Psychological illness is a broad term that describes a wide range of mental health problems. These disorders can be classified into different categories, based on the way they affect the brain and body.
The most common category of psychological disorder is a mental illness that causes significant distress or impairment, or both. These disorders can affect many parts of a person’s life, including work, relationships and family.
There are 400 types of mental illness listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association. Some of these disorders are considered “diseases” that result from biological causes, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, while others are not true diseases at all.
Examples of disorders in this category include anxiety disorders, depression and substance-related disorders.
These conditions are usually treated with medications, therapy or both.
Medications may be prescribed by a doctor or by a psychiatrist, an expert in the use of drugs to treat mental illnesses. These drugs can reduce symptoms, such as mood swings and anxiety.
Medication can also help to improve your thinking, behavior and sleep patterns. Some medications can even change the way your brain functions, reducing depression and anxiety.
Other treatment options include psychotherapy, social support and education about the disease. The goal is to create a recovery plan that is unique for each person.
A recovery plan can include medication, therapy and social support to help you feel better and manage your symptoms. It also helps you learn how to cope with your illness so that you can live a healthier, more satisfying life.
When you see a doctor or mental health professional, they will perform a physical exam and talk to you about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. They can also order laboratory tests that can confirm the diagnosis.
The most important part of this process is to identify the root cause of your condition. These can be psychological, genetic or environmental in nature.
This is often a very personal decision and should be made in a confidential setting by you and your doctor or mental health professional. You may also need to talk to your family and friends.
Having a mental illness is a complex and confusing experience, especially when it occurs at an older age. People who have been diagnosed with a mental illness may face stigmatization and discrimination from family members, employers and the community at large.
Stigma can be a major barrier to seeking treatment and getting well. It can also prevent individuals with a mental illness from living fully and independently, or from gaining the confidence to do so.
The stigma of mental illness has been around for a long time and is still present today, particularly in areas where a high percentage of the population suffers from some type of psychological disease. Historically, patients who were thought to have a mental illness were often locked up in hospitals, or sent to jail.