Fernando, Gaithri A. Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, California.
Last reviewed:September 2016
Show previous versions
- Significance of mental disorders
- Classifying psychological disorders
- Inherent problems
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Clusters of emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral symptoms in an individual reflecting an underlying psychobiological disturbance of sufficient severity to cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning. Mental disorders constitute a large class of disorders. Also known as psychological or psychiatric disorders, they are associated with distress, harmful dysfunction, and disability. Although the term “mental disorders” is not currently favored by many psychiatrists and psychologists because of its implied dichotomy of mind (brain; Fig. 1) and body, it continues to be used in the absence of a more descriptive and universally accepted term. To be classified as a mental disorder, the reported or observed symptoms should be significantly outside the norm of what is culturally expected, although culturally unacceptable behavior alone cannot be classified as a psychological disorder (for example, homosexuality in a homophobic society). The scientific study of psychological disorders is known as psychopathology. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a taxonomy developed by the American Psychiatric Association that classifies and describes psychiatric disorders. The taxonomy includes neurodevelopmental disorders, schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, bipolar and related disorders, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, trauma- and stressor-related disorders, dissociative disorders, somatic symptom and related disorders, feeding and eating disorders, sleep-wake disorders, sexual dysfunctions, gender dysphoria, DIC (disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct) disorders, substance-related and addictive disorders, neurocognitive disorders, paraphilic disorders, and personality disorders. See also: Brain; Psychology; Psychosis
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information