the topics of brain health.
Let us know more about the subject.
What are psychological disorders?
Psychological disorders are the mental disorders or “psychiatric” disorders. They are different patterns of behaviour and reflexion, which are definitely “not good”. The life experiences a dramatic phase and impacts are seen on the individual as well as the related family and friends. The amount of stress created by the psychological disorders is tough to handle! The variety of emotional and intellectual breakthroughs a person goes through is really harsh.
Do you understand the plight of people with psychological disorders? Want to know more about the diagnosis and treatments? Want to learn more deeply about the subject? You are at the very correct place!
Causes of psychological disorders
The psychological disorders can be well understood and tackled once the causes are known. Prevention is better than cure.
The psychological disorders are consequence of interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Each disorder differs in cause in different individuals that is the exact cause is not defined and universal. Research work and studies have concluded and brought the dominant causes in front of the common people of the world.
The causes of psychological disorders can be biological, psychological and environmental.
- Biological factor includes the unusual function of the nerve cells and some abnormality in the pathways. If there is some improper functioning in the brain due to discontinuous flow of chemicals between the nerve cells, it is categorised under mental illness. The brain functioning capacity is enhanced by the help of some medicines, which cover up the issues of neurotransmitters and help the electrical activity to take place at its best. Also, some accidental injuries and deficiencies account for mental disorders.
- Brain disorders also run in families. This is inheritance of characters from one generation to the other. People who have a mental illness running in their family, even for one or two generation, are more likely to have psychological disorders. Genes are responsible for this unhealthy transfer.
- Infections can also cause the brain disorders. These infections are caused by the pathogens- which may be bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa or virus. In neurocysticercosis, brain is directly attacked by the pathogen. Brain tissues are severely affected and various symptoms are displayed. Another example is of the condition PANDA (Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric disorder), in which the bacteria Streptococcus are associated with a major mental illness.
- Pre-natal damage in which the brain development at the foetal stage is disturbed is also responsible for psychological disorders. For instance, the loss of oxygen in the brain is the cause for autism.
- When you are using some toxic substance from a long period of time, such as alcohol or smoking, then you are likely to develop stress and depression conditions.
- Some other biological factors involve the nutritional intake and use of toxic elements such as lead and mercury. They hinder the brain development and cause mental illness.
- Some childhood trauma, which may be emotional, physical or sexual abuse, may be haunting you. This can be a major psychological reason for the mental illness.
- Some significant loss can also be the cause. Loss may be of someone close to heart, some major materialistic loss or anything else.
- The feeling of being neglected and ignored is intolerable for some people. The response to such negligence is given by the body through some psychological disorder.
- Feeling of isolation and extra-introvert nature is also a leading factor.
- The external influences trigger the psychological disorders in many people. Some tragic event which may be death or heartbreak can have a huge impact on brain health.
- A dysfunctional family produces a lot of stress and trouble. There is lack of understanding between the family members and poor judgement makes it even more destructive. The environment at home and the poor communication between the family members disturbs mental health.
- Low self esteem, the feeling of anxiety and temperament issues are some common known causes.
- Sudden change in environment, when the former was a comfortable one and the latter is difficult to adjust to. Change in job or school affects the mental health more than expected.
- Some social and cultural norms may make the individual feel lack of acceptance. If the individual feels that he/she is not socially or culturally accepted, he/she may withdraw from such situations and keep themselves in isolation.
Causes for the mental disorders vary, but to what extent the consequences can turn out to be, we still don’t know.
Psychological disorders symptoms
Any illness is followed by a set of signs and symptoms, which help in identifying the problem to some extent. A broad range of disorders are covered in mental health problems, and each disorder is characterised by its own set of symptoms. The overall personality of the affected person is disturbed and the thought process with social interaction becomes abnormal. The diagnosis can be quite difficult, but the continuous progress in scientific advancements has made many doubts clear.
The disorders are different, with varying degrees and the symptoms are likely to overlap. Symptoms depend upon the disorder, the conditions and circumstances and other influencing factors. Some common symptoms are mentioned as follows:
- The gloominess engulfs you. You feel awful, sad and upset. The energy level remains too low and you feel down. You know that you have something wrong with you, but do not know the exact problem.
- You may be confused or exhibit poor concentration. You may not be able to focus completely and commit mistakes.
- The feeling of fear and worry kills you inside. You feel extremely guilty or something or you have extreme feelings for something normal.
- You witness a roller coaster ride in your mood. You may feel high at one moment, and then feel too low at the other. Mood swings occur too often and with more intensity.
- You withdraw yourself from social gatherings or any such activity which involves a large group of people. You do not like to talk to friends even and thus keep yourself in isolation.
- You may have problems in sleeping. You may not be able to sleep at night or have trouble in falling asleep. You may have nightmares and negative thoughts which add on to make you deprive of the peaceful sleep.
- You have hallucinations and you imagine things to be real. You live in too much fantasy and accept it as your reality.
- You find trouble in coping up with daily life activities and casual stress problems.
- You may not easily understand situations of daily life and perceptions of people. You may not like their opinion and thus react outrageously.
- Alcohol and drug abuse takes the best of your time and interest. You enjoy your time with these toxic substances and keep them as your priority.
- Your eating habits change and your diet lack the nutritious food.
- You are easily provoked and show extreme violence. You are really cruel towards the household objects- you shatter glasses and throw away the stationary objects in your room. You cause a lot of damage to property and to life as well.
- You are thinking of ending your life.
In many cases, the symptoms occur as physical problems which can be easily seen. Headache, stomach pain, back pain and several other agonic elements contribute as physical problems.
If you can relate to any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should visit the suitable health care provider. Do not look down upon yourself as some mental patient- there is nothing wrong in having these problems. Have a positive attitude and try to improve your lifestyle so that you and your loved ones feel happy! If you keep the psychological disorders untreated, the condition may worsen over the time period and may put up serious problems later on.
List of psychological disorders
It is really shocking to see that the psychological disorders have such a long list! Check if you can relate to any of them.
- Absence Seizure: this is when you get blank for an instant and just stare in the blank space. This is caused by the disruption in neuro-transmittance.
- Abulia: inability to make decisions
- Acute Stress Disorders (ASD): this is caused due to some sudden trauma or accident which gives a severe shock to the brain activity.
- Adjustment Disorders
- Alcohol Addiction
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Asperger’s Syndrome
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Barbiturate related disorders
- Binge Eating Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Breathing-related Sleep Disorder
- Caffeine Addiction
- Catatonic Schizophrenia
- Childhood amnesia
- Childhood disintegrative disorder
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders
- Communication Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
- Dissociative Amnesia
- Ekbom’s Syndrome
- Emotionally unstable personality disorder
- Expressive Language Disorder
- Factitious Disorder
- Frotteuristic Disorder
- Fugue State
- Ganser Syndrome
- Gender Dysphoria
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- General adaptation syndrome
- Hallucinogen addiction
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Primary Hypersomnia
- Huntington’s Disease
- Hyperkinetic Syndrome
- Intellectual Development Disorder
- Joubert Syndrome
- Language Disorder
- Learning Disorders
- Major depressive disorder
- Mental Retardation
- Multiple Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Neuro-cognitive disorder
- Non Rapid Eye Movement
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Paedophilic Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Reactive attachment disorder
- REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Retts Disorder
- Selective Mutism
- Shared Psychotic Disorder
- Sleep Arousal Disorder
- Somatization Disorder
- Tobacco Addiction
- Tourettes Syndrome
- Transvestic Disorder
- Voyeuristic Disorder
These were just a few! Every year, in annual medical journals, some new information is added to the list and deep core studies can be done with better reference.
Types of psychological disorders
There is a complete list of disorders. Categorising it under the types makes the study and identification easier. Broadly, the psychological disorders are put under three categories:
- Adult psychological disorders
- Childhood psychological disorders
- Personality disorders
Some disorders come under more than one category, and it is completely alright. After all, a human brain is a challenge to science!
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders is a journal, which is widely used by the psychologists and psychiatrists. The ultimate classification which is commonly accepted all over the world is given by this reference book only. The main five types of psychological disorders are given below:
|Anxiety Disorders||Depressive Disorders||Personality Disorders||Behavioural Disorders||Eating Disorders|
|Panic Disorder||Depression||Borderline Personality Disorder||Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)||Anorexia Nervosa|
|Obsessive Compulsive Disorder||Major Depressive Episode||Antisocial Personality||Autism||Bulimia Nervosa|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Major Depressive Disorder||Conduct Disorder||Asperger Syndrome||Binge Eating Disorder|
|Social Phobia||Dysthymia||Oppositional Defiant Disorder||Rett’s Syndrome||Disordered Eating|
|Agoraphobia||Bipolar Disorder||Multiple Personality Disorder||Drug abuse||Psychotic Disorders|
|Phobias||Seasonal Affective Disorder||Histrionic Personality Disorder||Alcohol Use||Schizophrenia|
|Specific Phobias||Cyclothymia||Schizoid Personality Disorder||Alcohol Abuse||Brief Psychotic Disorder|
|Generalized Anxiety||Postnatal Depression||Schizotypal Personality Disorder||Alcoholism||Delusional Disorder|
|Acute Stress||Paranoid Personality Disorder||Addictions||Shared Psychotic Disorder|
|Substance Induced Anxiety Disorder||Narcissistic Personality Disorder||Gambling Addiction||Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder|
|Dependent Personality Disorder|
|Avoidant Personality Disorder|
Apart from these, you may also come across several other terms. Check them out below. We hope you get some help from these!
- Somatisation Disorder
In this disorder, even if there is nothing wrong in the body physically, the person constantly feels low and imagines some illness. They feel they have pain or ache somewhere, but they are not able to pinpoint it exactly.
A fear or feeling worried about the health constantly signifies that hypochondriacal disorder exists. Such people are not able to accept death. They get worried about their health, and take common health problems as life threatening.
- Pain Disorder
The patient feels pain in this disorder, but the exact cause cannot be identified. There is no medical explanation to such “pain”. The doctor cannot diagnose it and it is just the person who knows what he/she is going through.
- Conversion Disorder
Previously termed as hysteria, the conversion disorder is accompanied with a set of false neurological symptoms. The diagnosis involves brain mapping.
- Neurotic Anxiety
People in this large world are afraid even of the smallest things. They feel they will be harmed by them, but actually they are of no harm. For instance, many people are afraid of cockroaches. Although the chances of getting harmed by a tiny cockroach are very less, but the response people give are actually horrifying.
There are several phobias which also contribute in increasing the list of psychological disorders. The mood disorders are also increasing in people at a very high rate, where there are mild or extreme fluctuations in the emotional front of an individual.
Most common psychological disorders
Not every disorder is common in occurrence. Some occur very rarely and some are observed in large population. Some disorders are so mild that they are not even termed as mental illness many a times. You might be suffering from mental illness, and you may not even realise it.
Anxiety disorders are very common. Normally, people have anxieties on a basic level. You may fidget and feel nervous many a times. But, you cannot term it as a disorder. Anxiety disorders are characterised by a set of symptoms and some damage to brain health. They have neurological reasons of impairment which results in loss of daily life functions.
- Panic disorder occurs when a person faces a sudden breakout to terror or some fear. The overwhelming feelings bring life threatening consequences such as shortness of breath, chest pain, heavy sweating and choking.
- Agoraphobia is a mental disorder when you feel that if you face the same trauma once again, then you will not be able to escape and find any rescue. Thus, you avoid getting into such situations and stay away from crowds.
- Social Anxiety Disorder accounts to the feeling of fear from being a part of the crowd or social gatherings. This arises due to the fear of poor social judgements and negative perspective of the people which may make the individual embarrassed.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a state of mind when the person feels that some thoughts and actions are disturbing, and thus in order to reduce the anxiety, the person does some acts. Doing so makes the person feel better and normal. Compulsions involve the constant repeated acts of counting, checking or arranging things till they are exactly “right”.
Mood Disorders are also common. These include Bipolar disorders and Depression. The highs and lows in mood are quite often and sometimes too intense. This may last for days, weeks, months or even years. The lifestyle gets completely disturbed and the person is in dilemma.
Eating disorders have become quite common with the advancing development. Anorexia Nervosa keeps a check on the eating habits. Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa follows the list.
Psychosis makes the person move into the world of hallucinations and false beliefs. Schizophrenia causes the psychotic symptoms in many. People may also exhibit personality disorders, which display long term effects on behaviour and feelings. This often limits the individual with his/her relationships and other priorities.
Psychological disorders in children
Childhood is a very delicate age. At this stage, the pattern of growth and development is significant and any disruption in the process can result in psychological disorders. Therefore, a child and his/her behaviour must be well observed and monitored so that in case if there is any abnormal display of actions; early diagnosis can be done with proper treatment.
About 13.5% of the children, globally, are affected with emotional and behavioural disorders. Some of them are listed below:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
This is abbreviated as ADHD. Being the most common disorder among children, this has huge impact upon the lives of young minds. Statistics report that boys are affected more than the girls. Children are confused about their surroundings- what is happening and why is it happening. They fail to plan things and execute some actions. They are not able to finish tasks and cope up with the environment. They may seem to be fine on the front, but inside, they find their functional activities difficult to execute.
This is another mental disorder which keeps the child isolated and aloof. The child is unable to connect emotionally and some mental retardation is observed. He/she might have some problem in speaking and orienting words. On the contrary, some children might exhibit hyperactivity.
- Bipolar Disorder
This begins in early childhood and takes the whole personality of the child in its jaws as the age of the child progresses. The intensity and frequency of the mood swings is too high and intolerable. Early diagnosis is a challenge for this disorder.
- Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety can be any unusual feeling- fear, stress or nervousness. In children, some common anxiety disorders are the panic disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. Panic disorders can be due to extreme fearful events or terrorising conditions. Separation anxiety is also common among children. Stress of life pressurises the children to the point we cannot imagine or predict.
Developmental Disorders and psychotic disorders have a long term effect upon the children. The diagnosis methods involve a range of comprehensive and medical assessments.
Treatment of psychological disorders
The earlier we come to know, the earlier we can go for the treatment. Mental disorders contribute to be a complex condition and several treatments unite to come to the rescue.
Medication, therapies and social support altogether help the person to overcome the disorder. The best treatment is suggested by the psychologist or the psychiatrist you refer to. Proper medical advice is better than random absent minded decisions.
Theories which define the psychological disorders form the base of psychotherapies. A well comprehensive session is conducted, which can be termed as counselling. The communication with the patient is either done is isolation or in form of group discussions or activities. Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is used to treat various disorders. In this therapy, the connection of the mood is linked with the thought process of the individual. And, the behaviour is well observed and monitored. The patients are able to cope up with the stressful challenges of life and a significant improvement is seen.
Interpersonal psychotherapy also comes under this category, where the interpersonal relations are explored and improved.
In this therapy, medication is used to reduce the influence of psychological disorders. Antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers are frequently used to improve the quality of life.
- Assertive Community Treatment
At community level, if the treatment process is carried out, then the benefits could be availed to the best extent. This is one of the effective methods of rehabilitation and support.
Keep in mind that the major role in the treatment process is of the patient. “You” yourself are accountable to the way you feel, think and act. This can be quite challenging, but you are the one who will empower yourself. The positive changes in you will take time to establish. You have to be patient and optimistic. You and your treatment will make a perfect combo for the cure.
It is YOU who have to take a step forward to bring about a change!