THE EXPERIENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS

ATTITUDES TOWARD MENTAL ILLNESS

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS

DEFINING MENTAL ILLNESS

PREVALENCE - United States and Worldwide

Among Children and Adolescents
Among the Elderly
Among the Poor and Among Men and Women
Changing Rates of Mental Illness

KINDS OF MENTAL ILLNESSES

Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders
Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
Personality and Cognitive Disorders
Dissociative, Somatoform and Factitious Disorders
Substance-Related, Eating and Impulse-Control Disorders

CAUSES OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Biological Perspective
Psychodynamic, Humanistic and Existential Perspectives
Behavioral, Cognitive and Sociocultural Perspective

DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT

Drug Therapy
Individual Psychotherapy
Group and Family Therapies
Electroconvulsive Therapy and Psychosurgery
Treatment Settings
Treatment in Non-Western Countries


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF MENTAL ILLNESS



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Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders involve disturbances in a person’s consciousness, memories, identity, and perception of the environment. Dissociative disorders include amnesia that has no physical cause; dissociative identity disorder, in which a person has two or more distinct personalities that alternate in their control of the person’s behavior; depersonalization disorder, characterized by a chronic feeling of being detached from one’s body or mental processes; and dissociative fugue, an episode of sudden departure from home or work with an accompanying loss of memory. In some parts of the world people experience dissociative states as “possession” by a god or ghost instead of separate personalities. In many societies, trance and possession states are normal parts of cultural and religious practices and are not considered dissociative disorders. (Dissociative Disorders, Somatoform Disorders, Factitious Disorders, Mental Illness)

Somatoform Disorders

Somatoform disorders are characterized by the presence of physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical condition or another mental illness. Thus, physicians often judge that such symptoms result from psychological conflicts or distress. For example, in conversion disorder, also called hysteria, a person may experience blindness, deafness, or seizures, but a physician cannot find anything wrong with the person. People with another somatoform disorder, hypochondriasis (see Hypochondria), constantly fear that they will develop a serious disease and misinterpret minor physical symptoms as evidence of illness. The term somatoform comes from the Greek word soma, meaning “body.” (Dissociative Disorders, Somatoform Disorders, Factitious Disorders, Mental Illness)

Factitious Disorders

In contrast to people with somatoform disorders, people with factitious disorders intentionally produce or fake physical or psychological symptoms in order to receive medical attention and care. For example, an individual might falsely report shortness of breath to gain admittance to a hospital, report thoughts of suicide to solicit attention, or fabricate blood in the urine or the symptoms of rash so as to appear ill. Munchausen syndrome represents the most extreme and chronic variant of the factitious disorders. (Dissociative Disorders, Somatoform Disorders, Factitious Disorders, Mental Illness)

Dissociative Disorders | Somatoform Disorders | Factitious Disorders | Mental Illness