Learning About Psychology & Psychological Disorders

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There are a number of different mental illnesses, or psychological disorders that affect people. A psychological disorder is an abnormality of the mind that results in behavior patterns that can affect everyday functioning. There are numerous psychological disorders that have been identified including mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. While the specific causes of many of these disorders are not known, there is treatment available for those suffering from mental illness. Learn more about some specific psychological disorders below.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, or manic depressive illness, is characterized by unusual shifts in energy, mood, and activity level. Unlike the normal ups and downs that people encounter, these moods are severe in those that suffer from Bipolar disorder. Bipolar symptoms include manic and depressive episodes and drastic changes in energy level, sleep patterns, and overall behavior. Bipolar disorder can be treated however not everyone will respond to medications in the same way so different people require different combinations of medication. Medication to control bipolar disorder is often used in combination with various types of therapy including cognitive behavior therapy, psychoeducation, and interpersonal therapy.


Depression is a serious illness that affects millions of people. It is characterized by feelings of sadness or depression that persist for a long period of time and interfere with daily life. Depression can also cause a loss of interest in activities, difficulty concentrating, and decreased energy. Treatments for depression can include the use of antidepressant medication as well as therapy. Some of the most popular and commonly used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

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Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a normal response to everyday stress but those that suffer from anxiety disorders suffer from anxiety that affects their day to day lives. There are a number of anxiety disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social phobia. While different anxiety disorders will have different symptoms, a common one is a persistent feeling of irrational dread or fear. Anxiety disorders are commonly treated with either medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.


Schizophrenia is a sever brain disorder that affects approximately one percent of the American population. Sufferers often hear voices, and have hallucinations; often thinking that other people can read their thoughts or are out to harm them. The symptoms of Schizophrenia often cause sufferers to become extremely agitated and withdrawn. While Schizophrenia can be a debilitating disorder, sufferers can cope with symptoms with the proper treatment. Treatments for Schizophrenia include the use of antipsychotic medications and various types of therapy.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post traumatic stress disorder is a condition that develops from a traumatic ordeal; generally involving physical harm. PTSD was first discovered in war veterans and it has since been determined that the disorder develops due to a variety of traumatic and terrifying incidents. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, bad dreams, and constant terrifying thoughts. Those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder tend to avoid places that remind them of the traumatic incident. It can also cause feelings of depression and severe guilt. PTSD is most commonly treated with psychotherapy.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is commonly diagnosed in childhood but can also continue into adulthood. Sufferers of ADHD have a difficult time paying attention and staying focused. They also tend to have difficulty controlling their behavior and are over active. Symptoms of ADHD include being easily distracted, becoming bored easily, and having trouble completing tasks. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is often treated with medication and psychotherapy.

Millions of people around the world suffer from psychological disorders but with the help of proper medical care, many illnesses can be treated, or controlled. Anyone suffering from possible symptoms of a mental disorder should seek qualified medical care for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Learn more about psychological disorders by visiting the following resources.

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About the Author: Ann Steele

This website is co-authored by Ann Steele, a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego with extensive experience with children and adolescents. Ann Steele attended American School Of Psychology & Argosy University Online. She especially enjoys using music therapy for mental and emotional well-being.

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