Psychological illness is a general term for any abnormal mental condition that results in significant distress or impairment. Regardless of the specific disorder, people who suffer from it are often at risk for harm to themselves and others.
There are many types of psychological disorders, each characterized by different symptoms. The most common are depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Diagnosis of a mental disorder requires that an individual have significant disturbances in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as well as in the way they function on a day-to-day basis. The disturbances must be unusual, and they must be self-defeating (they must be harmful to the person).
In most cases, a doctor will diagnose a mental illness based on its symptoms, and will use a diagnosis to create an effective treatment plan for the patient. A doctor may recommend medications, talk therapy, or a combination of therapies.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps patients learn ways to change unhealthy habits or behaviors that are causing problems in their lives. It also involves learning new skills that can help the individual control their emotions and improve their relationships with other people.
Interpersonal therapy is another form of talk therapy, which can help individuals understand underlying interpersonal issues that are causing problems in their lives. This type of therapy usually involves short-term sessions with a therapist and can help people work through problems in their relationships or in the workplace.
Group therapy is a form of talking therapy in which a group of individuals with similar problems meet for sessions led by a therapist. These sessions often focus on a particular issue, such as anger management or suicide prevention.
There are also several alternative treatments available for psychological disorders, such as herbal medicines, exercise, or acupuncture. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Inpatient or residential programs are options for people who need a more intense treatment program. They can be long-term or short-term programs, and are often used for those who have severe symptoms or who are in danger of hurting themselves or others.
Some mental health professionals also offer a wide range of non-traditional treatments, such as meditation, yoga, and massage. These methods are often more effective than mainstream treatments, and can provide a more holistic approach to treatment.
The most common and effective treatments for mental health conditions are medications, talk therapy, and social support. Choosing the right mix of these and other services is an important step toward wellness and recovery.
Treatment will differ from person to person, depending on the severity and complexity of the disorder, the goals for treatment, the experiences of the patients and their families, and the availability of resources. Some people find that medication alone can help with symptoms, while others prefer or need the added support and guidance of a more intensive approach to treatment.
Despite these differences, the overall goal of treatment is to help the patient get better. Treatment can be done in a variety of settings, including outpatient clinics, hospital psychiatric units, and community health centers.