Psychology: Mental Disorder and Their Treatment: Disturbed Mental Health

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Stress as a Source of Disturbed Mental Health

Hans Selye coined the term ‘stress’ defined it as a non-specific response of the body to any demand on it. The definition of Hans Seyle has a physiological basis and it gives more importance to the activities of hormones which are secreted by adrenal and other glands. Selye conceptualized two categories of stress: a) Eustress, i.e. moderate and desirable stress such as when playing a competitive sport b) Distress which is bad, excessive, irrational or undesirable stress.

The recent approach to stress focuses on the role of appraisal or interpretation of the situation in relation to the coping resources available to the individual. The interdependent processes of appraisal and coping determine the relationship between a person’s environment and his or her adaptation. Adaptation is the process through which people manage their environment to maintain an optimum level of physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

  • Stressor: Any event or object in the environment that has potential to induce stress in the individual is called a stressor. Some of stressor are major life events and changes, daily hassles, chronic role strain and traumas.

  • Common response to stressor: It can be behavioral response, emotional response, cognitive response and interpersonal and biological response.

Types of Conflict and Frustration

There are three types of conflict.

Types of conflict

Types of Conflict

approach conflict

approach - avoidance conflict and

avoidance - avoidance conflict.

Frustration: Frustration as an experiential state which may result from either a) blocking of needs and motives by some external forces which create hindrance and prevent the attainment of needs or b) by the absence of a desired goal.

Types of Mental Disorder

  • Disorders of childhood: Some of them are Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) where the child has problems in paying attention or is extremely over-active and Autistic disorder are where the child is withdrawn, does not smile and has delayed language development.

  • Anxiety disorder: Some of these disorders are phobia or extreme and irrational fear of something and obsessive-compulsive disorder where the person has repetitive thoughts or has to do actions repeatedly.

  • Mood disorder: There are two types of mood disorder: bipolar and depression.

  • Psychosomatic and somatoform disorder

  • Dissociative disorder

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorder: Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder characterized by disturbances in thought, emotion, and behavior. Schizophrenics have incoherent thinking, faulty perception, disturbances in motor activity, and flat or inappropriate emotions. They withdraw from people and reality, often into a fantasy world of delusions and hallucinations.

  • Personality disorder: There are three clusters of personality disorder. Under the first cluster paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders are included. In the second cluster dependent, avoidant, and obsessive personality disorders are described. Antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders constitute the third cluster.

Psychotherapeutic Process

There are various kinds of psychotherapeutic techniques which have been developed following sound theoretical frameworks which describe the causes and development of abnormal behaviors. These are psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy and client centered therapy.

Process of Coping with Stress

Task-oriented coping and defense-oriented or emotion-focused coping are the two process of coping with stress.

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