Aug. 6, 2012
Jose J. Juarez
A psychological disorder, also referred to as a mental disorder, is an ongoing behavioral pattern, thoughts, feelings or actions that are deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional. It impacts multiple life areas which create hardships for the person experiencing these symptoms that can seriously affect your day-to-day function in life and interfere with your ability to interact in society (Unknown, Psychological Disorders-Symptoms, Causes, Treatments). While the causes of psychological disorders are unknown, and some are varied, assessments and evaluations are done by psychiatrists and therapists. Afterwards, treatments are often done depending on the cause. Treatments usually involve psychotherapy to work on behaviors, skill development, and thought process. For some patients that have severe problems, such as substance abuse or serious complications, are hospitalized. To acquire a diagnosis, clinicians use the DMV-IV-TR guidelines and answer a serious of questions about observation behaviors, such as: “Is the person afraid to leave home?” (Myers). Common known disorders are anxiety disorder, panic disorder, general anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD, and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. One of the most known psychological disorders is anxiety disorder. “Anxiety disorder is a general term that describes fears that are irrational or not based on fact. There are different types of anxiety disorders, which are phobias, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people experience these feelings so severely that it interferes with their ability to cope with daily life” (Unknown, What is Anxiety Disorder). Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences in our daily life. It is an anxious or nervous feeling you experience whether it’s during taking a test, speaking in public, hearing bad news, or even looking at someone in the eye while talking. Also, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “approximately 40 million American adults 18 and older, or about 18.1 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder” (Unknown, What is Anxiety Disorder). Another type of anxiety disorder is a panic attack is a panic attack. “A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause” (Clinic). When one is having a panic attack, symptoms such as feeling like you’re losing control of yourself, feeling like you’re having a heart attack, or as severe as feeling like you’re dying. Episodes of panic attacks involve sudden feelings of fear that strike without warning, and can occur any time, even during sleep. Other symptoms experienced during a panic attack include: “a ‘racing’ heart, feeling weak, faint, or dizzy, tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers, sense of terror, or impending doom or death, feeling sweaty or having chills, chest pains, breathing difficulties, and/or feeling a loss of control” (Panic Attacks Symptoms). There are many people who may experience a panic attack or two in their lifetime, possibly during the end of a stressful situation, but if one experiences frequent panic attacks, they may suffer a condition called panic disorder. Although panic attacks have once been recognized as nerves or stress, now they’re recognized as a real medical condition and can have a significant effect on a person’s quality of life; treatments for this disorder have been seen as very effective. “About six million American adults experience panic disorder in a given year. Typically developing in early childhood, women are twice as likely to men to have panic disorder” (Unknown, Anxiety Disorders). Lots of people are unaware of their disorder; some are even scared or embarrassed to...
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