Psychological illness is a broad term, covering a range of disorders that affect an individual’s mental state. Some conditions may last for a short period of time, while others are more persistent. Common forms of psychological illness include anxiety and depression.
Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and agoraphobia. Depression has a variety of manifestations, including feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy, and thoughts of death. In severe cases, these symptoms can cause violence against other people. A depressive episode can last longer than two weeks, and can even be accompanied by thoughts of suicide.
Other common mental health disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and impulse control disorders. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterised by repetitive, intrusive thoughts and behaviors, which can include inability to resist certain actions. Impulse control disorders can cause stealing and fire-setting.
These disorders can be treated by a combination of therapy and medicine. Benzodiazepines and antipsychotics are commonly prescribed. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also widely used. This type of therapy involves changing patterns of thought and behavior. The focus is often on addressing interpersonal conflicts.
Another common form of psychological illness is bipolar disorder. The episodes of bipolar II are less intense than those of bipolar I, and are often treatable without hospitalization. Women are more likely to have this disorder than men. They experience more depressive episodes.
A variety of factors contribute to the onset of mental illness, but the primary paradigm is the biopsychosocial model, which incorporates biological, psychological, and sociological aspects. Studies have found that some aspects of the wider community, including socioeconomic inequality, employment problems, and trauma, are significant.
Some studies have found that mental illness is more prevalent than previously believed. For example, a recent study published by the National Institute of Mental Health revealed that more than one-in-five American adults suffer from some form of serious mental illness. Those with mental illness are also much more likely to die by suicide. There is a 20 times higher risk of death by suicide in people who are severely mentally ill.
Although there is no single accepted cause of these disorders, the causes do vary among individuals. People with depression are at a four times greater risk of suicidal acts. Other studies suggest that exposure to abuse, violence, or a violent crime increases the likelihood of depression.
Occupational functioning is another factor that may contribute to the onset of mental illness. It includes cognitive and social skills that are necessary for an individual to be successful in a job. Occupational functioning is affected when a person is unable to meet the demands of a job or work environment. Occupational functioning is also affected when a person cannot cope with workplace culture.
One of the most important developments in psychiatric medicine in the past few decades has been the use of lithium, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics. These drugs are now used widely around the world. As a result of these advances, there is a broader understanding of the spectrum of psychological disorders.