Psychological Disorders Overview: Classification, Prevalence

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 705 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Words: 705|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Overview of Psychological Disorders
  2. Types of Psychological Disorders
  3. Causes and Risk Factors
  4. Diagnosis and Assessment
  5. Treatment Approaches
  6. Ethical Considerations in the Treatment of Psychological Disorders
  7. Stigma and Misconceptions Surrounding Psychological Disorders
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

Psychological disorders, also known as mental disorders, are conditions that affect a person's thinking, feeling, behavior, or mood. These disorders can be debilitating and have a significant impact on an individual's life. In this essay, we will explore the classification, prevalence, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological disorders. We will also examine the ethical considerations in the treatment of these disorders and discuss the stigma and misconceptions surrounding them.

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Overview of Psychological Disorders

Psychological disorders are defined by the American Psychiatric Association as "clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress or disability or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom." These disorders are classified and described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.The prevalence of psychological disorders is significant, with an estimated one in five adults in the United States experiencing a mental illness in a given year. The impact of these disorders is profound, affecting various aspects of an individual's life, including their ability to work, maintain relationships, and participate in daily activities.

Types of Psychological Disorders

Psychological disorders can be grouped into several categories. Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, typically manifest early in development and are characterized by developmental deficits in personal, social, academic, or occupational functioning.Schizophrenia spectrum disorders, including schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder, are characterized by disturbances in thought, perception, and behavior. Bipolar and related disorders, such as bipolar disorder and cyclothymic disorder, involve fluctuations in mood, energy, and activity levels. Depressive disorders, including major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder, are characterized by feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and loss of interest or pleasure.

Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of psychological disorders are multifaceted and involve a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Biological factors include genetic predisposition, imbalances in neurotransmitters, and structural or functional abnormalities in the brain. Psychological factors, such as traumatic experiences, chronic stress, and maladaptive thought patterns, can contribute to the development of psychological disorders. Environmental factors, including poverty, exposure to violence, and lack of social support, can also increase the risk of developing a mental illness.

Diagnosis and Assessment

The diagnosis of psychological disorders involves the use of standardized criteria outlined in the DSM-5. Assessment methods include interviews and questionnaires to gather information about a person's symptoms, history, and functioning. Psychological tests, such as personality assessments and cognitive tests, may also be utilized to supplement the diagnostic process.

Treatment Approaches

Treatment for psychological disorders often involves a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoanalytic therapy, aims to help individuals understand their thoughts and behaviors and develop coping skills. Pharmacotherapy involves the use of medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics, to alleviate symptoms and stabilize mood.

Ethical Considerations in the Treatment of Psychological Disorders

The treatment of psychological disorders raises several ethical considerations, including the need for informed consent, confidentiality, and the avoidance of dual relationships. Informed consent ensures that individuals are fully informed about the nature of their treatment and have the opportunity to make autonomous decisions. Confidentiality protects the privacy of individuals receiving treatment, while the avoidance of dual relationships helps maintain professional boundaries and prevent conflicts of interest.

Stigma and Misconceptions Surrounding Psychological Disorders

The stigma surrounding psychological disorders originates from a lack of understanding, fear, and negative portrayals in the media. Stigma can have a detrimental impact on individuals with these disorders, leading to discrimination, social isolation, and barriers to accessing care. Effective ways to reduce stigma include education, increased awareness, and challenging stereotypes and misconceptions.

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In conclusion, understanding and addressing psychological disorders is essential for promoting mental health and well-being. By recognizing the prevalence, causes, and impact of these disorders, we can work towards reducing stigma and improving access to effective treatment. It is crucial to prioritize the needs of individuals with psychological disorders and create a supportive and inclusive environment for their recovery.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).
  2. National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Mental Health Information: Statistics.
  3. World Health Organization. (2019). Mental Disorders.
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Psychological Disorders Overview: Classification, Prevalence. (2024, January 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Psychological Disorders Overview: Classification, Prevalence.” GradesFixer, 30 Jan. 2024,
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