In addition to genetics, many other factors can influence the likelihood of developing a psychological illness. Some of these factors are related to life events, while others may simply be the result of the person’s environment. Psychological illness may also be triggered by certain environmental exposures before birth. In many cases, an individual can develop a mental illness because of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. These natural chemicals carry signals throughout the body and brain. When these networks are disrupted, the result is a variety of symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders.
For instance, the DSM-5 focuses on the classification of psychological disorders and provides standardized criteria for diagnosis. Since most manuals are broadly comparable, some authors have espoused other schemes. The Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual are two examples of alternative theoretical classification schemes. Psychological disorders are classified separately from neurological and learning disabilities. For example, depression is categorized as a mental illness and not a neurosis.
The book’s author acknowledges that the treatment of psychological illness for men has been dominated by men. During the post-war period, epidemiological studies of mental illness revealed that women suffered from psychological disorders twice as frequently as men. These findings were troubling, but the material in this chapter suggests a more nuanced picture. Women, who are twice as likely as men to commit suicide, have a higher rate of psychological illness than men.
During the 19th century, Western countries began a massive expansion of insane asylums. As an alternative, some asylums were renamed as hospitals and medical superintendents were called alienists. Psychiatric institutions were also renamed, and “inmates” became patients instead of “inmates.”
Although psychotherapy is the primary treatment option for mental illnesses, there are also several other forms of therapy that may be helpful. Diagnosis and treatment options may vary, but the overall goal of therapy is to achieve a stable mental state and improve the quality of one’s life. Psychotherapy focuses on altering one’s thoughts and behaviors, while dialectic behavior therapy focuses on addressing the problems associated with interpersonal relationships. In addition, psychoanalytic approaches focus on the network of significant others, such as family and systemic therapies.
Before the 17th century, many people believed that the term “nervous breakdown” was a medical term for a variety of stress-related feelings. In reality, however, “nervous breakdown” has no scientific meaning and was largely a pseudomedical term for a variety of stress-related conditions. Throughout history, people who suffer from psychological illness have had difficulty functioning in their daily lives. In many cases, the severity of the symptoms is so severe that a professional diagnosis requires a medical consultation.
In addition to bipolar disorder, there are other forms of mental illness, including schizophrenia. These are severe brain disorders that can affect anyone. About one percent of people in the world have this disorder. These conditions affect approximately 60 million people worldwide and are characterized by episodes of inflated self-esteem, excessive energy, and little or no desire to sleep. The severity of the symptoms varies by individual. But medication and psychosocial support can help control the symptoms and give people with bipolar disorder a quality of life.