In ancient civilizations, psychological illnesses were described by various names and had religious meanings. For example, in ancient Mesopotamia, some mental illnesses were attributed to specific deities. These diseases were referred to as “hands of the gods” or “Qat.” Mesopotamian doctors kept detailed records of hallucinations and assigned them spiritual meanings.
In the early twentieth century, mental hygiene movement developed in the United States, and social work and clinical psychology were established as professions. The huge number of soldiers who returned from World War I led to the development of a new psychiatric manual. This manual combined with new methods of collecting statistics, eventually becoming the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The International Classification of Diseases added a section on psychological illness.
Psychological disorders affect a person’s ability to think, feel, and act appropriately. They interfere with daily functioning, and can cause severe distress. Treatment for mental illnesses aims to treat the underlying causes of the disease and help sufferers overcome them. The course of each type of disorder varies greatly. Some are short-term, while others can last a lifetime.
The costs associated with psychological illness are significant. These illnesses impact the lives of those affected by them, as well as the economy and healthcare system. Suicide rates are high, and depression can lead to acts of violence against other people. In extreme cases, it may even lead to homicide. In addition, psychological disorders negatively affect marital relationships. For example, depressed parents are likely to neglect their children and cause significant disruptions in their lives.
Other forms of psychological illness include: substance use disorders and psychotic disorders. For example, substance use disorders may involve drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and gambling addiction. Psychotic disorders involve hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms that make it difficult for people to function normally. Some of these disorders may require medical intervention, including psychotherapy.
Psychological disorders are often caused by biochemical, genetic, or social factors. Symptoms may indicate a different disorder from one person to another, so it is important to get the correct diagnosis and treatment. However, in many cases, a diagnosis of a psychological disorder can be difficult. A clinical psychologist can use the DSM-5 or another manual to help diagnose a patient.
Psychological illness may also be hereditary, as evidence from twin and adoption studies suggests that a genetic factor may cause some mental health problems. In a recent survey of general practices, 7.2% of patients had a depressive disorder. This range varied from practice to practice. The study also revealed that socioeconomic status and neighbourhood unemployment were factors in the difference in depressive disorder prevalence rates.
In recent years, the costs of psychological illness have reached PS103 million. This represents a huge economic burden on society. However, there are numerous treatments for common mental health disorders. The guideline focuses on assessing and identifying conditions that may lead to significant distress in people.