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Psycology » Signs and symptoms of a mental disorder

Protective mechanisms

Until now, we were interested in aspects of descriptive psychopathology, or in other words, abnormal mental experiences that the patient can describe, as well as changes in behavior that can observe other people. Now we turn to the dynamic aspect of psychopathology, which at this point deserves special attention. It does not apply to any psychic phenomena, which the patient is able to describe, nor his behavior. Rather, it is a set of processes that may help to explain certain kinds of experiences or behaviors. Home study these so-called defense mechanisms were put Sigmund Freud, then razrab

Disorders of attention and concentration

Attention is the ability to focus mental activity on an object, and the ability to retain this focus concentration. These abilities can be reduced in various psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depressive disorders, mania, schizophrenia and organic disorders. Therefore, detection of violations of attention and concentration does not help in the diagnosis. However, these violations are important to consider in the management of the patient: they, in particular, affect his ability to give and receive information, and the inability to adequately concentrate may adversely affect the performance Pats

Insight (awareness of his mental condition)

Insight can be defined as awareness of their own mental state *. Achieve adequate representation in this case is difficult because it implies a certain idea of ​​what is a healthy mind, and yet even the experts can not reach a consensus on the content of concepts such as mental health and mental illness. Moreover, the problem is not confined to registering the presence or absence of awareness of the patient's mental condition, rather it is about the extent to which it is present. Therefore it is better to break this question into four separate sub-questions. Whether the patient is aware of the phenomenon, obs

Motor symptoms and signs

For all types of mental illness are often observed anomalies in social behavior, facial expression and demeanor. They are considered in Sec. 2, where it is a survey of the patient. There is also a lot of specific motor symptoms. Except for tics, such symptoms are observed mainly in patients with schizophrenia. These phenomena are described here briefly for reference, and their clinical communication are discussed in Chap. 9. Tiki is irregularly repetitive movements covering a specific group of muscles, such as movement of the head to the side or lifting one shoulder. Mannerism is expressed in repetitive movements, and

Memory disorders

Memory loss called Amnesia. With mental disorders are some species of memory disorders, and we can assume that they generally correspond to the processes of memory, which, as is commonly believed, occur in healthy people. Despite the fact that psychologists are not agreed on the structure of normal memory, widely used to obtain the following diagram. Human memory thus functioning as if it is comprised of three kinds of storage. Touch vault (first type) has a limited ability to obtain information from the senses and the ability to hold it for a short period of time (about

Disorders of consciousness

Consciousness is awareness of self and environment. Level of consciousness may vary between poles such as wakefulness and coma. Quality consciousness may also vary: the dream is different from unconsciousness and stupor (see below) and on and from the other. To indicate consciousness disorders Many terms are used. Coma is the most extreme form of such disorders. If this condition is not observed outward signs of mental activity, physical activity, except for the breathing, is virtually nonexistent. The patient does not respond even to strong stimuli. Depth of coma can be evaluated in terms of surviving Refl

Disorders of body image (ideas about your own body)

Body image, or body image, it's a subjective view, according to which a man makes judgments about the integrity of the body, assesses the state of its parts and their movement. For neurologists previous years was postural body scheme model (see: Head 1920). Schilder (1935) in his book The image and appearance of the human body argued that postural model is just a lower level of organization of the body schema, and that there are also higher psychological levels based on emotion, personality and social interaction. It is known that, in clinical practice, there are abnormalities of body image, which much more affect the important points is not

Depersonalization and derealization

Depersonalization is a change in consciousness, due to which a person does not feel real. Patients experiencing this condition, it is difficult to describe it; usually speak of alienation from their own feelings and inability to experience emotions. A similar change in relation to the environment is called derealization. In this state the objects seem unreal and lifeless people dimensional cardboard figures. Although patients in both cases complain about the inability to experience emotions, nevertheless, depersonalization, derealization, and describes them as a very unpleasant experience. These basic characteristics


A phobia is a persistent irrational fear of some specific object, activity or situation and the desire to avoid such. Irrationality to be understood in the sense that such a fear does not match the real danger, and the person experiencing this feeling, is aware of this. However, it is difficult to control your fear, and hence the desire to minimize the chances of objects or situations that cause this reaction. Subject that provokes fear, may be a living being, such as a dog, a snake or a spider or a natural phenomenon, such as darkness or thunder. Situations that provoke fear include a crowd of people, height, open space consisting of

Experimental Psychopathology mood

Still experimental psychopathology most fruitfully applied to states of anxiety and depression. Under these conditions the study focused on how ideas about the symptoms can intensify and prolong the anxiety condition. For example, patients in a state of anxiety often think that the physical symptoms such as palpitations, heart attack mean approximation that is a harbinger of dizziness or loss of consciousness that increasing mental stress lead to a loss of control (Beck et al. 1974a; Hibbert 1984a) . Changing these representations through cognitive therapy (see Chap. Sect 18
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