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Over the past decades, psychiatry has advanced significantly as a medical discipline as a result of significant research. Today we have many new diagnostic tools and treatment methods. Many new medicines have been introduced. We have more data on how to use these medicines and which patients benefit the most from different types of medicines. Psychiatry has also developed new types of psychotherapy for several mental illnesses.

Mental disorders are placed in different categories based on their shared symptoms.


A disorder characterized by persistent, prolonged or excessive problem with their mood like pervasive sadness/depression or feeling euphoric or elated for no reason.


These are highly common group of disorders. Phobias (fear of an object/place/situation causes fear to the point of avoidance), generalized anxiety disorder ( excessive fear/nervousness associated with muscle tension) and panic disorders (bouts of anxiety attacks when individuals feel their heart pounding, feel short of breath, have tingly sensations in their extremities) are forms of anxiety disorders. In OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), people may have repetitive thoughts that are distressing and anxiety provoking and consequently, they may develop ritualistic behavior like washing/checking etc.


This is a type of disorder when an individual loses touch with reality. This can manifest as hallucinations - person hearing voices/noises when he/she is alone; the voices either talk to the person or about the person, can sometimes give a running commentary. Patients with psychosis may also have delusions- fixed firm false belief that may not be in keeping with socio-cultural aspects. Often people can be suspicious believing that they are being followed/ beliefs that people are talking about them behind their back/ their thoughts are known to everyone.


They may share behavioral/emotional problems similar to other disorders. They may present with confusion as well like not knowing where they are or unable to recognize familiar places/people. The root cause may be physical damage like stroke/electrolyte imbalance. Dementia is classed as an organic disorder.


This is a pervasive/persistent disorder, usually present since childhood and can affect various aspects of an individual like language, behavior, emotions and motor skills. They are likely to be lifelong conditions. Intellectual disability (Mental retardation), Autism and ADHD come under this category


Often linked with early trauma or abuse when that child is forming his/her own sense of self in relation to others, world view and coping skills for stress. Having a personality disorder adversely impacts on the functional abilities related to forming relationships in adulthood.


This is a condition when a person has become addicted to a substance (alcohol/tobacco/cannabis etc.), either physically or psychologically to the point that they have lost control over the frequency or quantity of use. The person will use it despite a negative impact on health, relationships and functioning.


In these patients have a distorted body image (believing that they are fat eve when others say otherwise). They develop restrictive patterns of eating or use extreme behaviors to lose weight like exercise/using laxatives/induced vomiting). Bulimia and Anorexia are common eating disorders.