The symptoms of a psychological illness are significant disturbances of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. The symptoms are unusual or self-defeating and may be troubling to those around the sufferer. For example, an individual who is preoccupied with germs may spend hours washing themselves, displaying behaviors that are counter-productive. Other symptoms of a psychological illness are unusual feelings or behavior patterns and thoughts, or delusional experiences. Ultimately, the symptoms of a psychological illness may be a combination of these factors.
Early treatments for psychiatric conditions were often based on somatogenic etiology. Hippocrates and Galen promoted humorism, a theory that states that psychological illness is based on an imbalance of four fluids in the body. Various treatments included blood-letting or aromatherapy to restore balance. Another theory, psychogenic etiology, argues that psychological disorders are not physiological in nature.
Some clinicians thought there was only one category of organic depressive illnesses, but later supported the idea of two or more discrete types. Classic melancholic depression was categorized as endogenous, while reactive depression was characterized by anxiety neurosis and was triggered by environmental stress. In general, however, there was no consensus about what causes these disorders. Many clinicians, however, argued that the two categories were distinct, and had distinct causes.
There are many types of mental disorders. Some are genetic and biochemical in nature, while others are more symptomatic of a serious medical condition. Regardless of the underlying cause, a person suffering from a psychological disorder may exhibit atypical symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms of a psychological disorder may be dangerous or destructive to their self or others. Therefore, it is important to seek medical help if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Social influences have been identified as a major cause of mental disorders. These include social stress, abuse, and bullying, as well as traumatic events. There are also several aspects of the wider community that may be responsible for the development of a mental disorder, including the environment in which the person lives, and their social status. Various movements have been developed to combat these issues. While these are all important, psychological illness is still often accompanied by a great deal of stigma.
A male-dominated medical model of psychiatric illness reflects the dominant medical model, promoting strong providers. Since most physicians are men, they reflect the same cultural and social constraints as their male patients. The gender stereotypes associated with psychological illness may be a long-term problem for men, but it is worth keeping in mind that it is not uncommon for men to suffer from mental illnesses. So, how do we overcome these problems in our society?
Various psychotherapies are available to treat different mental disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectic behavior therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy are common and are all focused on altering patterns of thought and behavior. Diagnosis of psychological illness is also often comorbid, with multiple difficulties co-occurring at the same time. Some psychotherapies focus on the network of significant others. While others focus on addressing interpersonal conflicts, psychoanalysis has long been the dominant school of thought.