When we use the term psychological disorder, this refers to what we know more as mental disorders or psychiatric disorders. Mental psychological disorders are types of behavior patterns that impact different areas of our lives. These disorders can create stress for the person experiencing the symptoms.
We share a list of the major categories of disorders described in the DSM – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The latest edition is DSM-5 which was launched in May of 2013.
This type of disorder is defined by shifts in mood, activity and energy levels. Elevated moods and periods of depression often characterize this. These elevated moods are referred to as mania or hypomania.
In DSM – 5 the criteria for manic episodes include changes in activity, energy levels, and mood changes.
- Those who have mania has a feeling of over-excitement and being hyper. There are periods marked by distraction, irritability, and excessive confidence. People who experience mania are prone to gamble and go on shopping sprees which may have adverse long-term effects.
- For depressive episodes, there is a feeling of fatigue, guilt, sadness, and irritability. During this period people lose interest in activities that they usually enjoy. They lose sleep and may have thoughts of taking their own life.
Manic and depressive episodes can be hard for the person who has the disorder and their family. There are treatments like medication and psychotherapy that are available for bipolar patients.
These types of disorders are diagnosed during infancy, childhood or adolescence. They may include:
- Intellectual Development Disorder was referred to as mental retardation in the past. This starts before the age of 18 and shows limitations in intellectual and adaptive behavior.
- Global development delay can be seen in children under the age of five. Delays are related to cognition, speech, language, motor, and social skills.
- Communication disorders include the ability to understand, use and detect speech. Four subtypes are language disorder, speech sound disorder, stuttering, and social communication disorder.
- Autism spectrum disorder is marked by continuous deficits in social interaction and communication. There is impairment in multiple life areas accompanied by repetitive patterns of behavior.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is marked by a constant pattern of hyperactivity or inattention that interferes with functioning. This is noticed in two or more different settings like work, home, school and social situations.
These disorders are distinguished by excess and persistent fear, anxiety, worry and other related disturbances.
A survey has published that 18% of Americans suffer from at least one anxiety disorder.
- Separation anxiety involves fear of being separated from attachment figures. Children being apart from parents and vise versa, patients being away from a nurse or caregiver are common examples.
- Panic disorder is marked by panic attacks that strike anytime. This happens for no reason at all which leads patients to avoid situations where attacks have happened in the past.
- Phobias involve an extreme fear of an object or situation. Common examples are fear of spiders, heights, and snakes. The four main types are natural events, medical, animals, and situational.
- Social anxiety disorder is common and is characterized by an irrational fear of being seen or judged. This can impact a person’s life and make it hard to function normally.
- A fear of public places marks Agoraphobia. Patients fear panic attacks in a situation where escaping might be hard.
These disorders involve the exposure to a traumatic event or stressful situation.
- Acute stress disorder is marked by severe anxiety within a one month period after being exposed to a traumatic event like death, war, accidents and natural disasters.
- Adjustment disorders happen when a sudden change occurs like loss of employment, divorce, migration or some other disappointment.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder can happen after a person has gone through a stressful life event. Symptoms of PTSD involve episodes of reliving the experience, avoiding things that serve as reminders and having negative thoughts. Flashbacks, nightmares, anger, and difficulty remembering are some other symptoms one may have.