List of Psychological Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Specific Phobia
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Acute Stress Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Somatization Disorder
- Conversion Disorder
- Pain Disorder
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Sleep Disorder
- Impulse Control Disorder
- Pathological Gambling
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Depression is not uncommon. The disorder affects over 21 million people and takes control over a how one feels about himself. It involves the body, the emotions, and the moods of an individual. A person who suffers from depression will feel the impact of the condition even with his sleeping and eating habits. It must not be mistaken for short term sadness, and is not a weakness either. The condition calls for therapy or it could linger on for a very long time.
Depression usually affects more women than men. This could be caused by numerous hormonal changes that bring about an increased rate of symptoms, especially during the menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. There are other stress factors such as caring for parents and children, or being a single parent, which could be a cause of the disorder. Men are less likely to develop depression although it does happen. Unfortunately, denial of the disorder by most men may make it difficult to come up with necessary treatment. The more common symptoms of depression that can signal the need for attention include unhappiness, anxiety, pessimism, lack of enthusiasm, sleeplessness or over-sleeping, entertaining thoughts of suicide, and chronic physical symptoms like headaches, digestive problems, and serious pain.
Bipolar disorder or “manic-depressive disorder” is connected to mood swings, ranging from the lowest bouts of depression to the highest emotions of mania. Should a person feel depressed, he experiences a feeling of sadness and hopelessness, along with a loss of interest for performing activities. As the mood shifts the opposite way, there is a sense of euphoria and increased energy. These shifts of moods could happen as rarely as a number of times in a year. It could also be as frequent as numerous times in a day. There are some cases that the disorder could result in symptoms of mania and depression simultaneously.
In spite of the fact that bipolar disorder can be a disturbing condition that is long-term in nature, moods can be held in check through a specific treatment plan. Usually, the disorder is kept under control with the use of medications along with psychotherapy or psychological counseling. A person who shows any sort of symptoms, whether it be of mania or depression, would do well to see a mental health expert or doctor as soon as possible. This type of disorder does not go away if left unaddressed. Getting the proper treatment is the only way to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder effectively.
Panic disorder is categorized as an anxiety disorder. Someone who suffers from panic disorder experiences panic attacks repeatedly, while experiencing sudden bouts of grave fear together with anxiety. Physical symptoms may also be manifested, specifically those that are a body’s natural reaction when faced with danger of any kind. This means that the heart rate is increased, a trembling sensation in the body is felt, and sweating profusely or becoming flushed follows. This is normal when faced with real danger. However, people suffering from panic disorder will experience these symptoms during panic attacks, even when there is no danger at all. Other symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness, fear or going crazy, and fear of dying. These attacks may happen every day or may occur less frequently, like a few times each month or every few weeks.
Because of the fact that panic attacks may occur at any time, even when one is asleep, a person suffering from this disorder gets anxious should the attack begin. It is not only the psychological effect or the physical discomfort he is afraid of, but the embarrassment around people should it happen. For this reason, a person who suffers from panic disorder will eventually fear being in places where people are around, and remain in seclusion as much as possible. Treatment is absolutely necessary to alleviate the symptoms.
Agoraphobia is an anxiety that a person feels towards something. It can also be manifested by a person who tries to avoid situations wherein an attack may set in and would either be embarrassing or ill timed where no type of help is available. This is a kind of anxiety disorder, its name originating from “agora,” a Greek translation of marketplace. Phobia in Greek translates to fear. Therefore, it is “fear of a marketplace,” aptly worded as people who suffer from this disorder fear open and public places. In reality however, the fear is more of not knowing where to find help needed when an attack should occur in these places.
For people suffering from agoraphobia, panic attacks and feelings of anxiety are regular occurrences. Panic attacks where a person feels extreme fear may last for about 10 minutes or longer. The symptoms include increased heart rate, profuse sweating, shortness of breath, trembling, chest pains, nausea, light-headedness, detached feelings, be afraid of dying, and fear that one is losing his mind. The treatments for agoraphobia include psychotherapy, medication, treatment programs on self-development, and the personal type of therapy.
Specific phobia is a type of disorder wherein a person feels an intense fear for one specific thing or a particular situation. This feeling is extreme in spite of the fact that there is no real threat or danger in the object of fear. Additionally, a person who suffers from the disorder is very anxious about the fear. He may also go through disruptions or interferences while going about everyday living as a result of this fear. It is not unnatural for people to have certain fears of things. The difference with a person suffering from agoraphobia is that the fear of this object keeps him from functioning as a normal individual. This is unlike a normal fear of something where a person will not anticipate any untoward incidents that would stop them from doing what they need to do.
The symptoms of specific phobia include anxiety attacks and chronic fear of the specific item or the situation; a recognition of the person that this feelings are irrational and are not in proportion with the risk one faces; the person may do one of two things- avoid the object of fear completely or face up to it with intense discomfort; and the fear takes control of a person’s life and renders him incapacitated to go about his daily tasks ot even socialize.
Posttraumatic stress disorder is a common type of anxiety disorder. It happens usually following an event that was extremely terrifying or a traumatic ordeal where severe physical harm may have befallen a person. It is not uncommon for a victim’s family to develop the disorder as well. It may also happen to anyone, children included, male and women alike. There are however more cases of women who suffer from the disorder rather than the men. Other types of anxiety disorders, the use of alcohol or drugs often happen along with PTSD.
To get treatment for PTSD, certain symptoms are observed, and whether or not they impede with a person’s daily life. One of these is when a particular event is relived over and over in the person’s mind or the strong responses whether physical or mental, that is experienced when a person is reminded of the situation. A person with the disorder may also avoid certain activities or indulge in conversations that would be a reminder of the particular event. He may become a loner and have a pessimistic view of life. One could also feel that he has to be on his guard and protect himself, is unable to sleep, is irritated often and over-reacts to situations.
Acute stress disorder usually develops about a month after a person has experienced or been witness to a death, a threat, physical injury, reacting with intense fear to the event. Along with this are feelings of horror at the situation and complete helplessness at not being able to take control of the situation. Acute stress disorder emerged when people would manifest symptoms of PTSD following a trauma experienced. The term trauma may be used for either a medical condition caused by a serious body injury, or psychiatrically, where a person goes through a harrowing, emotional experience that leaves mental as well as physical effects.
Generally, direct exposure to a particularly traumatic event is believed to increase the risk of emotional damage. Nevertheless, indirect exposure to any particular type of violence may be equally traumatic. This is why it is best to observe children and young adults for symptoms of emotional distress after they have been exposed to a violent event or disaster of some kind.
When an individual worries excessively over things that have not happened yet or may not happen at all, or have anxiety with no basis, he may have what is referred to as generalized anxiety disorder. Although it is normal for anyone to experience anxieties sometimes, the person who has the disorder is not able to relax or function properly because of these unfounded worries. Generalized anxiety disorder is a kind of anxiety disorder that is quite common, and characterized by chronic tension, anxiety, and worry. It can also be exhausting, not only mentally but physically as well.
This disorder is a bit different from phobias where a person’s fear is directly associated with a particular object or a situation. It is instead a general sense of unease or a sense of fear that affects a person’s entire life. Although the anxiety experienced may be less severe than attacks of panic, it is longer term and certainly poses a challenge for someone who wishes to relax and calm down.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a type of mental disorder that is characterized by an obsessive manner of thinking and compulsive acts. Some of the more frequent actions seen in a person suffering from OCD are constant cleaning, hoarding, or counting. The condition can be potentially disabling and can continue throughout an individual’s life. A person goes through life following a pattern of recurrent thoughts and actions that appear pointless but they are compelled to repeat, causing stress and disruption in their lives. The disorder can be mild or severe. When severe, OCD may render a person incapable of performing ordinary tasks and treatment becomes necessary.
Because of these obsessions, a person with obsessive compulsive disorder is driven to perform repetitive actions referred to as compulsions. These particular behaviors are usually performed and meant to protect an individual from harm and provide some kind of relief for an individual with the disorder. Unfortunately, the relief is very temporary. As a matter of fact, these obsessive thoughts may return and may become stronger. The compulsive behavior that follows results in anxiety coming from the demands of the behaviors and time spent performing them.
A person suffering from somatization disorder experiences numerous physical and somatic conditions that cannot be explained medically. For an accurate diagnosis, the condition must be one where the somatic complaint is severe enough that it actually interferes with the individual’s ability to function properly in important activities and responsibilities. Should this occur, it is necessary to seek medical treatment for the disorder.
Because physical symptoms of the disorder are not attributed to any form of medical condition or drug, a person suffering from the disorder may opt to go through a series of tests that will usually offer negative results. This is usually the time when the disorder is identified. The symptoms may include burning sensations, pain travelling through different parts of the body, tingling feelings, and strange tastes one can experience on one’s tongue. Although a lot of the symptoms experienced by the individual closely resemble symptoms of real diseases, some reported by individuals suffering this condition are actually not. Nevertheless, the feeling is real for the individual, and requires medical attention just the same.
Conversion disorder characterizes itself by an individual manifesting psychological stress physically. This condition describes a particular health problem that originates from a mental or emotional issue. These symptoms manifest themselves without any physical cause, which the individual has difficulty controlling. The symptoms of the disorder will generally affect the movements of the individual, as well as his senses. Although the symptoms appear severe, a lot of people do recover in a period of weeks.
It is a wise decision to go for medical help when symptoms resulting from conversion disorder manifest themselves. Should the cause of these symptoms be purely physical, a diagnosis and treatment is necessary. Should it be caused by the disorder, getting proper psychological help can improve or alleviate symptoms, as well as prevent more episodes in the future.
The disorder is experienced as pain in one or various parts of the body. This somatoform disorder that has no underlying medical cause is characterized by recurring chronic pain, which can be very distressing and can make it extremely difficult for a person to function properly. Although the pain has no apparent medical reason, it is felt by the individual as real pain. This pain is psychological and is frequently exacerbated by the stress the individual experiences. The type of treatment that is most frequently used for the disorder is psychotherapy together with medications.
The pain may be severe and may warrant medical attention. It may result in significant distress to the individual and impair normal functioning. The pain is not produced intentionally in spite of the mental factors that play a big role in causing its onset. The diagnosis of the disorder is based upon the history of the individual suffering from the disorder. The treatment of pain disorder starts through establishing consistent and supportive relationships between the medical professional and the patient. From here on, medications may be prescribed if necessary, along with psychotherapy sessions.
Anorexia nervosa, a complex type of eating disorder, is characterized by an individual’s refusal to keep his body weight at a healthy level, a strong fear of weight gain, and a distorted view of one’s body image. Due to a person’s fear of gaining weight and their distorted body image, eating becomes a highly stressful event. A person suffering from Anorexia Nervosa fixates on dieting, food to be eaten or not eaten and experiences low self-esteem resulting from their distorted body image. This obsession with weight and food diminish a person’s capacity for joy. Because of the distortion in self- image, it does not matter how thin one becomes. It will never be thin enough. The disorder is dangerous and life threatening, and calls for immediate medical attention.
Although a person who has anorexia nervosa will typically be in denial when it comes to the problem, the reality is that the disorder is deadly. The good news is that it is curable for as long as it is addressed as soon as the symptoms appear. Through proper treatment along with family and friends’ support, an anorexic can break free from the self-destructive cycle and live a normal and happy life.
Bulimia nervosa is one type of eating disorder that is serious and could be life-threatening as well. This disorder seems to affect more young women than men. A person with bulimia nervosa, otherwise known as a bulimic, ingests so much food, or binges before working on ridding her body of food and extra calories in a number of ways. She may begin fasting, perform excessive exercises, and force herself to vomit, or take laxatives. This particular behavior supposedly functions to alleviate the stress an individual is experiencing and ease anxiety too. Bulimia nervosa is considered to be a psychiatric kind of illness as it is the consequence of an individual’s extreme concern for her self-image and how to control her weight.
This disorder poses a very real problem to one’s health. The practice of bingeing or purging can result in severe damage and could eventually lead to the death of the individual. Although this risk is less than when one has anorexia nervosa, it is still there and needs to be managed properly. When a person binges, there could be the danger of rupturing the stomach. With purging, the risk of heart failure is increased because of the loss of essential minerals like potassium. Vomiting can also result in other health problems. The earliest possible treatment is recommended for the disorder to avoid more serious consequences.
Every person has at one time or another gone through the experience of having trouble sleeping, and waking up the next day feeling tired. However, if these particular sleep problems become regular and interfere in a person’s day to day routine or affects his ability to perform regular tasks, it is a sign that the individual may actually be suffering from sleep disorder. Sleep disorders must not be taken lightly since they could cause a number of health problems and have long-term effects on a person’s emotional stability and productivity. Being able to recognize the symptoms of sleep disorder is the first step towards getting proper treatment from a doctor.
One type of sleep disorder is insomnia. Symptoms include being unable to either get sleep or stay sleeping at nights, getting up really early and experiencing fatigue during the day. The main symptom of sleep apnea is excessive sleepiness in the daytime. Snoring, gasping, and snorting while asleep are other symptoms of this type of sleeping disorder. Narcolepsy also shares similar symptoms as sleep apnea. Added signs are cataplexy or loss of muscle control, and being unable to move when one is about to sleep or wake up.
Impulse control disorder is a type of psychological condition that is characterized by an individual’s inability to refrain from certain actions that may be harmful to the individual or others around him. These disorders are believed to result from neurological as well as environmental causes. Stress is believed to exacerbate the condition. Compulsive shopping or gambling are examples of these disorders that are usually preceded by sensations of excitement followed by gratification. It may also be accompanied by a certain feeling of remorse or guilt for performing the action.
Other common impulse control disorders include pyromania, wherein a person intentionally starts fires; Trichotillomania, a disorder that involves pulling one’s hair compulsively; Kleptomania, where an individual is unable to control himself from stealing; and pathological gambling, which can ultimately ruin a person’s whole life. These disorders are serious and need attention from mental health professionals who can best administer the proper treatment for the specific type of disorder.
Pathological gambling or compulsive gambling is categorized as an impulse-control disorder. A compulsive gambler will continue to gamble no matter what circumstances he is in. This means that even when they cannot afford it, compulsive gamblers take the risk hoping against hope to win. More often than not however, they do end up losing and the cycle of gambling repeats itself.
There are several signs manifested by an individual who is a pathological gambler. One of these is an unnatural preoccupation with the act of gambling and figuring out how to get the money needed to gamble. He will also have a strong tolerance to the addiction and will gamble with more money to achieve his desired rush. He will also be unable to control the urge, trying repeatedly to put a stop to the pattern but failing to do so. He can experience withdrawal symptoms when he is unable to gamble, and can be very irritable during this time. He may also begin to lie to family and friends so that no one really knows just how deep into the addiction he may be.
Kleptomania is a type of impulse-control disorder wherein an individual is unable to resist the urge to steal. The disorder is characterized by the person’s repeated attempts to keep from stealing, but failing in his attempts. The condition is more frequently observed in individuals who may be chemically dependent, are suffering from anxiety, or have an eating disorder. Diagnosis of kleptomania is easy and as a result, the disorder often goes un-noticed. A theory behind kleptomania is that the unique thrill from stealing may help ease the symptoms of depression.
The symptoms of kleptomania include repeatedly stealing objects that one does not need personally nor has any monetary value; an increased sense of tension prior to stealing; a feeling of gratification following the theft; and the act does not get its motivation from anger or an act of vengeance, nor by some sort of delusion. Psychotherapy may be the best way to alleviate the symptoms of kleptomania.
Borderline personality disorder is a type of emotional disorder, which results in emotional instability. In turn, this leads to stress along with other kinds of problems. A person suffering from borderline personality disorder sees a distorted image of himself, which makes him feel flawed and worthless. He will then feel angry and irritated, and experience mood swings that could make people avoid him, in spite of the fact that he longs for good relationships with others.
A person suffering from this type of disorder will frequently feel that he is misunderstood and alone. Although he may recognize that his behavior is not good for himself or those around him, he may also feel too weak to control the feeling. When this happens, other problems may emerge and his work, his social relationships, and his daily functions as a normal human being are significantly affected. The most effective treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder is long term psychotherapy.
A person suffering from avoidant personality disorder experiences a constant and persistent cycle of distorted thoughts and emotions that manifest in their behaviors and the way they function in their daily lives. People who have avoidant personality disorder are also more likely to develop other anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia or social phobia. An individual with this disorder will generally experience a feeling of extreme shyness, have a strong sensitivity when it comes to criticism, feel inadequate and have low self-esteem, have difficulty forming relationships even when the desire for closeness is strong, and have a tendency to avoid social situations where interaction with others is necessary.
Treatment for avoidant personality disorder is generally long term psychotherapy. Because of the fact that an individual with this condition is extremely shy, group therapy is not normally recommended. An effective method of helping a person overcome his shyness and start to develop better behavioral patterns is through cognitive behavioral treatment. He may also be given anti-anxiety medications to help him.
An individual who suffers from dependent personality disorder will show an extreme need to get care from or be totally dependent on others. He is usually submissive while displaying a behavior that is clingy towards people he does not want to be separated from. People with this disorder are typically passive and compliant. They will frequently expend so much effort to please, are self-denying, and will continuously try to get other people’s approvals. They avoid disagreeing with others if only to gain the approval they long for. It is easy to take advantage of individuals who suffer from this condition, as they are easily swayed and influenced.
When a person has a dependent personality disorder, his confidence in himself and the things he is capable of doing is quite low. He is unable to make his own decisions and to stand up to what he thinks is right. Pessimism and self-doubt are often felt and he will tend to demean his own achievements. He will show uneasiness when he is alone and will often be preoccupied with thoughts of either being rejected or abandoned by others. Because of these thoughts, he will maintain a sad demeanor and experience bouts of depression and anxiety.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a condition where an individual is unnaturally preoccupied with being orderly, perfect, and in complete control even when flexibility or openness is at stake. An individual with this disorder will find it difficult to make decisions when established rules are not able to dictate what the right answer is. He will find it extremely challenging to prioritize tasks or find out the best method of achieving the task, to the point that he may not start anything altogether.
A person who suffers from this condition is typically upset during situations where he is unable to manage either his physical or his inter-personal situation. He will normally express his feelings of affection in a controlled manner, feeling uneasy while around people who are able to express their emotions more. Even everyday relationships will have a serious quality. He may also appear stiff in certain situations where it would be natural to enjoy and have a good time. He also controls himself completely, holding back what needs to be said and done until he is absolutely sure that he says or does the perfect thing. A person with obsessive compulsive disorder is also focused on intellect and logic.