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Mental Disorders
Related Conditions

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Mental disorder or mental conditions are terms used to describe a set of behaviors, perceptions and actions that are out of what is considered normal for an individual’s society. What is normal may vary by culture. It is estimated that at one time over a third of all people have met the DSM IV criteria for having a mental disorder.

The Diagnostic Statistics Manual Fourth edition is published by the American Psychiatric Association and contains the definition and diagnostic criteria of the mental disorders and conditions accepted by mental health professionals and doctors. The specific disorder classifications, names and criteria for each mental disorder and condition are to be used as guidelines for making diagnosis and forming clinical judgments. It does not encompass all of the conditions or disorders for which an individual may be treated.

There is no single cause for having a mental disorder. Factors that may influence their development include biological, psychological and social. Some disorders are triggered or highlighted by an environmental event while others begin in early infancy due to attachment deficiencies.

Mental disorders are often referred to as mental illnesses which can be misleading. The term suggests the disorder is solely one of thought, emotion or perception. The development of a mental disorder includes a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. Research has shown that the brain chemistry and genetic characteristics present in those with mental disorders are significantly different when compared to those without the disorder.


Adult Disorders

Common Adult Disorders Include:

Some conditions are not classified as mental disorders but warrant clinical attention. They may be related to a mental disorder or require attention independently.

Mental Conditions Include:

  • Medication-Induced Movement Disorders
  • Adverse effects of medication
  • Relational Problem related to a mental disorder or medical condition
  • Parent-Child Relational Problem
  • Partner Relational Problem
  • Sibling Relational Problem
  • Physical Abuse of a Child
  • Sexual Abuse of a Child
  • Neglect of a Child
  • Physical Abuse of an Adult
  • Sexual Abuse of an Adult
  • Noncompliance with Treatment
  • Malingering
  • Adult Antisocial Disorder
  • Child or adolescent Antisocial Behavior
  • Borderline Intellectual Functioning
  • Age-Related Cognitive Decline
  • Bereavement
  • Academic Problem
  • Occupational Problem
  • Identity Problem
  • Religious or Spiritual Problem
  • Acculturation Problem
  • Phase of Life Problem

Childhood Disorders

There is a section of mental disorders reserved for those usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolescence.

Categories of Childhood Disorders

  • Mental Retardation
  • Learning Disorders
  • Motor Skills Disorder
  • Communication Disorders
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Attention-Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders of Infancy or Early Childhood
  • Tic Disorders
  • Elimination Disorders
  • Attachment Disorders

When the full criteria for a disorder are met, the qualifiers “mild, moderate, severe, in partial remission, in full remission or prior history” is used to measure the severity. Factors that are used in making this decision include number of symptoms, intensity, and impairment on the individual’s functioning.

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