There are a host of mental disorders that occur, but fortunately they can be divided into groups:
| Developmental Disorders
|| These appear in childhood, and generally have lasting effects.
In essence, they represent problems in the course of normal
cognitive, emotional or psychosocial development
| Personality Disorders
|| These take all of childhood and most of adolescence to develop.
They are far reaching in their extent and difficult to treat.
In essence, they are disorders of the person�s whole way of
living and relating to others.
| Mood Disorders
|| These are impairments in the variation of mood, the underlying
emotional tendencies we have that can carry us toward greater
or lesser strength and frequency of either positive or negative
emotional states. They are generally very treatable.
| Anxiety Disorders
|| These are impairments in arousal, fear, nervousness, and the
like. These are among the most common disorders, and are very treatable.
| Adjustment Disorders
|| These are impairments in daily life that result from major changes
in a person�s life. One may have a tougher time than is normal
after losing a job, getting a divorce, having an accident, or
even after a move to a new locale. If there are notable symptoms
of psychosocial impairment, and no other apparent cause (such
as a more severe physical or mental disorder), one may have
an adjustment disorder.
| Psychotic Disorders
|| These are generally rather severe problems, because they involve
impairments in perception, thought, belief, behavior, movement,
and/or speech, and, inevitably, impaired relationships. The
cardinal issue in a psychotic disorder is a break from normal
perception of reality.
| Organic Disorders
|| These are disorders in which there is some known cause, usually
a brain injury or metabolic disease, that is responsible for
| Dissociative Disorders
|| These are disorders characterized by psychologically defensive
dissociations -- amnesia and the like, that generally have their
roots in some psychological trauma. Though they are fascinating,
they are not terribly common.
| Substance Abuse Disorders
|| If a drug can be used, it can be abused, and for most, a dependency
disorder is also possible. The number of different conditions
here is at least as large as the variety of types of drugs people
| Sexual Disorders
|| Though most common, most of these go untreated, as people
learn to live with all but the most disturbing difficulties
and deviations. Lack of sexual interest can rise to the level
of a diagnosable condition, and is the most common in this area.
We will not be studying all of these, but several categories are particularly
notable or interesting.