Deciding what is normal and what is abnormal is a value judgment. Psychological disorder judgments are based on cultural values, social trends, political forces, as well as scientific knowledge. A psychological disorder, also called mental disorder, is a pattern of feelings, thoughts and behavioral symptoms that impact multiple life areas and create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms. Here are various types of such disorders and how they affect an individual’s life and the people around them:
10. Cognitive disorders
Such disorders are behavioral disturbances resulting from transient or permanent brain damage. It is 22 times more likely in people over age 75 than in those 18 to 24 and there is no gender difference.There are three major categories of cognitive disorder which are
Delirium – onset reduction in ability to attend, memory deficit, disorientation. Sometimes reduced consciousness in which the sleep-wake cycles are majorly disturbed. Those over age 65 who are hospitalized, about 10 percent have delirium on admission.
Dementia – deterioration of memory, language, motor function, failure to recognize or identify objects, judgment affecting social functioning, and significant decline from prior level.
Amnestic disorders – Inability to learn new or recall old information. Most common causes include head trauma and stroke.
9. Sexual and gender identity disorder
About 20 percent of adult population believed to suffer hypo active sexual desire disorder. A wide range of “normal” for sexual arousal disorders involve:-
Erectile dysfunction – it is an inability of male to attain or maintain erection sufficient for sexual intercourse and/or psychological arousal during sexual activity.
Female sexual arousal disorder – inability to attain or maintain physiological response and/or psychological arousal during sexual activity.
Orgasmic disorders – inability to achieve orgasm despite adequate stimulation.
Sexual pain disorders- persistent pain in genitals before, throughout and after the intercourse.
Vaginismus – involuntary spasms of outer third of vagina restricting penile penetration.
8. Somatoform disorders
Somatoform disorders include physical symptoms without physiological basis. Physical complaints involve four or more sites on body (at least two gastrointestinal, one sexual, one pseudo neurological), doctor-shopping, unnecessary operations, anxiety, and depression. Overall prevalence rate of 2 percent; it is more prevalent among females and African Americans. The types of somatoform disorder are:-
Conversion disorder – physical impairment without physical cause.
Pain disorder – severe or excessive pain with no physiological basis or long after injury has healed.
Hypochondriasis – preoccupation with health, anxiety and depression; reassurance has no impact.
Body dysmorphic disorder – preoccupation with imagined defect in appearance in a normal appearing person, excessive concern over slight physical defect producing marked clinical distress which includes mirror checking and resorting to frequent surgery.
7. Anxiety disorders – when fear takes over
This disorder includes a range of conditions characterized by the experience of anxiety or fear. This is a broader category and includes phobias, post-traumatic stress, panic and obsessive–compulsive disorder, and also conditions where there appear to be physical symptoms (such as intense pain) because of the anxiety. Although the experience of anxiety is different for everybody.
It is typical for people to experience feelings of terror or dread and a loss of control, the constant and strong thought that they are going to faint, vomit or even die, to feel dizzy, to have trouble breathing and to start sweating. The behavioral symptoms of phobias are concentrated around avoiding the thing that the person is afraid of. It is this urge to avoid the fear stimulus that causes the problems of daily function that might bring a person to the attention of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
6. Dissociative disorders
Dissociative disorders are partial or total loss of personal information (due to traumatic event). There are various types of it:-
Localized amnesia—loss of all memory for a short time (most common type).
Selective amnesia—loss of details about an incident.
Generalized amnesia—total loss of memory for past.
Systemized—loss of memory for selected types of information.
Continuous amnesia—inability to recall any events from a specific time until present (least common type) which results into usually incomplete change of identity,recovery is usually abrupt and complete. Symptoms include feelings of unreality and perceptual distortion, great anxiety, physical or psychological stress, and depression.
5. Personality disorder – a way of being
These are disorders of people’s basic character structure – so there is no ‘normal functioning’ to return to. The personality disorders themselves are people’s ‘normal’ way of functioning, and appropriate treatment means learning entirely new ways of being. All personality disorders have a number of things in common. They are:-
Longstanding – i.e. begin at a relatively early age.
Chronic – i.e. continue over time.
Pervasive – i.e. occur across most contexts.
The thoughts, feelings and behaviors which characterize personality disorders are inflexible – i.e. they are applied rigidly and resistant to change and maladaptive– i.e. they don’t result in what the person hopes for. People with personality disorders usually don’t realize they have them. They experience themselves as normal and often feel that the people they interact with are the ones with the problems.
4. Substance use disorders – abuse and dependence
The recurrent use of drugs and alcohol may result in a substance use disorder. It involves symptoms like dependence and abuse, intoxication, delirium, and withdrawal. It occurs by recurrent use of drugs or alcohol over 12 months leading to impairment or distress. Maladaptive behaviors or psychological changes are evident, gradually unpleasant states worsen and leads to more drug use and self-destructiveness. Common impairments include:-
Failure to fulfill major role obligations – e.g. constantly late to or absent from work.
Recurrent indulgence in dangerous situations – e.g. rash driving.
Frequent substance-related legal problems – e.g. arrests for disorderly conduct.
Social and interpersonal problems – e.g. conflict with partner or other family members.
This disorder is most prevalent among youths and young adults. Adult lifetime prevalence for controlled substances is 6.2 percent which is particularly greatest for marijuana.
3. Eating disorders – bulimia and anorexia
It is mainly prevalent in 13.4 percent of girls and 7.1 percent of boys who are engaged in disordered eating patterns. The causes for such disorders are either genetic and biological factors or psycho-social factors. There are currently two eating disorders:-
Anorexia nervosa: refusal to maintain a body weight above the minimum normal weight for one’s age and height due to an intense fear of becoming obese that does not diminish with weight loss, body image distortion and (in females) the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles otherwise expected to occur.
Bulimia nervosa: recurrent episodes of binge eating high caloric foods at least twice a week for three-four months, during which the person loses control over eating. It differs from binge-eating/purging anorexia as for anorexia the weight is under minimally expected levels.
2. Mood disorders – depression
Mood disorders are due to disturbances in emotion that cause discomfort or hinder functioning. Worldwide a leading cause of absenteeism and diminished productivity in workplace is this disability. Extreme sadness, feelings of worthlessness, withdrawal from others are the most common complaint among those seeking help. It’s lifetime prevalence is 10 to 25 percent of women and 5 to 12 percent of men. Anxiety, loss of appetite and weight, social withdrawal, low energy, poor concentration are various types of symptoms that can be easily identified. There are various types of mood disorders: Major depression, Dysthymic disorder and Bipolar disorder.
1. Schizophrenia – a living night mare
It is a frightening disorder, for the symptoms it portrays are extremely odd and disconcerting. Indeed, schizophrenia is also a frightening disorder not only to deal with but also for those who are sufferers themselves. Schizophrenia is characterized by psychosis, or a break with reality. People with schizophrenia exhibit any of these symptoms: Perceiving things that are not there – these hallucinations are usually auditory (e.g. hearing voices), but visual and tactile hallucinations (e.g. seeing God or the devil, or feeling that insects are crawling under your skin) also occur relatively frequently. Believing things that are not true and delusions of grandeur are also common. Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, some people might have brief episodes of schizophrenia. Most people with schizophrenia suffer from symptoms for their entire lives. Genetic and biological factors are the main reasons behind this disorder.