Psychological illness is a term that describes a range of mental disorders. It can be a short-term condition or a chronic one. Most common psychological disorders are anxiety and depression. There are many different treatments available for the various types of mental illnesses. Some are psychological, while others focus on medical treatments.
The origins of psychiatry lie in the early 19th century, when an increasing number of insane asylums were established in Western countries. The influx of people into these facilities was due to industrialization. These institutions later changed their names to hospitals, as well. Giorgio Antonucci dismantled two such institutions in Imola and began to question the basis of psychiatry.
The biopsychosocial model is the primary paradigm of contemporary mainstream Western psychiatry. This model integrates social and biological factors into a comprehensive view of the origins of mental illness.
Psychological illness is classified into three categories: anxiety, depression, and psychotic disorders. Anxiety is characterized by feelings of extreme fear and apprehension. Depression is usually associated with low energy and hopelessness. People with depression may experience thoughts of death or suicide.
Mental illness is generally treatable with medication and therapy. Treatments can be specific to a particular disorder or a blend of different types of therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular form of treatment. Other forms of therapy include interpersonal, family, and systemic therapies.
Depression and anxiety are the most common types of psychological illness, with about 30 percent of Americans diagnosed with mental illness. Other common psychological disorders include dyspareunia (a problem with gambling), bulimia, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by the presence of unwanted intrusive thoughts, or obsessions. A person with OCD may also have an inability to resist certain actions or behaviors.
Mental illnesses are a result of damage to specific regions of the brain. They can be caused by genetics, trauma, or a variety of other factors. Biochemical theories, such as the neurotransmitter theory, are used to explain mental illnesses. Drug therapies, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, target neurotransmitters in the brain and improve their levels.
Psychodynamic theories explain mental illness in terms of the disruption of the balance between three components of the mind. These include the id, the superego, and the internal processes that regulate the behaviour of a person. Symptoms are often produced deliberately to create an image of a disorder.
There are several types of drugs that can help with depression. One of the most widely prescribed medications is SSRI-type antidepressants. Another type of medication is benzodiazepines. In the 1990s, antipsychotics were introduced and became very widely prescribed. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is another treatment option that has serious risks.
Other psychological illnesses are not as easily treated. Traumatic events, such as car accidents, natural disasters, and sexual assault, can cause psychological illnesses. Social influences, such as bullying and employment problems, have also been linked to the development of these conditions.
Various research agendas have been developed to better understand the causes of these illnesses. Advances in neuroscience, in particular, have led to new understandings of these diseases. Although mental illnesses are more prevalent than they were previously believed to be, there is still no cure for them.