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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Mental Illness





Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are mental illnesses in which one’s personality results in personal distress or a significant impairment in social or work functioning. In general, people with personality disorders have poor perceptions of themselves or others. They may have low self-esteem or overwhelming narcissism, poor impulse control, troubled social relationships, and inappropriate emotional responses. Considerable controversy exists over where to draw the distinction between a normal personality and a personality disorder. (Personality Disorders, Cognitive Disorders, Disorders Mental Illness)

Personality Disorders, disorders in which one’s personality results in personal distress or significantly impairs social or work functioning. Every person has a personality—that is, a characteristic way of thinking, feeling, behaving, and relating to others. Most people experience at least some difficulties and problems that result from their personality. The specific point at which those problems justify the diagnosis of a personality disorder is controversial. To some extent the definition of a personality disorder is arbitrary, reflecting subjective as well as professional judgments about the person’s degree of dysfunction, need for change, and motivation for change. (Personality Disorders, Cognitive Disorders, Disorders Mental Illness)

Personality disorders involve behavior that deviates from the norms or expectations of one’s culture. However, people who deviate from cultural norms are not necessarily dysfunctional, nor are people who conform to cultural norms necessarily healthy. Many personality disorders represent extreme variants of behavior patterns that people usually value and encourage. For example, most people value confidence but not arrogance, agreeableness but not submissiveness, and conscientiousness but not perfectionism. (Personality Disorders, Cognitive Disorders, Disorders Mental Illness)

Because no clear line exists between healthy and unhealthy functioning, critics question the reliability of personality disorder diagnoses. A behavior that seems deviant to one person may seem normal to another depending on one’s gender, ethnicity, and cultural background. The personal and cultural biases of mental health professionals may influence their diagnoses of personality disorders. (Personality Disorders, Cognitive Disorders, Disorders Mental Illness)

Cognitive Disorders

Cognitive disorders, such as delirium and dementia, involve a significant loss of mental functioning. Dementia, for example, is characterized by impaired memory and difficulties in such functions as speaking, abstract thinking, and the ability to identify familiar objects. The conditions in this category usually result from a medical condition, substance abuse, or adverse reactions to medication or poisonous substances. See Senile Dementia. (Personality Disorders, Cognitive Disorders, Disorders Mental Illness)

Personality Disorders | Cognitive Disorders | Disorders Mental Illness