(Last Updated on : 20/04/2017)
Psychological Disorders, also known as a Mental Disorder, are abnormalities of the mind that result in persistent behaviour patterns that can seriously affect ones day-to-day function and life. When a person experiences mood or cognitive problems or behavioural issues for a long time, a psychological evaluation may be beneficial, and a diagnosis of a psychological disorder may follow.
Causes of Psychological Disorders
The specific causes of psychological disorders are not known, but contributing factors may include chemical imbalances in the brain, childhood experiences, heredity, illnesses, prenatal exposures and stress.
Symptoms of Psychological Disorders
Symptoms of psychological disorders vary based on the specific disorder, but mood and behavioral symptoms are common. Symptoms can be chronic and relapsing. Some common symptoms include:
Agitation, hostility or aggression
Alcohol or drug abuse
Alterations in energy levels
Confusion or disconnectedness
Irritability and mood changes
Perception or thought process disturbances, such as hallucinations and delusions
Persistent or abrupt mood changes that can interfere with day-to-day life
Types of Psychological Disorders
Many different Psychological Disorders have been identified and classified, including eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa; mood disorders, such as depression; personality disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder; psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia; sexual disorders, such as sexual dysfunction; and others. Multiple psychological disorders may exist in one person.
Some disorders, such as borderline personality and depression, occur more frequently in women. Others, such as intermittent explosive disorder and substance abuse, are more common in men. Still other disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, affect men and women in roughly equal proportions. For most people depression is a mix of many factors, such as social, environmental and genetic causes.
Treatment for Psychological Disorders
Treatment involves psychotherapy to work on behaviours, skill development and thought process. A person may be hospitalized for coexisting medical problems, serious complications, severe disorders or substance abuse. Medications can be quite helpful for some psychological disorders.
Properly treated, people who have psychological disorders often improve; however, relapses are possible. Left untreated, some psychological problems can lead to academic, legal, social and work problems. Alcohol poisoning, drug overdose, suicide, and violent behaviour are other potential complications. Psychological disorders can have serious, even life-threatening, complications.