Psychological illness is the term used for a variety of psychological disorders and diseases. It has a long and varied history and was first described in ancient civilizations. In ancient Mesopotamia, mental illnesses were believed to be caused by specific deities. In fact, some of the most prominent illnesses were named after deities, and were called the “hands” of those gods. For example, Qat Ishtar was considered a “hand of Ishtar”, and Qat Shamash was known as “Hand of Shamash.” Similarly, doctors kept detailed records of hallucinations and assigned spiritual meaning to the symptoms.
Psychotherapy is one of the most common treatment options for psychological disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely used and focuses on altering thought and behavioral patterns. Dialectic behavior therapy is another popular form of therapy. Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on dealing with interpersonal conflicts. In the past, psychoanalysis was the most widely used form of therapy. Family therapy and systemic therapy both address the network of significant others in the patient’s life.
Other common psychological illnesses include social phobia and panic disorder. These disorders cause a person to avoid social situations and interfere with their ability to perform everyday tasks. It can even affect a person’s academic and vocational functioning. Unfortunately, many people with these disorders don’t seek treatment and live with the symptoms of this disorder for many years.
Some studies have found that cultural norms and stigma associated with psychological illness can affect the choice of where to seek help for psychological problems. For example, a substantial proportion of adults in the UK, the Netherlands, and Sweden reported not wanting to seek mental health care when they were experiencing emotional distress, whereas 23 percent of adults in the U.S. said they would visit a mental health professional if they felt the need for mental health treatment.
Suicide is one of the most common causes of death for individuals suffering from psychological illness. Nearly one in three suicides are caused by people with depression. In fact, people with depression have a four-fold increased risk of suicide than those without depression. Furthermore, people with depression are also more likely to commit violent acts, including homicide. Further, the effects of depression are harmful to marriages and other relationships. It can also lead to significant disturbances in children.
Psychological treatments for PTSD can include various methods that help people cope with their symptoms. These techniques can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). In many cases, these treatments can be effective even years after the traumatic event.
The early stages of OCD are associated with a more favorable outcome than later stages. In contrast, people who suffer from chronic episodes are more likely to suffer from long-term symptoms. A 40-year prospective study by Skoog (1999) showed that 60% of people with OCD showed signs of improvement within ten years of diagnosis and 80% of people with OCD had achieved full remission after 50 years. However, about 10% of people with OCD continued to experience significant symptoms.