Helen B. Balois
Cognitive disorders are a category of mental health disorders that primarily affect learning, memory, perception, and problem solving, and include amnesia, dementia, and delirium. While anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychotic disorders can also have an effect on cognitive and memory functions, the DSM-IV-TR does not consider these cognitive disorders, because loss of cognitive function is not the primary (causal) symptom. Causes vary between the different types of disorders but most include damage to the memory portions of the brain. Treatments depend on how the disorder is caused. Medication and therapies are the most common treatments; however, for some types of disorders such as certain types of amnesia, treatments can suppress the symptoms but there is currently no cure. Cognitive Mental Disorder Perspective
In abnormal psychology, cognitive disorders are mental disorders that develop on the basis of cognitive mental disorder perspective. The cognitive mental disorder perspective is the theory that psychological disorders originate from an interruption, whether short or long, in our basic cognitive functions, i.e. memory processing, perception, problem solving and language. This perspective takes opposition to the psychodynamic mental disorder perspective, behavioral mental disorder perspective, sociocultural mental disorder perspective, interpersonal mental disorder perspective and neurological/biological mental disorder perspective. One pioneer of cognitive disorder perspective is Albert Ellis. In 1962, Ellis proposed that humans develop irrational beliefs/goals about the world; and therefore, create disorders in cognitive abilities. Another pioneer of the cognitive disorder perspective is Aaron Beck. In 1967, Beck designed what is known as the "cognitive model" for emotional disorders, mainly depression. His model showed that a blending of negative cognitive functions about the self, the world, and possible selves lead to cognitive mental disorders. Classifications
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM-IV-TR), which describes 250 disorders and their symptoms, cognitive disorders are classified under a psychological disorder in axis I. It is described as disorders with “a significant impairment of cognition or memory that represents a marked deterioration from a previous level of function”. The three main areas outlined by the DSM-IV-TR of cognitive disorders are delirium, dementia, and amnesia. There are many sub categories in each of these areas as well. * Delirium
Also known as acute brain syndrome, Delirium affects at least one in ten hospitalized patients, and is a common part of many terminal illnesses. Delirium is sudden, severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function that happen with physical or mental illness. Because it involves a quick change between mental states, someone who suffers from delirium may jump from lethargy to agitation almost instantaneously. Delirium is a type of disorder that is often characterized by confusion, disorientation, inattentiveness, illusions and hallucinations. In some cases delirium is the result from nervous system over activity. The delirious patient will often exhibit a reduced awareness of and responsiveness to the environment.
Causes of Delirium
Delirium is most often caused by physical or mental illness and is usually temporary and reversible. There are many disorders that cause delirium, including conditions or substances that deprive the brain of oxygen. Other causes include alcohol or sedative withdrawal, drug abuse, body chemical disturbances, infections, pneumonia, stroke, poisons and surgery. The most often cause of delirium are metabolic disorders, accounting for 20-40% of all cases. This type of delirium is called metabolic encephalopathy and it usually results from organ failure. Severe dehydration and vitamin deficiencies are more mild cases but can also cause delirium....
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