The course of a psychological illness depends on many factors, including the person’s history, personality, social environment, and the nature of the problem. Some disorders last for a short time, while others are chronic and may interfere with a person’s ability to function in society. Psychological disorders may also interfere with an individual’s ability to acquire and maintain employment, deal with workplace culture, or study. Treatment for a psychological illness may include therapy, medication, and social support.
The shift from asylums to community treatment has a long history. Many of the major approaches to mental illness have their roots in the early twentieth century. Among the most widely used methods are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectic behavior therapy (DBT), and interpersonal psychotherapy. Systemic and family therapy are other treatments that target the network of significant others. Until recently, the term “psychiatric asylum” referred only to institutions for the mentally ill.
In the past, stigma attached to psychological disorders was a major problem. Many people were viewed as witches, or even demons. In the past, the treatment for psychological disorders involved punishment such as burning at the stake, being institutionalized in squalor, and being excluded from society. Today, some people have begun to challenge the stigma attached to such conditions. There are many efforts to improve professional cross-cultural sensitivity and increase understanding.
Behavioral disorders include a person’s dysfunction of thinking, language, and behavior. Some of these disorders are known as psychotic. They affect the way people think, behave, and perceive reality. Examples of these conditions include schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. A person with a developmental disorder may experience symptoms as young as early as childhood and persist throughout life. Such symptoms are often associated with other disorders, including antisocial personality disorder and schizoaffective disorders.
There is a wide range of psychiatric disorders that are defined by symptom lists and clinical diagnoses. The diagnostic criteria used by clinical psychologists are based on a Euro-American model. Although a common model of mental health, the underlying constructs of these disorders may be culturally bound. The use of culture-bound concepts in the DSM-IV shows that the West is biased. The DSM’s cultural factors are considered “culture-bound.” Standard psychiatric diagnoses are not given cultural qualifications in their descriptions.
The diagnostic process for depression is complicated by the fact that most people experience symptoms of both conditions simultaneously. Some of the symptoms of depression are accompanied by others, including changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, and problems with memory and concentration. Many individuals with depression experience an inordinate number of negative thoughts and often feel guilty for their lack of self-confidence. It is important to seek medical help if any of these symptoms affect you. The more severe your symptoms are, the more likely it is that you have a psychological illness.
It is important to know that the diagnosis of a psychological disorder is based on the symptoms and the person’s overall health. However, there are certain conditions that can be diagnosed as mental illnesses and they may not have any physical symptoms. A physician who can’t diagnose you without the help of a psychologist is unlikely to diagnose you. A psychiatrist or psychologist will perform a thorough assessment to determine if you suffer from a mental illness. The doctor will base the diagnosis on an individual’s history and the person’s behavior.