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MD (Psychiatry)
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Common Psychiatric Disorders

Note : The following contents are for educational purpose only. Readers discrition, and if required, consultation with a psychiatrist is advised.

Some common psychiatric disorders and their general presentations are -

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Symptoms of anxiety disorder are -

  • Palpitation or pounding heart beats, accelerated heart rate.
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensation of shortness of breath
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain and discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded or faint
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Chills or hot flushes
  • Worrying too much about problem or health
  • Repeatedly thinking the same distressing thoughts again & again despite efforts to stop thinking them

When all the above symptoms of anxiety occur in severe attack lasting only a few minutes. Panic attacks typically start suddenly & make sufferer feel terrified that something terrible is going to happen & they are going to die.

The person feels scared only in specific situation. Common situation are crowded or closed spaces like small room or lift or in social situation such as meeting people. The person with a phobia often begins to avoid situation that causes anxiety or person may even stop going out of the house altogether.

One of the commonest mental disorder affecting major part of population. World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked depression fourth in a list of most urgent health problem world-wide. Depressive disorders afflict at least 20% of women and 12% of men at some time during their lives. Rate of suicide is higher than in general population, in both young & elderly men suffering from depression. Symptoms are -

  • Sadness or depressed mood
  • Tiredness and feeling of fatigue & weakness
  • Vague aches & pain all over body
  • Loss of interest in life , social interactions and work
  • Inappropriate guilt / feeling of worthlessness
  • Helplessness, hopelessness about the future
  • Low self esteem or feeling of inferiority / thoughts that he is not good as others
  • Suicidal ideas / plans or thoughts that it would be better if he / she was not alive
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Poor appetite
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Poor concentration or forgetfulness

Also known as Obsessice compulsive neurosis (OCN) or Obsessice compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsession - unwanted & unpleasant things that a person thinks repeatedly.

Compulsion - things that a person does repeatedly to reduce the anxiety associated with obsession.

OCD is a very common disorder which causes a lot of distress and disability. Symptoms are -

  • Fear of dirt or germs associated with feared consequence from contacting contaminated object (spreading a diseases or contracting an illness). Repeated washing is associated compulsion.
  • Patient concern excessively that they will be responsible for dire event as a result of their carelessness. It is associated with repeated checking behavior. Example - fear of causing a fire which leads to checking the store repeatedly, checking the door lock excessively to avoid theft.
  • Irrationals and persistent fear of developing a serious life-threatening illness.
  • Repeated mental counting or praying.
  • Repeated forbidden or perverse sexual thoughts or images which may involve children, incest or homosexuality etc.

It is one of the severe but treatable mental illness. About 1% of total population is suffering from schizophrenia. Symptoms are -

  • Firm beliefs that are untrue; for example believing that thoughts are being controlled by outside forces or that people are trying to kill or plotting to harm him / her or that he / she is being cheated by spouse / sexual partner.
  • Hearing or seeing things that no one else can; often these are frightening.
  • Severe behavior disturbance such as restlessness and aggression.
  • Talking nonsense or irrelevant.
  • Loss of interest ∓ motivation in daily activities
  • Decline in major areas of functioning like work, social and interpersonal relations or scholastic / academic performance.
  • Withdrawal from social activity.
  • Poor self care & hygiene.