A mental disorder which is also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder is a mental or behavioral pattern or anomaly that causes either suffering or an impaired ability to function in ordinary life (disability), and which is not a developmental or social norm.
Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels acts, thinks or perceives. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain or the rest of the nervous system, often in a social context.
Mental disorder is one aspect of mental health. The scientific study of mental disorders is called psychopathology. A mental disorder is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.
Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and social withdrawal. Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. The more common seen symptoms are -
- Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
- Feelings of extreme highs and lows
- Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Strong feelings of anger
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
- Suicidal thoughts
- Numerous unexplained physical ailments
- Substance abuse
Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these.
A mental disorder, like many chronic illnesses, requires ongoing treatment. Fortunately, much progress has been made in the last two decades in treating mental disorder. As a result, many mental conditions can be effectively treated with one or a combination of the following therapies. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder. The following will help in treating mental disorder.
- Group therapy.
- Day treatment or partial hospital treatment.
- Specific therapies, such as cognitive-behavior therapy and behavior modification.