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Defining Mental Health Disorders

Defining Mental Health DisordersAccording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 181,000 adults and 45,000 children in Kentucky suffer from serious mental health disorders. The term “mental illness” can seem like a vague term, applying to a broad range of disorders. Mental illness refers to disorders that alter processes such as thinking, mood, and behavior. It also refers to disorders that interrupt a person’s ability to relate to other people and to function in daily life. There tends to be a stigma in many cultures against mental illness. Many people believe that those with mental health disorders are weak. However, this is far from true. Louisville residents should be aware that mental illness can occur to any person at any time.

Classification of Mental Health Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is one of the standard ways that mental disorders are classified. The DSM provides several groupings for mental disorders, including substance-related disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, and many more.

Substance-related disorders are those that are associated with abuse of a substance that occurs over an extended period of time and interferes with daily living. These disorders can be further broken down into two categories of substance use disorders and substance induced disorders. Substance use disorders occur when a person either abuses a substance or becomes physically or psychologically dependent on it. Substance induced disorders, on the other hand occur as a result of the substance use. This includes disorders such as withdrawal, substance-induced delirium, and substance-induced psychosis.

Mood disorders are characterized by a disturbance in mood. Two recognized mood disorders Louisville residents may recognize are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Mood disorders can also be substance-induced or can occur as a result of a medical condition such as thyroid abnormalities or electrolyte imbalances.

Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and obsessive compulsive disorder. These are characterized by intense fear and dread of certain situations or objects. Many people with anxiety disorders avoid situations that might expose them to that fear. This can disrupt social relationships and occupational performance.

Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED), and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). People with eating disorders are mentally preoccupied with food and weight. Most often, eating disorders arise as a means to gain control over the environment.

There are several personality disorders, subdivided into three separate clusters. Cluster A is characterized by odd or eccentric behavior, such as paranoia or unconventional beliefs. Cluster A includes paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders. Cluster B is characterized by dramatic, emotional, or erratic thoughts and behavior. In this cluster are antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders. Cluster C, on the other hand, is associated with anxious or fearful behaviors. Those with this disorder may be reliant on others or fearful of rejection. Included in this cluster are avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, and dependent personality disorders. The commonality between all clusters of personality disorders is the long-term occurrence of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts that are maladaptive and differ from cultural expectations.

Get Help for Mental Health Disorders

If you or a loved one in Louisville is suffering from a mental health disorder, please call our toll free number today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about addiction treatment.

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