Characteristics of mental disorders


Characteristics of Phobias

Overview: irrational fear to a specific object or situation.DSM diagnoses phobias. Persistant fear which effects their life.   3 types 

1) specific Phobias - situation/ object 

2) Social Phobias - humiliation in public 

3) agoraphobia- public places 

Emotional: Phobias are classed as an anxity disorder, the primsry emotional charaterisic of a phobia is fear- this is persistant and is likely to be excessive and unreasonable, endured with extreme anxiety and stress. 

Behavioural: The most obvious behavioural charateristic associated with phobias is avoidence. when the person is faced with situation/fear the individual will immediately try and avoid it. A person will ensure that they don`t encounter the phobias, this can impact on their day to day life. 

Cognitve: these charateristics relate to thought processes, in regards to phobias it is the irrational nature of the individual thinking and there resistance to rational arguements 

1 of 3

Charateristics of Depression

Overview: Mood disorder which usuall occurs in people aged 20- 40 years. The two core symptoms are depresssed mood and diminished or lack of intrest in pleasure or activities 

Emotional:depressive disorder which requiresx the presence of at least five symptoms an must include either sadness or loss of interest and pleasure in normal activities. 

Behavioural: most individuals who have depression will have a reduced or increased activity level. many individuals experience reduced energy, a sense of triedness and want to sleep all the time. however some will become more agitated and restless and therefore pace around the room. Appetite may be affected and again some may have an increased appetite whereas others may not want to eat.

Cognitive: the negetive emotions related to depression are normally linked to negative thoughts. these individuals will normallly have a negitive view of the world and expec bad things to happen rather than good. 

2 of 3

Characteristics of OCD

Overview: obsessions are persistant intrusive thoughts; they are classed as internal components because they are thoughts. compulsions are repetitive behaviours amd classed as external components because they are behavours. to be diagnosed with OCD these need to be persistant over a significant period of time over two weeks. 

Emotional: obsessions and compulsions bring out anxiety and distress. individuals who suffer from OCD are aware theor behaviour is excessive and this can cause embarrasment and shame. 

Behavioural: compulsive behaviours are performed to reduce anxiety created by the obsessions. They are repetative and unconcealed. individuals are compelled to perform these actions otherwise something dredful may happen. 

Cognitive:obessions are recurrent, intrusive thoughts or impulses that are percived as inapropriate or forbidden. these may be frightening and/or embarrasing and they are not shared with others. 

3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Psychopathology resources »