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Classification Of Mental Disorders: Their Clinical Significance In Psychiatry

Updated on February 20, 2014

Drug Dependence And Alcoholism

Excessive indulgence in habit forming, drugs such as Ganja, opium, morphine, pethidine, phenobarbitone, amphetamine, diazepam, and alcohol with its dangerous consequences come under this group.
Excessive indulgence in habit forming, drugs such as Ganja, opium, morphine, pethidine, phenobarbitone, amphetamine, diazepam, and alcohol with its dangerous consequences come under this group. | Source

A clinical Overview

From the previous hub, we discussed psychosis and neurosis. These are not the only mental disorders in existence. There are more such as personality disorders, sexual deviations, drug dependence and alcoholism, psychosomatic disorders, behaviour disorders of childhood and mental retardation.

Mental Disorders

Personality disorders: There are individuals who look apparently normal, but their character traits become maladaptive in particular social contexts. It is a persistent disorder of the mind. As a result, they become misfits in society. Such maladaptive states result from personality disorders including psychopathy.

Sexual disorders: In the group of sexual deviations, all kinds of unnatural sexual behavious are included such as homosexuality, transexualism, fetichsim, necrophilia, bestiality, sodomy, pedophilia etc. The individual derives orgasmic pleasure through these kinds of perverted sexual activity. Note that, there is great argument, going on about homosexuality, especially due to the growing influence of their popularity and support from the society. More researches are ongoing and there are links coming out between homosexuality and the pheromones. Nevertheless, a large part of global health still classifies it under a sexual disorder.

Drug dependence and alcoholism: Excessive indulgence in habit forming, drugs such as Ganja, opium, morphine, pethidine, phenobarbitone, amphetamine, diazepam, and alcohol with its dangerous consequences come under this group.

Psychosomatic disorders: These include physical illnesses which are either produced or aggravated b y psychic stress. These illnesses are more common to affect particular organ systems in the body, eg, respiratory system- bronchial asthma, and allergic rhinitis; Cardiovascular system- hypertension, coronary artery diseases, arrhythmias; gastrointestinal system, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome; Genitourinary system- impotence and frigidity. Skin= eczema, Psoriasis and neurodermatitis. In many cases, a person may suffer from the involvement of several systems simultaneously.

Mental Retardation

There are different grades of mental subnormality such as borderline, mild, moderate, severe and profound depending upon the intelligence of the subject. The mental subnormality is detectable in childhood itself.
There are different grades of mental subnormality such as borderline, mild, moderate, severe and profound depending upon the intelligence of the subject. The mental subnormality is detectable in childhood itself. | Source

More Mental Disorders

Behaviour disorders of childhood: Certain psychiatric disorders are found specifically during childhood. These are the hyperkinetic reactions, over-anxious reactions and delinquent reactions. In addition, there are specific habit disorders like disturbances of sleep, speech, feeding, enuresis, etc. The abnormalities of sleep include night terror, nightmare and sleepwalking or smonabulism. The disorder of speech mainly takes the form of stuttering. Refusal to eat, vomiting and food- faddism are the disturbances in feeding. Other psychiatric illnesses seen in adults may also be found among children but their manifestations get modified since the worldly experience of the little child is different from that of the adult.

Mental retardation: It is also called mental subnormality. It denotes subaverage growth of intelligence and it is associated with impairment in social functioning. There are different grades of mental subnormality such as borderline, mild, moderate, severe and profound depending upon the intelligence of the subject. The mental subnormality is detectable in childhood itself.

As it is, the classification of mental diseases is not entirely satisfactory. The W.H.O has issued the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) including mental diseases, and this is generally accepted. The American psychiatric Association has made its own system known as the Diagnostic and statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) which is also in vogue.

© 2014 Funom Theophilus Makama

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