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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Psychodynamic Perspective

The psychodynamic perspective views mental illness as caused by unconscious and unresolved conflicts in the mind. As stated by Freud, these conflicts arise in early childhood and may cause mental illness by impeding the balanced development of the three systems that constitute the human psyche: the id, which comprises innate sexual and aggressive drives; the ego, the conscious portion of the mind that mediates between the unconscious and reality; and the superego, which controls the primitive impulses of the id and represents moral ideals. In this view, generalized anxiety disorder stems from a signal of unconscious danger whose source can only be identified through a thorough analysis of the personís personality and life experiences. Modern psychodynamic theorists tend to emphasize sexuality less than Freud did and focus more on problems in the individualís relationships with others. (Psychodynamic Perspective, Humanistic and Existential Perspectives, Mental Illness)

Humanistic and Existential Perspectives

Both the humanistic and existential perspectives view abnormal behavior as resulting from a personís failure to find meaning in life and fulfill his or her potential. The humanistic school of psychology, as represented in the work of American psychologist Carl Rogers, views mental health and personal growth as the natural conditions of human life. In Rogersís view, every person possesses a drive toward self-actualization, the fulfillment of oneís greatest potential. Mental illness develops when circumstances in a personís environment block this drive. The existential perspective sees emotional disturbances as the result of a personís failure to act authenticallyóthat is, to behave in accordance with oneís own goals and values, rather than the goals and values of others. (Psychodynamic Perspective, Humanistic and Existential Perspectives, Mental Illness)

Psychodynamic Perspective | Humanistic and Existential Perspectives | Mental Illness