Psychological illness is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of mental health issues. The American Psychiatric Association defines it as a condition characterized by distressing or disruptive symptoms, such as thoughts and feelings. It can be caused by biological, genetic or environmental factors. It is generally considered to be more common in certain groups of people, including women, the elderly, and the poor.
Mental illness is often a major social problem. It can result in high rates of unemployment, poor job performance, and low self-esteem. In some cases, it may lead to suicide.
The most common psychiatric disorders are anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. These are all treatable.
Some other mental health problems can also cause psychological symptoms, such as eating or sleeping problems, substance use, and behavioral problems. These can be treated with medication, therapy or other methods.
Symptoms of a mental disorder can be triggered by various conditions, including trauma, grief, loss, and stress. In many cases, these symptoms occur in response to specific situations and events that are part of a person’s everyday life.
These disorders usually start during childhood and adolescence, but some of them can also occur in middle age or old age. Examples include anorexia nervosa, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and drug abuse.
Other conditions that can affect mental health include delirium, a type of hallucination, and dementia. Delirium is an ailment that causes confusion and agitation. Dementia can also be an ailment that affects the memory.
In many cases, people who have these conditions may have no idea that they are suffering from them. This is because these types of disorders tend to occur in a milder form than more serious disorders, such as psychoses or neuroses.
There are no diagnostic tests to make a diagnosis of psychological illness, but a doctor can do an interview with the patient and perform physical exams to rule out other medical conditions that can cause psychological symptoms. The doctor can then determine if the symptoms meet the criteria for a mental disorder by using a tool such as the DSM-5.
Some people who have mental disorders may avoid seeking help because of a fear of being labeled as mentally ill or having their condition dismissed by others. But it is important to seek treatment because it can be a key step in recovering from mental illness.
A diagnosis of a mental disorder is made after an assessment by a psychiatrist or other medical professional who has training in mental health. A doctor can then suggest treatments or therapies to help manage the symptoms of a mental disorder and improve the quality of the patient’s life.
Mental illness can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, and personality traits. It can also be hereditary, a result of a family history of mental illness or a tendency toward certain behaviors or phobias.
Several large-scale epidemiological studies have been conducted to measure the incidence and prevalence of psychological illnesses in different populations. However, these surveys are often based on clinical judgment and can be prone to bias and inaccuracies.