Mental Health

Anger itself isn’t considered a disorder, but anger is a known symptom of several mental health conditions including schizophrenia, antisocial or borderline personality disorder, ADHD, conduct disorder or substance intoxication.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder(IED) is an impulse control disorder that manifests as discrete episodes of losing control of aggressive impulses; these episodes can result in serious assault or the destruction of property. The aggressiveness expressed is grossly out of proportion to any stressors that may have helped elicit these episodes. After each episode patients usually show genuine regret or self-reproach. This can not be explained by the above disorders.

Mood Disorders

Mood can be defined as a pervasive and sustained emotion or feeling tone that influences a person’s behavior and colors his or her perception of being in the real world. A person can be said to experience manic/hypomanic episodes(feeling high) or depressive episodes(feeling low). Some mood disorders include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder(MDD) : Must last at least 2 weeks with a diagnosis made when at least four symptoms from a list that includes low mood, changes in appetite and weight, changes in sleep and activity, lack of energy, feelings of guilt, problems thinking and making decisions and recurring thoughts of death and suicide.
  • Bipolar I Disorder : Requires presence of a distinct period of abnormal mood lasting at least 1 week and includes separate bipolar I disorder diagnoses for a single manic episode.
  • Bipolar II Disorder : Characterized by depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes during the course of the disorder.
  • Dysthymic Disorder : Characterized by at least 2 years of depressed mood that is not sufficiently Severe to fit the diagnosis of MDD.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder : Characterized by at least 2 years of frequently occuring hypomanic symptoms that can not fit the diagnosis of manic episodes and of depressive symptoms that can not fit the diagnosis of MDD.

One can also experience mood disorders during pregnancy; prenatal/ antenatal depression(during pregnancy) or postnatal depression(in the weeks or months after pregnancy, usually diagnosed in women but it can also affect men).

Anxiety Disorders

Everyone experiences anxiety. It is characterized most commonly as a diffuse, unpleasant, vague sense of apprehension, often accompanied by autonomic symptoms such as headache, perspiration, palpitations, tightness in the chest, mild stomach discomfort, and restlessness, indicated by an inability to stand or sit still for long.
Anxiety disorder can be viewed as a family of related but distinct mental disorders which include:
  • Panic Disorder : Acute intense attack of anxiety accompanied by feelings of impending doom.
  • Agoraphobia : Fear or anxiety regarding places from which escape might be difficult.
  • Specific Phobia : Excessive fear of specific objects, circumstances, or situations.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia : Fear of social situations including situations that include scrutiny or contact with strangers.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder : Anxious feelings about almost everything for most days during at least a 6 month period.

Dissociative Disorders

Dissociation is defined as an unconscious defense mechanism involving the segregation of any group of mental or behavioral processes from the rest of the person’s psychic activity. Dissociative disorders involve this mechanism so that there is a disruption in one or more mental functions, such as memory, identity, perception, consciousness, or motor behavior. these include:

  • Dissociative Amnesia : Inability to recall personal important information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature, that is too extensive to be explained by normal forgetfulness.
  • Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder : Persistent or recurrent feeling of detachment or estrangement from one’s self.
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder : Previously called multiple personality disorder. Characterized by two or more distinct identities or personalities states.

These are some of the mental disorder that may be found in society. There are other different types of mental illness. At times an individual may suffer from more than one mental illness. Management is through various modalities such as psychotherapy , psychopharmacology and social interventions. If you or a loved one feel that you may be afflicted by mental illness you should seek help from a qualified health practitioner.

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