What is Psychological Illness?

psychological illness

Psychological illness is when your thoughts and feelings cause you distress or interfere with your ability to function normally. It is very common, but it doesn’t mean you are crazy or that your illness is a result of something wrong with your brain. A lot of mental illnesses are treatable, and most people who get treatment recover and live normal lives. Untreated psychological disorders can have serious consequences for a person, including unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse and homelessness. This can cost society billions of dollars each year.

If you have a mental health condition, it is important to get treatment because it can help you feel better and achieve your goals. Treatment can include talk therapy (like counselling or group therapy) and medicine. The type of treatment you have will depend on the kind of mental health condition you have and how severe it is.

The way that mental health conditions are treated has changed a lot in recent times. The focus is now on the quality of a person’s life rather than just trying to cure symptoms. Treatment is more effective than it has ever been, and most people who get treatment recover and lead normal lives.

In the past, people who experienced mental health problems were often isolated in psychiatric hospitals, where they were treated like wild animals. Many psychiatric conditions are now treated in the community, with psychological therapies, and medicines such as antidepressants, mood stabilisers and antipsychotics. Some people also need to take part in rehabilitation programmes, such as work, education or training.

Mental health problems can be caused by a wide range of factors, such as genes, early life experiences, trauma and stress, substance abuse, and some physical illnesses. They can also be triggered by certain situations or events, such as car or other serious accidents, physical or sexual assault, war-related events or natural disasters. They can also be a result of some social factors, such as poverty, family or work difficulties, relationship breakdown or living in unsafe environments.

Several mental health problems are characterized by feelings of fear or anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety. Depression is another common problem, and it can be accompanied by feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Other disorders are characterized by delusions or hallucinations, such as paranoid personality disorder and schizophrenia.

There is a wide range of opinion on how mental illness should be classified and diagnosed. Some experts favor categorical models that separate abnormal from normal, whereas others prefer a system known as a dimensional model, which uses a scale to measure different levels of severity. Still other approaches use a hybrid of these systems, and a number of alternative classification schemes are used by non-western cultures. The DSM and ICD provide standardized diagnostic criteria for most of the major mental disorders. However, there is ongoing scientific debate about the relative merits of these different models.