Classification of Psychological Disorder
Psychological disorders are typically classified into several categories based on their symptoms and characteristics. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the most commonly used classification system, currently in its fifth edition (DSM-5). The DSM-5 includes the following categories of psychological disorders:
- Neurodevelopmental disorders: This category includes disorders that typically appear in childhood and involve developmental delays or impairments, such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders: These disorders involve a break from reality, such as hallucinations or delusions, and include schizophrenia and other related conditions.
- Bipolar and related disorders: This category includes disorders characterized by periods of depression and manic or hypomanic episodes, such as bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.
- Depressive disorders involve persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or lack of interest in activities, including major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.
- Anxiety disorders involve excessive fear, worry, and anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and specific phobias.
- Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders: This category includes disorders characterized by persistent and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviours (compulsions), such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorder.
- Trauma- and stressor-related disorders involve exposure to a traumatic or stressful event, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder, and adjustment disorders.
- Dissociative disorders involve a disruption in a person’s sense of identity, memory, or consciousness and include dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) and dissociative amnesia.
- Somatic symptom and related disorders: These disorders involve physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical condition and include somatic symptom disorder, illness anxiety disorder, and conversion disorder.
- Feeding and eating disorders: These disorders involve disturbances in eating behaviour, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.
- Sleep-wake disorders: These disorders involve disturbances in a person’s sleep pattern, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy.
- Sexual dysfunctions: These disorders involve difficulties in sexual functioning, such as erectile dysfunction, female sexual interest/arousal disorder, and delayed ejaculation disorder.
- Gender dysphoria: This disorder involves a marked incongruence between a person’s experienced/expressed gender and their assigned gender.
- Substance-related and addictive disorders: These disorders involve the use of drugs, alcohol, or other substances and include substance use disorders and gambling disorders.
It’s important to note that the DSM-5 is just one classification system for psychological disorders, and there are others, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), that are used in different parts of the world. Additionally, some critics have raised concerns about the validity and reliability of the DSM’s diagnostic categories.
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