Conditions & Disorders

This area of the website looks at the various mental health-related conditions, illnesses, disorders, and behavioural conditions that an individual may have.

For ease of use the term ‘disorders’ is used to avoid confusion.

Overview of Mental Health Care

Mental health (psychiatric or psychological) disorders involve disturbances in thinking, emotion, and/or behaviour.

Small disturbances in these aspects of life are common, but when such disturbances cause significant distress to the person and/or interfere with daily life, they are considered mental illness or a mental health disorder.

The effects of mental illness may be long-lasting or temporary.

  • Outline of Personality and Behaviour Changes.
  • Causes of Personality and Behaviour Changes.
  • Evaluation of Personality and Behaviour Changes.
  • Treatment of Personality and Behaviour Changes.

Types of Disorder by Grouping

For ease of use mental health disorders can be grouped as follows:

  • Anxiety and Stress-Related Disorders:
    • Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, worry, or unease that is a normal human experience.
    • It is also present in a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.
    • Although each of these disorders is different, they all feature distress and dysfunction specifically related to anxiety and fear.
  • Dissociative Disorders:
    • Occasionally everyone has minor problems integrating their memories, perceptions, identity, and consciousness.
    • For example, the individual may drive somewhere and then realise that they do not remember the drive.
    • They may not remember it because they are absorbed – with personal concerns, a programme on the radio, or a conversation with a passenger – or are just daydreaming.
    • Such problems, referred to as normal dissociation, typically do not disrupt everyday activities.
  • Substance-Related Disorders:
    • Alcohol and drugs are an integral part of everyday life for many people.
    • Drugs may be used for legitimate medical purposes or recreationally.
  • Eating Disorders:
    • Eating disorders involve a disturbance of eating or of behaviour related to eating.
  • Mood Disorders:
    • Mood disorders are mental health disorders that involve emotional disturbances consisting of long periods of excessive sadness (depression), excessive joyousness or elation (mania), or both.
    • Depression and mania represent the two extremes, or poles, of mood disorders.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders:
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterised by recurrent, persistent, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts, urges, or images (obsessions) and/or by repetitive behaviours or mental acts that patients feel driven to do (compulsions) to try to lessen or prevent the anxiety that obsessions cause.
  • Personality Disorders:
    • Personality disorders are long-lasting, pervasive patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating that cause the individual significant distress and/or impair the individual’s ability to function.
  • Schizophrenia and Related Disorders:
    • Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders are characterised by psychotic symptoms, and often by negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction.
  • Sexuality and Related Disorders:
    • Sexuality is a normal part of human experience.
    • However, the types of sexual behaviour that are considered normal vary greatly within and among different cultures.
    • In fact, defining “normal” sexuality may be impossible.
    • There are wide variations in people’s sexual behaviour, including the frequency of or need for sexual release.
    • Some people desire sexual activity several times a day, but others are satisfied with infrequent activity (for example, a few times a year).
  • Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders:
    • Somatic symptom and related disorders are mental health disorders characterised by an intense focus on physical (somatic) symptoms that causes significant distress and/or interferes with daily functioning.