Understanding Common Psychological Disorders
Mental health conditions impact millions and often go misunderstood. However, with correct information, these psychological disorders can be more easily recognized, diagnosed and treated.
Firstly, depression involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in activities one once enjoyed. However, depression is not simply feeling “blue” or unhappy – it negatively impacts how a person functions in daily life.
Symptoms include fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep difficulties, trouble concentrating, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression results from chemical imbalances in the brain as well as genetic and environmental factors.
Then, anxiety disorders involve excessive worry and fear about situations that pose little or no actual threat. Generalized anxiety disorder involves constant, uncontrolled worry about daily activities. Panic disorder causes recurrent panic attacks – sudden episodes of terror.
Symptoms include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep problems. Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to anxiety and associated conditions.
Personality disorders involve rigid, inflexible patterns of thinking and behaving that cause distress and problems functioning. These patterns start in adolescence or early adulthood and are stable over time.
Borderline personality disorder involves instability in self-image, relationships, mood and behavior. Antisocial personality disorder involves a lack of regard for others and repeated law-breaking. People with avoidant personality disorder avoid social situations due to feelings of inadequacy.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD involves intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms can last months or years and include flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of trauma reminders, negative thoughts and emotions, and always feeling on edge.
PTSD results from the brain’s failure to adequately process and integrate traumatic memories and experiences. Early treatment can help prevent long-term problems by teaching coping skills and reducing symptoms.
In summary, mental health conditions develop due to complex interactions between biological, psychological and social factors. With proper information, these psychological disorders can be better understood, reducing stigma and enabling those affected to seek needed treatment and support.