When you think of a person’s disorder, what do you think of? Do you think of an individual who is unable to live in society alone? Incapable of communicating with others and being abnormal?
A mental disorder can be anything that isn’t normal to society. A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which are not a part of normal development or culture. The definition and classification of mental disorders is a key issue for mental health and for users and providers of mental health services. Most international clinical documents use the term “mental disorder”. There are currently two widely established systems that classify mental disorders-ICD-10 Chapter V: Mental and behavioural disorders, part of the International Classification of Diseases produced by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) produced by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Both list categories of disorder and provide standardized criteria for diagnosis. They have deliberately converged their codes in recent revisions so that the manuals are often broadly comparable, although significant differences remain. In general, mental disorders are classified separately to neurological disorders, learning disabilities or mental retardation.
- Anxiety disorder, different forms of abnormal and pathological fear and anxiety
- Conversion disorder, neurological symptoms such as numbness, blindness, paralysis, or fits, where no neurological explanation is possible
- Mental disorder, a psychological or behavioral pattern associated with distress or disability that occurs in an individual and is not a part of normal development or culture
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, obsession with perfection, rules, and organization
- Personality disorder, an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it
There are many types of anxiety disorders that include panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:
- -Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- -Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
- -Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
- -Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
- -Problems sleeping
- -Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
- -Shortness of breath
- -An inability to be still and calm
- -Dry mouth
- -Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- -Muscle tension
Conversion disorder is a condition where patients present with neurological symptoms such as numbness, blindness, paralysis, or fits. It is thought that these problems arise in response to difficulties in the patient’s life, and has arguably been known for millennia, though it came to greatest prominence at the end of the 19th century, when the neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, and psychiatrists Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud focused their studies on the subject. The term “conversion” has its origins in Freud’s doctrine that anxiety is “converted” into physical symptoms.
The nature of the association between the psychological factors and the neurological symptoms remains unclear; however, these are a few symptoms:
-Weakness/paralysis of a limb or the entire body (hysterical paralysis or motor conversion disorders)
-Impaired hearing or vision
-Loss/disturbance of sensation
-Impairment or loss of speech (hysterical aphonia )
-Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures
-Fixed dystonia unlike normal dystonia
-Tremor, myoclonus or other movement disorders
-Gait problems ( Astasia-abasia )
Mental health refers to our cognitive, and/or emotional wellbeing – it is all about how we think, feel and behave. Mental health, if somebody has it, can also mean an absence of a mental disorder. Approximately 25% of people in the UK have a mental health problem during their lives. The USA is said to have the highest incidence of people diagnosed with mental health problems in the developed world. Your mental health can affect your daily life, relationships and even your physical health. Mental health also includes a person’s ability to enjoy life – to attain a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, mental health is “emotional, behavioral, and social maturity or normality; the absence of a mental or behavioral disorder; a state of psychological well-being in which one has achieved a satisfactory integration of one’s instinctual drives acceptable to both oneself and one’s social milieu; an appropriate balance of love, work, and leisure pursuits”.
There are many different categories of mental disorder, and many different facets of human behavior and personality that can become disordered. Thus, the symptoms are a very broad. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder appear as physical problems.
These types of mental illness signs and symptoms can include:
- -Feeling sad or down
- -Confused thinking
- -Excessive fears or worries
- -Withdrawal from friends and activities
- -Problems sleeping
- -Detachment from reality (delusions) or hallucinations
- -Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
- -Alcohol or drug abuse
- -Significant changes in eating habits
- -Sex drive changes
- -Excessive anger, hostility or violence
- -Suicidal thinking
Physical signs and symptoms of mental illness may include:
- -Back pain
- -Chest pain
- -Digestive problems
- -Dry mouth
- -Weight gain or loss
- -Rapid heart rate
*Note that you can because you have any of these symptoms does NOT necessarily mean you have a mental disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive personality —
OCPD is a personality disorder which involves an obsession with perfection, rules, and organization. People with OCPD may feel anxious when they perceive that things are not right. This can lead to routines and rules for ways of doing things, whether for themselves or their families.
No single specific cause of OCPD has been identified. Since the early days of Freudian psychoanalysis, however, faulty parenting has been viewed as a major factor in the development of personality disorders. Current studies have tended to support the importance of early life experiences, finding that healthy emotional development largely depends on two important variables: parental warmth and appropriate responsiveness to the child’s needs. When these qualities are present, the child feels secure and appropriately valued. By contrast, many people with personality disorders did not have parents who were emotionally warm toward them. Patients with OCPD often recall their parents as being emotionally withholding and either overprotective or overcontrolling. One researcher has noted that people with OCPD appear to have been punished by their parents for every transgression of a rule, no matter how minor, and rewarded for almost nothing. As a result, the child is unable to safely develop or express a sense of joy, spontaneity, or independent thought, and begins to develop the symptoms of OCPD as a strategy for avoiding punishment. Children with this type of upbringing are also likely to choke down the anger they feel toward their parents; they may be outwardly obedient and polite to authority figures, but at the same time treat younger children or those they regard as their inferiors harshly.
The symptoms of OCPD include a pervasive overconcern with mental, emotional, and behavioral control of the self and others. Excessive conscientiousness means that people with this disorder are generally poor problem-solvers and have trouble making decisions; as a result, they are frequently highly inefficient. Their need for control is easily upset by schedule changes or minor unexpected events. While many people have some of the following characteristics, a person who meets the DSMIV-TR criteria for OCPD must display at least four of them:
- -Preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the point at which the major goal of the activity is lost.
- -Excessive concern for perfection in small details that interferes with the completion of projects.
- -Dedication to work and productivity that shuts out friendships and leisure-time activities, when the long hours of work cannot be explained by financial necessity.
- -Excessive moral rigidity and inflexibility in matters of ethics and values that cannot be accounted for by the standards of the person’s religion or culture.
- -Hoarding things, or saving worn-out or useless objects even when they have no sentimental or likely monetary value.
- -Insistence that tasks be completed according to one’s personal preferences.
- -Stinginess with the self and others.
- -Excessive rigidity and obstinacy.
Personality disorders, formerly referred to as character disorders, are a class of personality types and behaviors that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines as “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it”. This disorder is broken down into “clusters” A,B, and C.
Personality disorder symptoms include:
-Frequent mood swings
-Suspicion and mistrust of others
-Difficulty making friends
-A need for instant gratification
-Poor impulse control
Alcohol or substance abuse
*Note: All disorders are based on what is “normal” in society. What may be a disorder in the United States may not be a disorder in another country.