The topic of psychological disorders is one that has attracted the attention of many psychology scholars resulting in the writing of many articles on this topic. This is mainly due to the trivial nature of the topic and its effects on the society. However, some materials are more helpful than others are in the understanding of this subject. The first thing in this study is understanding the meaning of the term psychological disorders. The article by Kendra Cherry provides a substantive definition of psychological disorders. According to Cherry, a psychological disorder is “a pattern of behavioral or psychological symptoms that impact multiple life areas” (Cherry, 2010). The article also adds that a psychological disorder can also be referred to as a mental disorder.
The next step in understanding this subject is finding out the different classifications of psychological disorders. Most of the materials written on this subject identify several divisions of psychological disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) identifies the following as part of the psychological disorders that exist in America; mental, mood, anxiety, personality and anxiety disorders (2010). Additionally, the institute also identifies schizophrenia, autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as part of the psychological disorders that exist among the American people. The information given by the National Institute of Mental Health is very valuable in this research as it helps gain an overview of what disorders actually affect the American people. The article acknowledges that psychological disorders are a common phenomenon not only in the United States but also in other countries worldwide. The disorders vary from mild psychological abnormalities to serious mental illnesses that may be fatal if not dealt with accordingly. It is also important to note that it is possible for a person to be affected by more than one psychological disorder at a given time (NIMH, 2010). Some disorders develop as a product of others, which adversely affect the patients.
One of the most discussed psychological disorders is the anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are some of the most common types of disorders in the world today. According to an article published in the USA Weekend by The Doctors, the most common type is the General Anxiety Disorder commonly refereed to as GAD. A person diagnosed with this disorder is often anxious about things that other people take as normal. They often worry about their health, family and work even where there is no need for worry. Additionally, people with this disorder often face insomnia as they stay up at night worrying about everything. Such people often experience bouts of anxiety especially before performing a major task, which requires attention (The Doctors, 2010). They have an extreme fear of failure and would do anything to achieve what they want. According to this article, GAD affects both children and adults and is more prevalent among women than men (The Doctors, 2010).
These articles also include other types of anxiety disorders apart from GAD. This includes panic disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress and different types of phobias (NIMH, 2010). Post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of psychological disorder, which affects people after they have been through a traumatic experience. For example, war, car accidents, chronic illnesses, physical and especially sexual harassment among others. Most people do not realize that they suffer from post-traumatic stress until other people notice behavior change after the experience. According to the article by The Doctors, it is important for persons with any kind of anxiety disorder to seek medical help. The first form of therapy for people with such disorders is cognitive behavior therapy (The doctors, 2010). This helps the patients change their thoughts thus focusing on thoughts that are more positive. Additionally, the patients can be given anti-depressants, which reduce the occurrence of anxiety attacks. The articles by the NIMH and The Doctors have provided valuable information on anxiety disorders, which are very common.
Since psychological disorders directly affect the society, it is important to understand how the society views people with psychological disorders and how they react to them. One of the most valuable sources for this study is that by Lopez and Guarnaccia, which was published by the Annual Review of Psychology in 2000. People across different cultures have different believes when it comes to psychological and mental illnesses. In this view, it is important for all researchers to understand each patient in relation to their cultural beliefs. This will help create an all rounded diagnosis, which involves treatments that are culturally accepted among different people (Lopez & Guarnaccia, 2000). The article also outlines the importance of conducting research that is culturally oriented when analyzing psychological problems.
In addition to the written materials on psychological disorders, there are audio and visual materials that can be used to analyze these problems. In any culture, film and music are used as media forms, which are a representation of the society. The 2009 film, The Uninvited is one such film which us a depiction of how people can be affected by mental disorders. The story is about a young woman who has a mental disorder, which prompts her to murder other people. The girl also experiences confusing illusions in an attempt to block bad memories. This film is a valuable source of information as it helps people understand the effects of mental illnesses on people. Additionally, the song 21st Century Schizoid man by King Crimson is also a depiction of how schizophrenia affects people in the society. Though written as a political satire, the song still shows how people view schizophrenia. In summary, psychological disorders is a wide topic and the sources discussed above give valuable information that can be used in its study.
Cherry, K. (2010). What is a psychological disorder: Definition, diagnosis and prevalence. Retrieved from
Fripp, R., McDonald, I., Lake, G., Giles, M., & Sinfield, P. (1969). 21st Century Schizoid Man. [Recorded by King Crimson]. On In the Court of Crimson King [CD]. New York, NY: Atlantic Records.
Grillo, M. (Producer), Guard, D., & Guard, T. (Directors.). (2009). The Uninvited [motion picture]. United States: DreamWorks Pictures.
Lopez, S. R., & Guarnaccia, J. J. (2000). Cultural Psychopathology: Uncovering the social world of mental illness. Annual Review of Psychology, 51: 571-598.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2010). The numbers count: Mental disorders in America. Retrieved from
Psychological Disorders. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.fidnet.com/~weid/disorders.htm#TOP
The Doctors. (2010, Nov 14). Constantly Feeling stressed? There’s help. USA Weekend. Retrieved from