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Understanding mental health problems Essay

Outcome 1 Know the main forms of mental ill health

Mood disorders

Mood disorder covers all types of depression . Some people are prone to suffering depression during winter when the days are shorter. Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects your moods which can change from one extreme to another this can range from a euphoric mania to a deep low depression these highs and lows can be so extreme that they interfere with day to day life Personality disorders

People who suffer from personality disorders usually have chronic interpersonal difficulties and problems with ones identity or sense of self . People with personality disorders can often cause as much difficulty in the lives of others as in their own lives. There are different clusters that represent personality disorders

Cluster A

A person with cluster A personality disorder tends to have difficulty in relating to others and usually shows patterns of behaviour that most people would find as odd and eccentric an example is paranoid personality disorder where the person is extremely distrustful and suspicious for example a client I support always thinks im trying to poison him when I cook his food .

Cluster B

A person with cluster B personality disorder struggles to regulate there feelings and often swings between positive and negative views of others this can lead to patterns of behaviour others will describe dramatic/unpredictable and disturbing an example is borderline personality disorder where the person is emotionally unstable has impulses to self harm can have intense and unstable relationships with others.

Cluster C

A person with cluster C personality disorders struggles with persistent and overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety they may show patterns of behaviour that most people would regard as antisocial and withdrawn an example is avoidant personality disorder where the person appears painfully shy/socially inhibited/ feels inadequate and is extremely sensitive to rejection. This person may want to be close/form relationships but lacks the confidence to do so.

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety is a feeling of unease such as worry or fear which can go from mild to severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life people may feel worried sitting exams or having a medical test during times like this its normal to feel anxious but some people find it hard to control their worries there feelings of anxiety can be more constant and affect their daily life anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions

Panic disorder

People with this condition have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning other symptoms of panic attack include sweating/chest pain/palpitations which may make the person think they are having a heart attack

Social anxiety disorder

Which is also known as social phobia, social anxiety disorder involves overwhelming worry and self- consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centres on a fear of being judged by others or behaving in a way which could cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.

Specific phobias

A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation such as spiders/snakes heights or flying the level of fear may cause the person to avoid common everyday situations.

Generalised anxiety disorder

This disorder involves excessive unrealistic worry and tension even if there is nothing to provoke anxiety.

Psychotic disorders

Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses lose touch with reality two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs such as thinking that someone is plotting against you or that the tv is sending you secret messages. Hallucinations are false perceptions such as hearing or feeling something that is not there. Schizophrenia is one type of psychotic disorder which can cause hallucinations/delusions hearing and seeing things that don’t exist . Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects your moods you can have periods of depression which can make you feel very low and lethargic and mania where you feel very high and overactive.

Substance-related disorders

A substance related disorder is a condition which an individual uses or abuses a substance illegal or legal these disorders include abuse and dependency on drugs like cocaine, heroine, inhalants, prescription painkillers, alcohol and nicotine

Eating disorders

Eating disorders are mental disorders that can have a serious physical complications. There are two main types of eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. These are complex disorders focusing on issues of eating, body weight, body shape. People who intentially starve themselves suffer from an eating disorder called anorexia this disorder usually begins in young people around the time of puberty, involves extreme weight loss due to starving themselves . People with bulimia consume large amounts of food and then rid there bodies of the excess calories by vomiting abusing laxatives, taking enemas or over exercising.

Cognitive disorders

A person with a cognitive disorder does not process information correctly within the brain. This results in impaired awareness and judgement, difficulty in reasoning and focusing, loss of memory and abnormal mental capacity. Dementia is a cognitive disorder which causes a loss of brain functions which mainly affect memory .


A major advantage of classification systems for mental disorders is that inappropriate behaviours can be distinguished from functional ones A range of mental disorders are arranged, organised and described in a particular manner and order. It allows for consistent diagnoses and a range of appropriate treatments/therapies for the given conditions


The DSM_IV_TR does not explain the causes of the various psychological disorders This approach boxes people into one of the available categories. Sometimes inappropriately, and it does not accommodate the unique nature of the human condition These classifications do not account for people who have typical symptoms or those that do not clearly follow the script


Biological and medical frameworks  view psychological problems as a result of physical causes such as brain defects, hereditary factors or results from accidents or injury

Behavioural frameworks

Are closely aligned to learning theories and have long been associated with early exponents of conditioning the theories. Symptoms of mental distress,
considered to be learned habits, arise from interaction between external stressors and the individuals personality


Mental ill health is often picked up by others due to signs and symptoms for example

Emotional signs

Emotional signs can be crying often, facial expressions which could be sadness or despair sometimes emotions may be inappropriate laughing where not appropriate for example at a funeral. Emotions can be up and down that person could be described as extremely moody


The individual with disordered thinking may have difficulty concentrating or organising their thoughts. They may become paranoid or deluded or in denial about just how bad things are


The affected person may be a hoarder of clothing, newspaper and other items that can clutter their home to the point that they become a danger to themselves or others . They may wash there hands constantly and repeatedly check that they have locked doors and windows before going out they may also become forgetful and fail to turn up to appointments.

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