Mental Disorder Symptoms
Mental Disorder Symptoms
Christopher Reist (Academic Psychiatrist, Co-Author of “Psychiatry”) gives expert video advice on: Is there anything I can do to avoid developing a mental disorder? and more...
What are the most common symptoms of mental disorders?
There are quite a few symptoms of mental disorders, and they can be grouped into broad categories. For example, we have the mood symptoms – and this would be symptoms of depression you see in people that suffer from major depression and have euphoria in the case of manic disorder. When you have depression, you also have a whole host of other kinds of changes in your body – you can have changes in appetite, your sleep pattern, your sexual interest, your ability to enjoy things, and a number of other ones. Another group of symptoms would be the anxiety symptoms – besides having excessive worry, you can also experience physical symptoms that are associated with an overactive part of the brain that releases norepinephrine – this causes palpitations, it can cause shortness of breath, can cause sweaty palms, knots in your stomach, and a whole variety of other complaints like that. When we talk about the more serious mental disorders, like schizophrenia, most people have often heard of symptoms that we group as thought disorder symptoms – and this would include hallucinations, delusions, paranoid thought, and a general disorganization of the thinking process.
What is "mania"?
Mania, such as experienced with <a href="http://www.videojug.com/interview/bipolar-disorder">bipolar disease</a>, is a mood episode, just as depression is a mood episode. Mania is characterized by increased speech, distractibility or irritability. During mania, sufferers can't sleep
What is a "hallucination"?
A hallucination is a false sensory perception. These can manifest really in any of the senses that would most commonly be auditory hallucinations where a person experiences hearing a voice that's just as realistic as my voice is now. You can also have visual, tactile, and olfactory. Tactile hallucinations refer to the perception of something touching your skin. Olfactory refers to having the sensation of smells when there's actually no odor in the environment.
What is a "delusion"?
A delusion is a fixed, false belief that persists despite evidence to the contrary. For example: a person under a delusion may have an idea that an individual or organization is spying on them, and despite all their friends' or family's efforts to persuade them that this isn't the case, they still hold to this view. There are a number of characteristic delusions that we see. My example was of a paranoid delusion. You also have grandiose delusions where people believe that they have certain powers.
What is "cognitive dysfunction"?
Cognition refers to those mental functions that are important for processing information that give us the ability to make decisions, make inferences and other kinds of judgments. Cognitive dysfunction is where you have a deficit in one of those areas. Some of those areas include attention, memory, executive function and even the ability to interpret social situations -- for example, recognize what a person's facial expression means.
Is there anything I can do to avoid developing a mental disorder?
Nowadays, we understand mental illness to be inheritable in many cases, making it harder to try to avoid developing a mental disorder, as we cannot change our genes. Our inherited genetics make up a big part of the risk of developing mental illness. We also know that childhood development factors, such as wehther you were neglected or abused during critical periods in your childhood, can contribute to mental disorder later in life. If you want to avoid mental illness you should genetically screen your parents, and make sure you have a loving childhood. You can also currently take good care of your brain. That means avoiding substances such as drugs and alcohol and avoiding concussions or other kinds of blunt trauma which could result in something like <a href="http://www.videojug.com/interview/post-traumatic-stress-disorder">post traumatic stress</a>. Finally, taking good care of your body is important in avoiding developing a mental disorder. We know that untreated hypertension and diabetes are among some of the disorders that over long term impair your brain function and put you at risk from developing certain mental disorders.