Psychiatric illness is a broad term that encompasses a variety of disorders. These conditions affect an individual’s thought patterns, behaviour, perception of reality and ability to function in social situations. Some are short-term, while others can last for a long time. A person with a depressive disorder will suffer from feelings of hopelessness and loss of energy. Depression is often treated with medicine and therapy. However, there is still no known cure for depression.
Anxiety disorders affect an individual’s ability to function in a social environment. Symptoms include fear, anxiety and phobias. Some of the most common anxiety disorders are post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. People with these disorders avoid social situations and have feelings of extreme fear.
Psychotic disorders include schizophrenia and delusional disorder. People with these disorders may have hallucinations or paranoia. People with these disorders may also have compulsions or obsessions. The symptoms may be irrational and may be caused by personal gain. People with these disorders may refuse to allow healthcare professionals to talk with their family and friends. Symptoms may change after treatment.
Mental disorders are often treated in psychiatric hospitals and clinics. They are categorized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The manual was produced by the American Psychological Association since 1952. It includes criteria for diagnosis and standardized criteria for treating mental disorders. In recent revisions of the manual, the codes are deliberately converged.
The early onset of a mental disorder may be associated with a worse outcome. This is because the person’s life may have been negatively influenced by socioeconomic factors, social stress, traumatic events and neglect. Occupational functioning, including cognitive and social skills required for a job, is also affected. Depression often impedes a person’s ability to work. The emotional effects of depression may also reduce a person’s ability to contribute effectively to society.
There are many specific therapies for certain disorders. Some therapies are based on a humanistic approach. Others are offshoots or hybrids of other therapies. Other therapies focus on modifying thought patterns or behavior patterns. Other therapies focus on addressing interpersonal conflicts.
Some common mental health disorders are depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and paranoia. These disorders are estimated to affect up to one in six adults. However, the estimates vary depending on the survey period and location.
Most people with common mental health disorders have non-specific mixed anxiety and depressive symptoms. There are also people who have specific anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. People who suffer from anxiety disorders also tend to have a higher rate of depression than those who do not. Some people with anxiety disorders do not seek help because they do not believe that they need it.
Psychological illness is often treated with medication, therapy and psychosocial support. Psychotherapists are specialized mental health professionals. Some psychotherapists are based on humanistic approaches while others are based on a psychoanalytical approach.