Psychological illness is a broad term describing a group of disorders that affect thinking, mood, and behavior. These disorders can be genetic, inherited or acquired and involve the brain, hormones, chemicals, and social factors. They may affect a person’s work, family life, sexual activities, and leisure time.
The most commonly used systems of psychiatric classification are the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-5, published in 2013, is the most recent edition.
A psychological disorder is a condition that includes disturbances in thought, feeling, or behavior that reflect some kind of dysfunction and cause significant distress or disability in one’s life. These disturbances must not reflect expected or culturally approved reactions to certain events in one’s life, and they must result in significant harm to the individual or to others.
Some psychiatric disorders are more common during specific periods of life, such as childhood and adolescence. Examples include anorexia nervosa, many types of schizophrenia, drug abuse and alcohol dependence, bipolar disorder, depression, and various forms of anxiety.
There are many treatment options available for a variety of mental health conditions, including medication, counseling, lifestyle changes, and brain stimulation therapies. The goal of these approaches is to help people learn how to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Medications are usually the first line of treatment for most mental illnesses, and may be combined with therapy. Medication is usually effective in helping people overcome the symptoms of mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, but it does not cure them.
Psychotherapy is a treatment option for many mental health conditions, and it is often the most effective way to recover from an illness. It can be done one-on-one with a therapist or in groups. It is sometimes combined with medications to treat a variety of symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps individuals understand how their thoughts and behaviors influence their lives. It is also a powerful tool to change unhealthy behaviors and promote healthier ones. CBT is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, such as depression and chronic suicidal thoughts.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy that focuses on problems with interpersonal relationships. It can help patients understand how to communicate effectively and how to resolve conflicts with other people.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is another type of therapy that teaches people how to regulate their emotions. It is most commonly used to treat depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD.
These therapies are often paired with supportive psychotherapy, which aims to support a person through his or her illness by providing emotional support and encouraging participation in coping strategies. During the course of psychotherapy, patients can participate in a peer support program, such as NAMI Peer-to-Peer, to enhance their recovery.
There are many different approaches to treating PTSD, and it is important for a patient to find a treatment that works best for them. It is important to talk with a counselor or physician about your preferences for treatment and any other co-existing medical conditions that might affect your progress. Most people who experience PTSD find relief from their symptoms when they combine psychotherapy with medication.