Psychological disorder is also referred to as mental disorder or psychiatric disorder. This is a pattern of psychological or behavioral symptoms, which have effects in someone’s life and form distress for the individuals suffering from such symptoms. However, the abnormality is a term that is hard to describe because it is different in various cultures. Therefore, psychologists have established different standards of approaching its definition to obtain its diagnosis. Firstly, they use statistical approach that assesses the individual character by finding out how closely it agrees to or diverges from what is supported by many people. In addition, individual’s personality may be assessed by whether it agrees to the ethnical regulations and social standards, this is a movement which does not denounce nonconformists as unnatural since their temperament may not disobey social requirements or standards and they may be appreciated in their customs. The other method to measure the normality of character is by considering whether it is maladaptive or adaptive, and to understand to what degree it affects the conduct and performance of a person in every-day’s life (Wagner, 2009, par.2). This paper will analyze several psychological disorders.
A psychiatric disorder or psychological disorder also refers to an impairment of the psychological functioning which is very severe and require medical attention by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. It is caused by disarray of non-adaptive or dysfunctional brains. A psychiatric disorder causes disability and distress, which is not anticipated as part of common culture or growth and development. The causes of the disorders are not well defined and they include biological, psychological and environmental sources. Psychological disorder occurs in a person and it can lead to disability or distress, which is not anticipated as component of the common growth and development or customs. Descriptions, evaluations and groupings of the disorders are different but in the principle measures listed in several circumstances there is no defined or regular cause of the disorders. However, there are mostly clarified in terms of bio-psychological and diathesis-stress model (Pinel, 2007, p.2).
Psychological disorders are not only limited to a particular social class, gender or age but are equivalent opportunist. Some individuals are disposed to psychological disorders and others with no hereditary foundation are diagnosed every day.
There are various types of psychological disorder and different aspects of human personality and character, which can be disordered. These various disorders include mood disorder, childhood disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, mania, depression, cognitive disorder, personality disorder and anxiety disorder among others (Long, 2009, par.1-8).
Eating disorders are severe and at sometimes they become dangerous medical problems, which are likely to persist or be chronic. These types of disorders start in the age of adolescence and excessively affect females. There are three types of eating disorders, which are as follows and they mostly affect women; binge-eating, anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa disorder. Binge-eating disorder has been identified recently and it’s a medical problem having un-manipulated ingestion without compensatory actions with the following symptoms; laxative abuse or vomiting, to prevent gaining of weight. In contrast, bulimia nervosa disorder is characterized by both compensatory actions and binge-eating. On the other hand, anorexia nervosa is characterized by extreme fear of gaining body weight, low body weight and inappropriate insight of body structure or weight. The etiologies of the eating disorders are not well defined though they are considered to be as a result of the combination of the neorochemical, socio-cultural, psycho-development and hereditary factors. Eating disorders’ treatments include pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy either utilized in its own or mixed form (Satcher, n.d, p.386).
Secondly, there is the schizophrenia, which refers to the splitting of the functions of the psychic. It is characterized by fundamental disturbance in feeling and knowledge that have impact on the most important features of an individual like insight, speech, sense of one-self, influence and ideas. It is a disorder that is mostly related to the idea of madness. The disorder affects approximately one percent of the people of all cultural groups and races, starting from early adulthood or adolescence. It is classified into different ways that include undifferentiated, residual, catatonic, disorganized and paranoid schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has the following symptoms, which are categorized into negative and positive symptoms due to their effects on treatment and diagnosis; hallucinations, psychosis, disorganized speech and behavior, cognitive deficits, occupational and social dysfunction, flattened effect, and delusions. Positive symptoms mirror on surplus or alteration of the common or normal body functions. On the other hand, negative symptoms mirror on loss or attenuation of the common body functions. Moreover, negative symptoms are hard to assess since they are not disgustingly abnormal as their counterpart positive symptoms are and may be as a result of several factors (Merck Sharp, 2009, par.1).
Currently, schizophrenia treatment has advanced or developed. For instance, there is the availability of the battery of treatments to remedy symptoms, to restore lives and to improve and promote life quality. Service interventions and treatments are associated with medical phases of schizophrenia. Some of the drugs used are called anti-schizophrenic drugs and they include chlorpromazine and reserpine. These drugs act by reducing the levels of dopamine and counteract communication at the synapses of dopamine, though they act in different manners. In addition, interventions like psychosocial, which consist of family psycho-educational, vocational and psychosocial rehabilitation and supportive psychotherapy, are also important to remedy this disorder. The negative effect of the drugs is that they lead to fatal decline or reduction on blood pressure (Pinel, 2007, p.7).
The next disorder is the anxiety, which refers to chronic fear, which continues if there is no direct threat. It is referred to as anxiety disorder in case it becomes so dangerous such that it affects normal functioning of the body. These types of disorders involve several medical problems, which share pathological or extreme anxiety as the main emotional tone or mood disturbance. All anxiety disorders are related to different feelings of anxiety like worry, despondency or fear and with various physiological stress reactions like hypertension, tachycardia, high glucocorticoid level, nausea, breathing difficulty and sleep disturbances. Anxiety disorder is categorized into different groups that are as follows; panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, acute stress disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, phobic anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorders (Satcher, n.d, p.156).
The cause of anxiety disorder is not well defined. However, the etiology is understood to be a combination of psychological character, hereditary factors and life experiences. These disorders are so diverse such that the comparative responsibilities of these factors differ at sometimes. It is known that women are at a higher risk than men of being affected by anxiety disorder. Although it is not well understood why, but there are theories which state that the main cause is due to gonadal steroids roles. In addition, it is known that women face a wider range of experiences in daily life that are demanding and stressful when compared with their counterpart men. Treatments for anxiety disorder include pharmacotherapy, counseling or psychotherapy either as a single form of treatment or in combination. The two groups of drugs used to remedy anxiety disorder include serotonin agonists (buspirone) and benzodiazepines (diazepam and chlordiazepoxide) (Pinel, 2007, p.18).
Approximately seven percent people in America experience mood disorders annually, a medical condition that is characterized by mania or depression. Mood disorders have the likelihood of serious consequences for mortality and morbidity cases. Depression is divided into two; major and minor depression. In addition, depression has an injurious effect that includes reduced productivity and negative impact in the utilization of the medical care materials or resources. Depression is well known to be the most leading factor of reduced productivity and absenteeism in the workplace. Suicidal cases are the most dangerous complication of an individual suffering from major depression disorders. Most of the depression cases are known to be caused by stressful life situations though the duration and intensity of the disorder varies with individual’s hereditary makeup and social support. Mania is a psychotic disorder that is caused by brain tumors and drug abuse, and is mostly correlated with bipolar disorder. It consists of the following symptoms; distractibility, overconfidence, excitement, extravagance, elevated mood, grandiosity, recklessness, high energy and impulsivity. People suffering from mild mania are energetic, talkative, very confident and positive. When it becomes very serious it results into dangerous medical problem (Pinel, 2007, p.20).
Antidepressant drugs used to treat depression disorders include tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, selective monoamine reuptake inhibitors like fluoxeting and lithium. They act by hindering the reuptake of both nor-epinephrine and serotonin hence leading to increase in the brain levels. In addition, they apply combative effects on the serotonergic communication through hindering serotonin re-uptake from synapses. On the other hand, drugs used to treat mania include lithium, tranquillizers, lamotriqine, topiramate and carbamezepine. These drugs act as mood stabilizers and also act by blocking or hindering neurotransmitter dopamine receptor and allowing the working of serotonin to continue though in reduced capacity. (Giannini, Houser, Loiselle, Giannini, & Price, 1984, p.1600-1604).
Finally, the last disorder to be analyzed is the Tourette syndrome. It is a psychological disorder, which is characterized by the following symptoms; rapid, sudden, stereotyped movements, involuntary, vocalizations and repetitive. Mostly, it starts in the young stage or childhood with easy motor tics like head movement or eye blinking. However, the symptoms develop and becomes severe and complex like touching objects, squatting, making lewd gestures, twirling, hopping , inarticulate sounds (grunting, barking, coughing) and hitting. The exact etiology of the disorder is not well defined, although environmental and genetic factors are well established to the causal factors. According to hereditary studies, it is clear that many of the etiologies of the disorder are inherited, though the accurate method of inheritance or heritage is not yet established. In addition, environmental, psychosocial, infectious or non-genetic factors though they do not cause the disease, they influence the severity of the disorder (Pinel, 2007, p.21).
Tourette syndrome has no particular screening or medical tests, which can be utilized in diagnosing it. Most of the time, it is under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed due to its wide appearance of severity that range from serious or moderate to mild. Mild cases of the disorder do not need pharmacological treatment but rather they need reassurance, education and psycho-behavioral therapy which may be adequate. In addition, there is no medication or treatment that is known to perform universally or collectively for all the people without having some unfavorable effects. Pharmacological treatment is preserved for serious conditions (Stern, Burza & Robertson, 2005, p. 12).
In summary, psychological disorders are related to significant increase of the morbidity, disability and mortality rates. The lifespan frequency rates regarding any type of psychological disorder seem to be higher than they are antecedently thought and are rising in today’s cohorts or groups. Despite the fact that these disorders are common, there are either mis-diagnosed or under-diagnosed by most of the physicians. Psychological disorders are grouped based on their major characteristics or features and any one can be affected by any type of the disorders since they are not limited to age, class or gender. All these psychological disorders can be treated or lessened if they are diagnosed properly by the doctors and if the patient follows the guidelines properly and complete the assigned dosage given by the physicians.
Giannini, A., Houser, W., Loiselle, R., Giannini, M., & Price, W., (1984). Antimanic effects of verapamil. American Journal of Psychiatry, 141: 1600-1604
Long, W. (2009). Disorders. Internet Mental Health. Web.
Merck Sharp, (2009). Schizophrenia. Web.
Pinel, J., (2007). Genetic profile Behavioral Neuroscience of Psychiatric Disorders the Brain Unhinged. Basics of Biopsychology. Allyn & Bacon
Satcher, D. Adult and mental health. Mental health: A report of the surgeon general. Web.
Stern, J., Burza, S., & Robertson, M., (2005). Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome and its impact in the UK. Postgraduate Medicine Journal. 81(951): 12–9
Wagner, V., (2009). What Is a Psychological Disorder? Definition, Diagnosis and Prevalence. Web.