Defining Mental Disorder

judge me now, #2 in exploreWhen trying to take care of your mental wellness, you have to be aware of your mood and any changes in it. Mental disorders are common, whether they are short term or long term. The most important thing that you should now is what exactly is metal disorder? What is the definition of mental disorder? (Image by ashley rose, via Flickr)

A mental disorder is characterized by thoughts and behaviors that cause individuals to experience extreme problems in functioning in significant areas of their lives relationships, employment, education, financial well-being, even spirituality. Mental disorder is not short term, but it is also not necessarily permanent. By definition, mental problems must endure for a certain minimum period of time before a mental disorder can be diagnosed. Most mental disorders resolve after treatment with counseling, medication, or simply the passing of time.

Other mental disorders are lifelong and cause ongoing problems for those afflicted with them and for their families. If someone is mentally ill, he is not simply odd. Labels of mental disorder ought never to be applied without a professional assessment. Mental disorders are by definition serious disturbances. These are some common types of mental disorders:

Psychotic disorders are those that result in bizarre, paranoid, or delusional thinking. The most common one is schizophrenia. Individuals with psychotic illnesses manifest the symptoms most often thought of as crazy seeing or hearing things that are not there, making bizarre connections between unrelated events, or showing grossly inappropriate responses to ordinary occurrences.

Mood disorders are those that primarily affect a person’s emotional stability.

The most common are depression and bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depression). Individuals afflicted with depression feel discouraged and hopeless almost every day, have lost interest in activities in which they used to take pleasure, and sometimes consider or attempt suicide. Those with bipolar disorder exhibit cycles of wildly changing emotions and behaviors. Anxiety disorders are characterized by extreme nervousness, panic, or phobias.

Persons suffering from anxiety disorders cannot calm down, feel panicky much of the time, and have physical symptoms of constant nervousness. Those with post-traumatic stress may experience flashbacks of trauma and may react to loud noises or other reminders of the precipitating event.

Personality disorders are disturbances in thinking and behavior that are a part of a person’s basic character. They result in lifelong patterns of counter- productive behavior. Unlike the above mental disorders, personality disorders do not often respond to medications or short-term therapy.

…More at About Mental Illness | Definition and Key Thoughts of Mental Disorders

Now that you know an accurate definition of what mental disorder is and what mental disorders there are, you are able to assess if you might have one. Remember now your doctor should be the one to do a mental evaluation on you to see if you do have a mental disorder.