Although classification of psychological illness has advanced significantly over the last two decades, more research is needed to create the most comprehensive, reliable, and clinically useful classification systems. The DSM-5 provides descriptions of each mental disorder and the corresponding treatments, but it is still difficult to categorize every mental disorder and identify its symptoms.
The DSM system relies on a categorical approach, but increasingly, dimensional approaches are gaining in popularity. While categorical models are useful for distinguishing individual disorders, dimensional models are more useful for capturing clinical phenomena. For example, several disorders share the same symptom profile, such as impulsivity. This may be important in determining prognosis.
Psychological disorders are generally characterized by symptoms that interfere with a person’s functioning. Some examples include social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Other examples include thought disorders and delusional disorders. They may involve hallucinations, delusions, or social problems that impair a person’s ability to function normally.
Psychotherapy is a common treatment for many mental disorders. The most common methods include cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectic behavior therapy, which focus on modifying thoughts and behaviors. Other methods include interpersonal psychotherapy, which focuses on interpersonal conflicts. A more traditional approach is psychoanalysis, which addresses the individual’s network of significant others.
In the Middle Ages, mental disorders were often categorized as the result of specific deities or spirits. In fact, in the Mesopotamian civilization, people diagnosed with mental disorders were referred to as the “hands” of specific deities. These deities were known as Qat Istar, “Hand of Ishtar,” or “Hand of Shamash,” “Hand of God.” The Mesopotamian medical profession also cultivated a detailed record of all their patients’ hallucinations and assigned them a spiritual meaning.
Psychiatric disorders can affect any aspect of a person’s life and present many challenges to the individual and their family. As a result, the person’s family and community need to be supportive and understanding of psychological illnesses and the challenges that they can bring. The Discher and Associates team understands the challenges of dealing with psychological illness. The disorders can interfere with the person’s ability to think, feel, and interact with others.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. They use clinical assessments, observation, and evaluation techniques to diagnose a patient’s symptoms. The criteria used to diagnose an illness are not universal, but they must be distinct from any other physical condition. To be considered a mental disorder, a person must exhibit symptoms of an imbalance in his or her life.
A diagnostic manual is a document used to identify and describe various mental illnesses. It acts as a guide and authoritative authority for mental health conditions and disorders, and can help practitioners communicate with patients, families, and public health officials. It also organizes disorders and conditions into categories and makes them easier to identify. It also helps determine who is in need of health care services, ensuring that resources are allocated to the most deserving individuals.