Deviations from what is considered to be socially accepted behaviours, feelings, actions, thoughts or perceptions are called psychological or mental disorders. When people stray away from the path of normalcy, and are hinging on or have crossed the borders of society’s standard norms for conduct and mental stability, they would be seen as suffering from some disorder or mental condition. However, the criteria for normal and abnormal cannot clearly be defined. They are very subjective to the features and culture of different societies. What might be considered normal in one society may be seen as abnormal or even insane in another. Nevertheless, there are a number of disorders that are very commonly diagnosed in people all across the world. The following are a few of them:-
10. Somatoform Disorders
Psychological disorders that portray signs of having a physical ailment rather than a mental disorder are classified under this category. People suffering from Somatoform disorders cannot be deemed as faking the illness or fabricating an injury; the physical conditions and the pain they experience are very much real for them. But it is difficult for doctors to follow the trail back from these physical symptoms to the mental disorders that cause them. When a person is adamant of the belief that he is seriously suffering from a traumatic disease when there is an inadequate or minor complaint, he is experiencing a disorder known as Hypochondriasis, where a small sign is exaggerated to a great level. Disorders like Somatization disorder and Conversion disorder are positioned under Somatoform disorders as well.
9. Psychotic Disorders
Psychotic disorders are extreme mental disorders that severely affect the mind. They push an individual towards peculiar thinking and skewed perceptions. These disorders cloud the individual’s judgment, detach them from reality, damages their understanding and communicative skills and handicaps them from having a normal conduct. Other symptoms of Psychotic Disorders include constantly shifting moods, disconnected interest in activities and potentially dangerous behaviours, leaving the person in perplexity and disorientation. Schizophrenia is a type of Psychotic Disorder from which the person suffering the disorder faces frequent hallucinations and delusions, and even displays catatonic behaviour.
8. Sexual disorders
Sexual disorders include a number of sexual deviances that are not considered average or expected with accordance to social standards. Paraphilia is an umbrella term used for certain types of sexual deviances. Pedophilia branches out of Paraphilia in which a person is sexually aroused by children, possibly because of their innocence and their inability to say “No”. A sexual Fetish refers to the arousal resulting from an object or a particular situation, which affects the psychosocial functioning of the person. Indulging in Sadomasochism (a division of BDSM), which is the inflicting and the accepting of pain during sex is also regarded as a sexual deviance from normalcy. Another classification of Paraphilia is Necrophilia which refers to the sexual arousal triggered by dead bodies. Exhibitionism and Voyeurism are also categorized as Sexual disorders.
7. Cognitive Disorders
These are disorders that interfere with a person’s thinking abilities. They follow up with the hampering of his/ her memories, reasoning, intellect, and deducing power. Dementia, Amnesia and Delirium are classified as Cognitive disorders. A person diagnosed with Amnesia will suffer from acute memory loss, particularly long term memories. When detected with dementia, the person will face heavy hindrances to proper brain activity. They will find it particularly hard to concentrate and may experience memory loss as well. The disorder of Delirium causes a patient’s resistance to processing changes in the environment and new situations, supplemented with a series of mood swings and violent behaviours.
Addictions refer to the repetitive behavioural patterns despite the knowledge of consequent adverse effects. Addictions could be a cause of neurological impairments or a person’s retort to a stressful and disturbing event. Such factors lead to the abuse or dependence of a person on certain substances like alcohol, sedatives, nicotine, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, caffeine, etc.
5. Developmental Disorders
Psychological conditions that are induced in a person innately from childhood are Developmental Disorders. Genetic composition is a constituting factor of such disorders and they may have chances of improving over the course of the person’s life. Development disorders are composed of learning disabilities, communicative disorders, developmental coordination disorder, and several others. It also includes Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder where inappropriate levels of hyperactivity and attention are displayed. Autism is also listed under Developmental Disorders where children exhibit impairments on various fronts such as communication, behaviours, social interactions, gestures and expressions.
4. Dissociative disorders
Conditions that result in psychological disruptions or several mental instabilities would be clear indications of dissociative disorders. They are mostly generated as responses to psychological trauma, bereavement, depression, etc. Dissociative disorders could range from amnesia, where the subject suffers from variant levels of memory loss, to dissociative identity disorders, where the subject has oscillating personalities and usually at one point of time, one personality will remain active and oblivious to the existence of the other personality/ personalities. Dissociative Fugue is also an element of this category where the person wanders off into a different city, unable to remember his identity or anything from his past and begins a new life with a new or replaced identity.
3. Eating disorders
Anomalous eating habits resulting from physical or mental perceptions of a person would be categorized as eating disorders. A few of the most common eating disorders are Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge eating. A disorder that is most frequently associated with teenage girls is Anorexia where girls starve themselves and almost completely stop eating. Bulimia is the disorder of eating and subsequently purging what is consumed. People who eat normally or sometimes excessively and then stimulate voluntary vomiting or undergo excessive exercise patterns would be regarded as bulimic. Binge eating disorder relates to the extreme overeating of food to replace their problems. People with this order have an excessive intake of food most likely because they feel that food is the only thing that will provide them with happiness.
2. Personality disorders
Certain abnormalities that reside in the mental and behavioural characteristics of a person are classified under Personality disorders. These abnormalities are weighed against what is considered to be the normal code of conduct by the society. They include Avoidant Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, Anti-social Personality Disorder, and so on. Under this category also falls the Borderline Personality Disorder in which people exhibit traits of obsession, possessiveness, insecurity, impulsiveness and an awful need to be in control. People suffering from the Histrionic Personality Disorder seem to be melodramatic and they crave for great amounts of attention, whilst also being severely obsessive and impulsive. The peculiar characteristics and mannerisms that are attached to different Personality Disorders are very inherent in the nature of the individuals.
1. Anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders is a broad category pertaining to several conditions of experiencing extreme levels of fear and angst. People diagnosed with an anxiety disorder face immense amounts of worry and uneasiness that it impairs their normal thinking and functioning. It includes Phobias, severe Panic Attacks, Mood disorders, Depression, Separation Anxiety etc. Added to this list is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, which is aroused when people are unable to resolve issues from the past, are suffering from the after effects of a shocking occurrence or they just cannot leave behind a disastrous situation and move forward. Falling under this category is also the Seasonal Affective Disorder where one might feel depressed during a particular season every year. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which compels people to fulfill urges that are triggered by their unexplainable beliefs and rituals, also finds itself in this list.