Psychological illness affects a large number of people worldwide. Some of the most common are depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders also affect millions of people. Mental illnesses can lead to significant physical, psychological, and social problems. They may be caused by biological factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both. The social and cultural environment also affect the way people deal with mental disorders.
Although psychological illness is not new, the history of its development is very old. In the early twentieth century, the mental hygiene movement emerged in the United States. This spawned the profession of clinical psychology, as well as the discipline of social work. A large number of people became ill during World War I, which led to the creation of a new psychiatric manual. This manual was then used to diagnose and classify mental disorders. The manual was later incorporated into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It also led to the development of the International Classification of Diseases, which now includes a section on mental illnesses.
The prevalence rates for common mental health disorders vary depending on location, age group, and time period of the survey. In the United States, approximately one in six people are estimated to have a common mental health disorder. Of those, half exhibit significant symptoms. Of those, the vast majority have a non-specific mix of depressive and anxiety symptoms. However, a few have specific anxiety disorders. Prevalence rates of these disorders depend on a number of factors, such as socioeconomic status and the number of socially disadvantaged persons in a given area.
Social anxiety disorder, otherwise known as social phobia, is a disorder in which an individual experiences intense feelings of fear in social situations. These fears cause significant distress and impair their daily functions. They can negatively affect an individual’s vocational and educational performance. Unfortunately, many sufferers are unable to seek help and are left feeling depressed.
According to the World Health Organization, more than half of the cases of psychological illness go undiagnosed. The problem of underdiagnosis is compounded by societal stigma. Even family members and trained health care providers are not always able to recognize symptoms of psychological illness. As a result, women suffering from these problems often put off seeking treatment for fear of being stigmatized.
Symptoms of this disorder are often unclear and can change over time. Sometimes, these symptoms may even change during treatment. Other times, the symptoms may even become worse, and the sufferer may feel dissociated from others. Some sufferers may even stop engaging in activities that used to be important to them. In extreme cases, the person suffering from depression may self-harm.
People suffering from GAD often become excessively anxious about routine activities. Even minor physical symptoms or medication side effects can trigger extreme anxiety. The result is demoralisation. The condition is often comorbid with depression and is difficult to diagnose.