Psychological illness, or mental illness, is a group of conditions that are caused by disturbances in the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. They occur because of both biological and social influences, affecting the brain and behavior.
In general, psychological disorders cause significant distress and disability in everyday life. They can interfere with the ability to work, study and interact with others. They may also have serious long-term consequences on family and social relationships.
There are many different types of psychological illnesses, some of which can be treated with pharmacological drugs and other treatments. The treatment depends on the type of disorder, the patient’s medical condition and other factors.
The main aim of treating people with psychological disorders is to relieve the symptoms of the disorder, and to improve quality of life. The treatment is usually provided by a mental health professional.
Some people are diagnosed with a mental disorder after a doctor or other health care provider has noticed that a person’s behaviour, emotions or thoughts have become abnormal and are interfering with his or her life. The doctor may decide to refer the patient to a psychiatrist.
Most people who suffer from a mental illness will require some form of therapy to help them deal with the symptoms. This may be a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and/or group work.
These services can be delivered in psychiatric hospitals, clinics and community mental health facilities. Some of these services use a recovery-oriented approach to help patients regain control of their lives.
The most common types of psychological disorders include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia. The most severe of these are characterized by a number of symptoms that are so intense and frequent that they impair a person’s functioning in daily life.
Identifying the symptoms of a psychological disorder is often difficult because they can be very similar to the normal human experience of mood and thinking problems. Sometimes a depressed or anxious mood is just a normal part of the human experience, such as coping with grief after losing a loved one.
In most cases, psychological illnesses are more likely to be noticed by the patient’s friends or relatives than by the person himself or herself. These close relationships can be a crucial factor in diagnosing and supporting a person with a mental illness.
They can also be a source of information to the psychiatrist and other health professionals. The psychiatrist may be able to use this information to help treat the patient and prevent relapse.
While the causes of mental illness are not fully understood, there is a growing consensus that they result from multiple factors. These can include genetics, environmental factors and the way a person’s mind is wired.
There is also a growing body of evidence that links mental illnesses to the way a person’s family and social environment has treated him or her. Negative or traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect, bullying and violence can all have an impact on the brain.