Mental Issues

image_mentalissuesMENTAL DISORDERS:
Although this is not a comprehensive listing of all mental issues, it will give you a basic understanding of certain disorders & illnesses. The information being on this
page is to bring an awareness and understanding to those seeking information about mental issues. This is in no means to replace a doctor's diagnosis.

ABOUT DIAGNOSING:
Most psychiatrists, psychologists, researchers, and other mental health professionals in the U. S. use a medical reference book published by the American
Psychiatric Association to diagnose a patient. It is entitled Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM), and is used as a guide to the various known
kinds of mental illnesses and disorders. The 4th edition (DSM-IV), lists more than 300 psychiatric disorders.

Interestingly enough, there are no blood tests or other laboratory procedures to diagnose most mental illnesses. Those in the mental health field must use their
'own judgment' and ‘other tests’ to determine if a person is mentally ill. Diagnosis requires careful observation of the person’s symptoms and behaviors and
evaluation of the person’s personal and medical history. The DSM does assist in helping to assure an accurate diagnosis by providing a common reference for
mental health professionals regarding mental illness.

MENTAL ILLNESS is a disorder characterized by disturbances in a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behavior. The term Mental Illness can refer to a wide variety of
disorders, ranging from those that cause mild distress to those that severely impair a person’s ability to function. (mental health professionals also refer to mental
illness as Psychiatric Disorders or Psychopathology)

Many Mental Illnesses appear to result from a combination of biological and psychological influences.

Experiences and levels of mental disorders often differ from person to person.

SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS almost always alters a person’s life dramatically. People with Severe Mental Illnesses experience disturbing symptoms that can make it
complicated to hold a job, go to school, relate to others, or cope with the demands of ordinary day to day living. Some people have need of hospitalization due
to the fact that they are unable to care for themselves, or they are a risk of committing suicide.

The symptoms of mental illness can be very stressful, overwhelming and saddening.
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Please scroll down for the mental illnesses and disorders you are looking for, all listed in alphabetical order.
MENTAL ILLNESSES & DISORDERS:

A person with an ADJUSTMENT DISORDER often experiences feelings of depression or anxiety and/or combined depression and anxiety. As a result, that person
may act out behaviorally against the "rules and regulations" of family, work, or society. The conditions associated with Adjustment Disorder develop within 3
months of the beginning of the stressful problem. An adjustment disorder usually lasts no longer than 3 to 6 months.
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ANXIETY & ANXIETY DISORDERS involve excessive apprehension, worry, doubts and fear. People with generalized anxiety disorder experience constant anxiety
about routine events in their lives.
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BIPOLAR DISORDER is when a person's mood alternates between extreme mania and depression. It is extreme highs then crashing to immediately extreme
lows. (also known as MANIC-DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS). During the “high” or good points, people feel intensely elated, self-important, energetic, and irritable. When
“low” or depressed, they experience agonizing sadness, negative thinking, and indifference to things that used to bring them contentment and pleasure.
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The essential feature of BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD) is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects,
and marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.
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DEPERSONALIZATION DISORDER is a mental illness in which people experience an unwelcome sense of detachment from their own bodies. They may feel as
though they are floating above the ground, outside observers of their own mental or physical processes. Other symptoms may include a feeling that they or other
people are mechanical or unreal, a feeling of being in a dream, a feeling that their hands or feet are larger or smaller than usual, and a deadening of emotional
responses. These symptoms are chronic and severe enough to impede normal functioning in a social, school, or work environment.
Depersonalization disorder is a relatively rare syndrome thought to result from severe psychological stress. It may occur as part of other mental illnesses, especially
anxiety disorders. For example, some people with panic disorder feel nervous, have a sense of doom about their future and health, and have a troubling sense of
detachment from and loss of control over their bodies. Depersonalization disorder may also be a component of more severe mental illness, such as Schizophrenia.
Treatment may include training in relaxation techniques that enhance body perception and control, hypnosis to modify symptoms, and psychotherapy to explore
possible stress-related components of the disorder.
Psychiatrists classify depersonalization disorder as one of the dissociative disorders. Such disorders involve a disruption of consciousness, memory, identity, or
perception.
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People with DEPRESSION tend to emphasize psychological problems, such as feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and despair. Physical ailments may include: lack
of energy, poor sleep, loss of appetite, and various kinds of physical pain, and People with depression may have low self-esteem, a sense of hopelessness about
their current situation as well as the future, and a lack of interest in people and activities that they once found enjoyable. People with MAJOR DEPRESSION
may feel that absolutely nothing brings happiness and that life is so dismal and unpleasant that it is better to be dead.
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DISSOCIATION is the state where the person on some level or another becomes somewhat removed from "reality". Dissociation can be daydreaming, performing
actions without being fully connected to their performance, known as "running on automatic", or other, more disconnected actions. Dissociation is also a failure
to integrate information about one's personal identity, memories, sensations, and states of consciousness into a unified whole.

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DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER (often called Multiple Personality Disorder) This disorder involves the lack of association, usually of one's identity, with the
rest of the world. For example, during or after a traumatic experience, a person may dissociate the memory of the place, time and circumstances of the trauma
from his/her ongoing memory, resulting in a temporary mental escape from the fear and pain of the trauma and, in some cases, a memory gap surrounding the
experience. This may result in serious impairment or inability to function. In regards to dissociation, know that there are times where just about anybody can
dissociate from a particular situation, actually that can be said for just about anything really. It is when it becomes constant and reoccurring that it leads to a
problem and possible disorder.
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People with an EATING DISORDER may become so preoccupied with their weight and appearance that they prefer to be alone than to be around other
people. They will force themselves to vomit (BULIMIA) or refuse to eat (ANOREXIA NERVOSA).
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OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER is where a person experiences recurring, interfering thoughts (Obsessions) and feels compelled to perform certain
behaviors (Compulsions) repeatedly.
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People with PANIC DISORDER may experience heart palpitations, rapid breathing, and anxiety so extreme that they may not be able to leave home. Panic
Disorder, a mental illness is when a person experiences repeated, unexpected panic attacks and persistent anxiety about the likelihood that the panic attacks will
come again. A panic or anxiety attack is a period of extreme fear, apprehension, or uneasiness.
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POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) is the development of characteristic symptoms following a psychologically distressing event that is outside the
range of usual human experience. The characteristic symptoms involve re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoidance of stimuli associated with the event or
numbing of general responsiveness.)
Individuals who develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may become angry easily, experience flashbacks and/or distressing memories, and have difficulty
concentrating.
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People who develop SCHIZOPHRENIA may hear voices in their mind that say horrible things about them or command them to act in outlandish or unpredictable
ways. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness characterized by a variety of symptoms, including loss of contact with reality, bizarre behavior, disorganized thinking
and speech, decreased emotional expressiveness, and social withdrawal.

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