A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern associated with distress or disability that occurs in an individual and is not a part of normal development or culture.
The recognition and understanding of mental health conditions has changed over time and across cultures, and there are still variations in the definition, assessment, and classification of mental disorders, although standard guideline criteria are widely accepted.
Over a third of people in most countries report meeting criteria for the major categories at some point in their life. Diagnoses are made by psychiatrists or clinical psychologists using various methods, often relying on observation and questioning in interviews.
Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options as are social interventions, peer support and self-help.
Stigma and discrimination add to the suffering associated with the disorders, and have led to various social movements campaign for change.
Most recently, the field of Global Mental Health has emerged, which has been defined as 'the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving mental health and achieving equity in mental health for all people worldwide'.
The definition and classification of mental disorders is a key issue for mental health and for users and providers of mental health services. In general, mental disorders are classified separately to neurological disorders, learning disabilities or mental retardation.
There are many different categories of mental disorder, and many different facets of human behavior and personality that can become disordered.
Anxiety or fear that interferes with normal functioning may be classified as an anxiety disorder. Commonly recognized categories include specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress... [continues]
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