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1 – DHS13 – Understand Mental Health Problems

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1.1 Describe the following types of mental ill health according to the psychiatric (DSM/ICD) classification system:

  • Mood Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Substance-related disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Cognitive disorders

Mood Disorders: Mood disorders, as classified by the DSM and ICD, are psychological disorders categorised by disturbances in a person’s emotions or mood. These can range from major depression to bipolar disorder. The defining feature of all mood disorders is an abnormal level of emotion that persists for weeks, months, or even years and significantly impacts the sufferer’s ability to function in both social and physical realms. Treatment for these conditions often includes psychotherapy, medication management, and lifestyle changes such as improved nutrition and exercise.

Personality Disorders: Personality disorders are mental health conditions considered by long-term patterns of behaviour that affect a person’s relationships in social and occupational contexts. Examples include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. Treatment options usually include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, pharmacotherapy, and other alternative therapies.

Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that cause intense feelings of fear, worry, or unease in certain situations and can lead to panic attacks. These disorders can be triggered by a traumatic event or life-changing situation, but they can also develop without a clear cause. Treatment for anxiety disorders often includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and medication management, such as anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Psychotic disorders are a type of mental health illness that involves distorted thinking processes, including hallucinations (seeing things that are not real), delusions (beliefs that are not based on reality), disorganised behaviour, and difficulty with concentration and logical thinking. One example of a psychotic disorder is schizophrenia, which requires urgent treatment due to the high risk of serious consequences if left untreated. Common treatments for psychotic disorders include antipsychotic medications, cognitive behavioural therapy, and family therapies.

Substance-related disorders involve the recurrent use of drugs or alcohol in a way that causes significant impairment to the user’s physical, psychological, or social functioning. These mental health issues can result from substance abuse (excessive use of drugs or alcohol) or substance dependence (a strong physical reliance on certain substances). Treatment typically involves medication management, such as benzodiazepines to manage withdrawal symptoms, psychological counselling, and support from medical professionals, as well as participation in 12-step programs like AA.

Eating disorders are characterised by abnormal eating habits that disrupt normal nutrition intake, leading to negative changes in body weight over time. Common examples include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Treatment for these conditions usually involves psychotherapy, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT), as well as nutrition counselling and support groups.

Cognitive disorders refer to difficulties in thinking, processing, and reasoning ability due to neurological or psychiatric impairments. Examples include dementia, delirium, and amnesia. Treatment typically involves medications that improve cognition/brain function, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (for Alzheimer’s) or antipsychotics (for schizophrenia). In addition, interventions like occupational therapy can help individuals remain independent by developing new skills to compensate for lost abilities.

Other answers in the full document:

  • 1.2 Explain the key strengths and limitations of the psychiatric classification system
  • 1.3 Explain alternative frameworks for understanding mental distress
  • 1.4 Explain indicators of mental ill health 2.1 Explain how individuals experience discrimination
  • 2.2 Explain the effects mental ill health may have on an individual
  • 2.3 Explain the effects mental ill health may have on those in the individual’s familial, social or work network
  • 2.4 Explain how to intervene to promote an individual’s mental health and well-Being

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