Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. This disorder is characterized by depressive episodes that last at least two weeks and can include thoughts of death. The emotional and motivational effects of depression limit a person’s ability to function effectively. It also reduces the contribution that a person can make to society.
In the United States, nearly one in five adults is affected by psychological illness. Although depression is the most common disorder, there are a variety of other disorders. Some last only a short time, while others can be persistent and last for many years. Depending on the individual, some may require treatment to maintain a satisfactory quality of life. Various therapies are used to treat mental disorders.
Many different factors influence the development of mental disorders. One major cause is the social environment. Social influences include trauma, abuse, neglect, and traumatic events. There are also a number of social problems that are associated with higher rates of depression, including socioeconomic inequality, lack of social cohesion, and employment issues.
Another source of mental illness is genetics. A variety of studies have supported a link between certain genetic markers and disorders. These genetics are found in both adults and children. Other factors that increase a person’s risk of disorders include age, race, ethnicity, gender, education, and social class.
Genetics has been the subject of much research, as has neuroscience. Advances in these fields led to the creation of new research agendas. Psychologists have developed new classifications to differentiate disorders, which are based on the way that the brain functions.
The most common disorders, which affect more than half of the population, include depression and anxiety. Cognitive and behavioral therapy is commonly used. However, some people with a mental illness may need a more intensive approach to their treatment.
In the United States, approximately 90 percent of primary care practices have a mental health professional. In addition, psychiatric hospitals are sometimes needed for severe or dangerous cases. Psychiatric hospitals offer counseling and group activities. They can also provide medications to treat the condition. People with a substance use disorder are also treated in these settings.
While some people with a common mental health disorder might not need a hospital, the emotional and cognitive effects of depression can significantly impair their ability to perform daily activities. This can result in a loss of self-confidence and productivity, along with a reduction in their ability to sustain relationships.
During the past two decades, a number of psychotherapies have been developed. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and systemic therapy. These techniques focus on changing the pattern of thought and behavior.
Benzodiazepines and antipsychotics became widely prescribed drugs in the late 1970s and early 1990s. Studies have shown that repetitive drug use can lead to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Biological evidence has supported the internalizing-externalizing nature of mental illness. Among the dimensional models proposed by scientists, the most prominent is the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology.