As the understanding of psychological illness advanced, so did its treatment. Psychologists began exploring the relationship between ‘psychotic’ and ‘neurotic’ conditions. During the twentieth century, advances in neuroscience, genetics, and psychiatry spawned a new branch of psychiatry called cross-cultural psychology. Today, many professionals specialize in psychological illness and treatment. In the 1990s, advances in cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychotherapies shifted the focus from disease to recovery.
Psychological illnesses, also known as psychiatric disorders, are conditions that cause significant distress and impair a person’s ability to perform daily activities. They can occur as single episodes, or can be persistent and relapsing. Each type of disorder has different symptoms and treatments. Generally, treatment involves a combination of psychotherapy and pharmaceutical intervention. Treatments for psychological illnesses can include counseling, medication, and therapy with a licensed therapist.
Anxiety disorders include specific and generalized phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. People with post-traumatic stress disorder also suffer from these conditions. In these cases, the perception of reality and patterns of belief can become distorted or irrational. Psychotic disorders include psychosis, schizophrenia, and delusional disorders. There are also multiple forms of anxiety. Despite the variety of symptoms, these disorders affect one or more people at a time.
Fortunately, psychotherapy has become an important option for treating mental disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular treatment option. It focuses on altering a person’s patterns of behavior. Dialectic behavioral therapy emphasizes interpersonal conflict. Historically, psychoanalysis has been the dominant school of psychotherapy. Other types of psychotherapy, such as family and systemic therapy, focus on a person’s network of significant others. This treatment option is increasingly common, as more people realize its benefits.
In the post-war period, epidemiological studies of psychological illnesses indicated that women were twice as likely to suffer from such conditions as depression and anxiety. Women’s nervous illness was often linked to wider psychosocial problems, and children’s psychological problems were often exacerbated by family and social dynamics at home. Statistics for psychological illness in both genders suggest a more complicated picture. So, although the prevailing medical paradigm reflects this era, the history of medicine tells a story of the construction of disease.
Psychological illness affects every segment of society. Women suffer differently from mental illness than men, with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia being particularly prevalent among women. As a result, women often shy away from treatment due to the stigma associated with mental illness. For this reason, treatment strategies for these disorders are unique for each patient. And because the stigma against women are often different than those of men, the stigma is even greater. And if women are reluctant to seek help, they are likely to be the most likely to suffer from psychological illness.
While some psychological illnesses are triggered by childhood trauma, many are not related to physical trauma. While a physical illness, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, can cause physical health problems, psychotherapy can help people overcome the emotional burdens. Moreover, it is also a condition that affects up to 2.5 million Americans. This is the reason why it’s so important to identify and treat it, rather than ignore it. The best way to help people with this illness is to get a professional help.