Psychological disorders are a common problem within society today. These disorders affect people’s lives from their work environment to their family environments. The most common disorders are the mood disorders, anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, psychosomatic and somatoform, sexual disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenic disorders, and childhood disorders. Most of these disorders are easily diagnosed and treated with the use of medication and psychotherapy.
The three common mood disorders which afflict the people of the world are depression, mania and bipolar disorders. Depression, which is the number one mood disorder, is defined as a group of syndromes that causes sadness and mood swings beyond the normal everyday blues (MedicineNet.com, 2009). The symptoms of depression include insomnia or excessive fatigue, loss of interest in food or sex, trouble concentrating, and sometimes excessive feelings of excessive guilt or worthlessness (Axia College, 2009). Mania, which is less common than depression, is defined as a person experiencing an excessively high amount of enthusiasm, to the point of being unreasonable (Merriam-Webster, 2009). The symptoms of mania include extreme activity, excessively talkative, easily distracted, unlimited hopes and schemes, and sometimes aggression towards others (Axia College, 2009). The final mood disorder, which is bipolar disorder, is a combination of depression and mania, and has alternating symptoms of the two disorders discussed earlier (Axia College, 2009).
The three causes attributed to mood disorders are biological, psychological, and social factors (Axia College, 2009). Biological factors have been consistently proven to be a major cause for all mood disorders, and this means that mood disorders are genetic, and are handed down from generation to generation. Psychological factors, such as dramatic childhood experiences, also cause mood disorders within people. The third, and final, cause of mood disorders are related to social factors. The main social factor that causes mood disorders is difficulties within relationships due to grief over a loss. The cause of mood disorders can not be contributed solely to one factor or another; rather, these disorders are usually a combination of the above factors.
Treatments used most effectively for mood disorders consist of a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medications that are used consist of heterocyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and mood stabilizers (Dinsmoor, 2006). The psychotherapy treatments used to overcome mood disorders are interpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and extreme cases electroconvulsive therapy (Dinsmoor, 2006)
Anxiety disorders are another psychological disorder that affects numerous people throughout the world. Specific phobias, such as the fear of flying, are defined as an excessive or unreasonable amount of fear in a particular situation (Axia College, 2009). The symptom of a specific phobia is an overwhelming feeling of uncontrollable fear. Panic disorder, which is defined as a person that has recurrent panic attacks, has the symptoms of a person experiencing overwhelming feelings of panic with no apparent reason for the given panic (Axia College, 2009). Generalized disorders are defined as intense fears that are not caused by an object or action. The symptoms of this disorder include the inability to relax, muscle tension, increased heart rate, and difficulty in sleeping (Axia College, 2009). The final anxiety disorder is obsessive compulsive disorder, which is defined as the urge to repeat ritualistic behaviors, such as all the straws in the rack have to be on end with the writing facing out. Symptoms of this disorder depend upon the situation, but they are basically the need to repeat an action, over and over, whether the person wants to stop or not (Axia College, 2009).
The main cause attributed to anxiety disorders are learned and prepared responses. Learned responses are a conditioned fear which has occurred from a past experience, and prepared responses are inherited traits within a human body that were once used for survival. Another cause of anxiety disorders is when a person feels like their life is out of control. An anxiety disorder can be brought on by any of the reasons listed, or a combination of them.
The treatment for anxiety disorders is a combination of medication and psychotherapy (University of Maryland). Medications, such as antidepressants, mild tranquilizers, and anti-anxiety pills are used. The dosage, and the brand, can be altered according to the needs of each particular person. The psychotherapy styles that are used for anxiety disorders are behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic therapies. The most effective treatment, as stated before, is a combination of therapy and medication that is found to work for each individual person.
Dissociative disorders are mental disorders were a personality of a person is separated from the rest, which means that a person can have several different “people” living within their bodies (Axia College, 2009). Dissociative amnesia is defined as a person forgetting a part of their life, such as after a traumatic experience. Dissociative identity disorder is defined as multiple personality disorders, which means that a person has several different personalities living within their mind, and each personality is unique and separate from the others. Depersonalization Disorder is the final dissociative disorder, and it is defined as when a person suddenly feels changed or different and is a long-term problem.
The causes of dissociative disorders are unconscious processes where the person is not aware of the disorder. For instance, a person that sees a parent die in a car cash may experience dissociative amnesia, and in effect will not remember seeing the wreck, or their parents die in the wreck.
The main treatment for dissociative disorders is psychotherapy, but medications may be used to help control the problem. The medications that are commonly used are antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and mild tranquilizers. The psychotherapies that are used are creative art therapy and cognitive therapy (Mayo Clinic, 2007).
Psychosomatic and Somatoform disorders are caused by psychological factors and the symptoms range along a wide variety of medical complaints. The difference between the two is that psychosomatic problems are real health problems with real medical solutions, while somatoform disorders are health problems that have no apparent medical cause or solution (Axia College, 2009).
The causes of these two disorders are unconscious processes that occur within a person, and may be caused by traumatic experiences in their past. Another idea is that people with this disorder may have an actual medical problem that has been overlooked, such as an illness within the nervous system.
The treatment for these disorders starts with treatment by a medical professional for the health problems, and then a personalized psychotherapy program that uses all of the therapy techniques (PSYweb, nd)
Sexual dysfunction is the first sexual disorder, and it is defined as the loss or impairment of normal sexual responses (Axia College, 2009). For instance, the ability of man to gain an erection in a sexually exciting environment or of the inability of a woman to become aroused when sexually excited. Paraphillis is another sexual disorder which is defined as the use of objects in order to obtain sexual arousal, such as the use of a shoe or whip (Axia College, 2009). Sexual behavior which falls into this disorder is people that have to have unusual needs, such as pain or objects, in order to achieve sexual gratification. Other behaviors, which are illegal, that fall within this disorder are child molestation and “coping a feel” from a perfect stranger. The final disorder is the gender-identity disorder, which is the longing of a person to be the opposite sex than what they really are (Axia College, 2009). A sexual behavior that falls under this disorder would be cross-dressing.
The causes of sexual disorders are medical and mental, so treatments of these disorders range from medications, such as Viagra, to psychotherapy.
Personality disorders are simply disorders that make a personality of a person seem exaggerated and unchangeable. A Schizoid personality disorder is when a person is withdrawn from others, and they lack compassion or feelings. Paranoid disorders are when a person is paranoid and suspicious of everybody and everything around them, to the point that trust of other people can never be achieved. Dependent personality disorders are when people can not make choices on their own; instead they rely on the people around them to make all of their choices for them. Avoidant personality disorders are the exact opposite, and this is when a person avoids social contact of any kind. They would rather stay indoors, alone, than deal with others. A person that has an oversized ego, and thinks that their self-importance is higher than anyone else’s, is said to have a narcissistic personality disorder. And the final personality disorder is the borderline personality disorder, which is defined as a marked instability within their personal image, relationships, and mood (Axia College, 2009).
Personality disorders are caused from a set idea and behavior that is unchangeable, and most of the time is exaggerated. The treatments for these disorders are a combination of psychotherapy, medications, and hospitalization when needed.
Disorganized schizophrenic is a disorder that consists of a person acting childish, with disregard for social rules or ethics (Axia College, 2009). For instance, an adult male that wanders around parks and flashes people. Catatonic disorders of schizophrenia are when a person is catatonic part of the time, and then overly active the other part of the time (Axia College, 2009). For example, if a woman is at a social function and quietly stares at the ceiling for hours, and then suddenly begins jumping from table to table and chattering endlessly, she could have catatonic schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenia is when a person is paranoid and distrustful all the time, and they have complex delusions about themselves. For instance, if a man walks around in a toga and thinks he is Julius Caesar. The final schizophrenic disorder is the undifferentiated disorder, which is defined as when a person has several different disorders within the schizophrenic category.
The causes of schizophrenia are related to heredity, and are attributed to an improper amount of dopamine within the central nervous system (Axia College, 2009). Another possible cause for schizophrenia is when a person has enlarged ventricles within their brains.
The treatments for schizophrenia include medication and therapy, but these only make the disorder manageable, there is no cure as of yet (Epigee, 2008)
Two common childhood disorders are attention deficit disorder and autism. Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is commonly known as excessive hyperactivity within children (Axia College, 2009).This disorder makes it hard for a child to sleep, learn and can cause behavioral problems because they always have to be active. Sitting in a classroom is nearly impossible for children with ADD. Autistic disorder is when a child is detached from everything and appears to be in their own worlds. Children with autism do not show emotion, have a hard time developing normal speech patterns, and remain unattached from their family.
Treatments for ADD are medicines which slow children down, making it able for them to relax.
Psychological disorders are mental problems that plague the population of the world, and the various disorders range from learning problems all the way up to violent criminals. Most of the disorders are treatable through a combination of medicine and therapy, but some can only be made manageable to the person afflicted. There is no age preference, either, for these problems. Children and adults have disorders, as do men and women. There has been a link of some disorders to heredity, but many are simply psychological problems which society as a whole has to deal with.
Axia College Psychology: An Introduction Axia College of Phoenix University
Robert Dinsmore Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine healthatoz.com
Epigee Schizophrenia Treatments epigee.org
Mayo Clinic Mental Health mayoclinic.com
MedicineNet Depression medicinenet.com
Merriam-Webster Depression Merriam-Webster Online Edition
Psyweb Somatoform Disorders psyweb.com
University of Maryland Mental Health umm.edu