Types of Disorders

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What is "abnormal"?
Types of Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Mood Disorders
Personality Disorders
Delusional Disorder
Sexual Disorders
Somatoform & Dissociative

The following disorder definitions are taken from Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc.'s Introduction to Psychology

Anxiety disorders
Includes disorders in which anxiety is the main symptom (generalized anxiety or panic disorders) or anxiety is experienced unless the individual avoids feared situations (phobic disorders) or tries to resist performing certain rituals or thinking persistent thoughts (obsessive-compulsive disorders). Also includes post-truamatic stress disorder.

Mood disorders
Disturbances of normal mood; the person may be extremely depressed, abnormally elated, or may alternate between periods of elation and depression.

Personality disorders
Long-standing patterns of maladaptive behavior that constitutes immature and innappropriate ways of coping with stress or solving problems. Antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder are two examples.

A group of disorders characterized by loss of contact with reality, marked disturbances of thought and perception, and bizarre behavior. At some phase delusions or hallucinations almost always occur.

Delusional (paranoid) disorders
Disorders characterized by excessive suspicions and hostility, accompanied by feelings of being persecuted; reality contact in other areas satisfactory.

Sexual disorders
Includes problems of sexual identity (for example, transsexualism), sexual performance (for example, impotence, premature ejaculation, and fridgity), and sexual aim (for example, sexual interest in children, sadism, and masochism).

Psychoactive substance abuse disorders
Includes excessive use of alcohol, barbituates, amphetamines, cocaine, and other drugs that alter behavior. Marijuana and tobacco are also included in this category, which is controversial

Somatoform disorders
The symptoms are physical, but no organic basis can be found and psychological factors appear to play the major role. Included are conversion disorders (for example, a woman who resents having to care for her invalid mother suddenly develops a paralyzed arm) and hypochondriasis (excessive preoccupation with health and fear of diease when there is no basis for concern). Does not include psychososomatic disorders that have an organic basis.

Dissociative disorders
Temporary alterations in the functions of conciousness, memory, or identity due to emotional problems. Included are amnesia (the individual cannot recall anything about his or her history following a traumatic experience) and mulitple personality (two or more independent personality systems existing within the same individual).

1999 Katrina Spoor