Currently, the most commonly used classification scheme for psychological illness is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). This manual was originally created by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952 and provides standardized criteria for diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders. Its recent revisions have deliberately converged its codes. Alternative dimensional classification schemes include the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual.
Asylums were replaced by community-based treatment following World War I. As a result of the epidemic of shell shock and other forms of mental trauma, a new psychiatric manual was developed. During the Second World War, a new psychiatric manual was developed that led to the development of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The International Classification of Diseases included a section on mental illnesses, and the concept of stress was developed. In the early 20th century, the United States’ mental hygiene movement grew, with the goal of preventing and treating psychological disorders in general. Meanwhile, clinical psychology and social work also became professions, and the rise of wartime trauma was a key factor in this change.
Treatment for psychological illnesses varies, depending on the severity of the mental disorders and the individual’s lifestyle. Psychotherapy is the most common treatment option, although other forms of therapy may be prescribed. The major focus of psychotherapy is to modify patterns of thought and behavior, while dialectic behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy address interpersonal conflicts. Other forms of psychotherapy, such as family therapy and systemic therapy, focus on networks of significant others. It is important to remember that psychotherapy is an extremely effective means of treating mental health problems.
Traditional mental health care systems have largely ignored the role of gender in treating psychiatric disorders. The dominant medical model of psychiatric illness favors strong providers, including physicians. Consequently, many male patients suffer from psychiatric disorders. The fact that men are more likely to commit suicide than women is evidence of this trend, but the majority of male suicides occur among men. This fact alone warrants the study of gender-specific treatment.
The underlying factors behind the differences between U.S. and British psychiatric care include stigma and cultural norms. In Britain, more than one-third of adult patients have sought medical attention for a mental health condition at some point in their lives. In Switzerland and the Netherlands, however, less than 10 percent of adult citizens reported seeking treatment for a mental health condition. While these results are not statistically significant, they do indicate that cultural norms and stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment have contributed to the differences.
Various forms of psychiatric disorders are hereditary. Although there is no single hereditary cause for mental disorders, studies have shown that there is a high hereditary correlation between many of these conditions. In addition to genetics, life experiences, and environmental exposures may all contribute to the development of psychological disorders. Various methods of treatment are used to treat and prevent these conditions. Many medications and counseling are available today for treating mental health disorders.