Psychological disorders are patterns of behavioral disorders that affect a victim for a long time. It impacts on various life areas and creates distress to the person suffering and affects ones daily living. It interferes with ones work, school work and even relationships with others. The disorders also affect the family and friends of the victim directly and indirectly. Psychological disorders are classified into neurosis and psychosis. These two classes are further categorized into other disorders to include, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, somatoform disorders schizophrenia disorders and personality disorders. The development of psychological disorders resulted from analysis by mental health workers, psychologists and psychiatrists of a mix of various symptoms that always were found together in a patient and hence the conclusion that these symptoms were a sign of a specific condition. The symptoms include confusion, erratic behavior, hearing voices, hallucinations, headaches, depression, anxiety, fatigue, weight loss and anorexia. This paper will discuss anorexia as one of the psychological disorders, and how it developed. The paper will also discuss principles and theories that can be applied in solving the anxiety problem and how they can be applied. The reason why I chose anxiety disorder is because it affects so many people. The disorder has been downplayed by so many people who may think that it is not worth any attention yet it is a disorder that hinders people’s personal development.
Anxiety disorder is an excessive and extreme feeling of abnormal and irrational fear. It includes generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder and social phobia. The victim experiences moments of fear, terror or panic. The victim has concentration problems and may have feelings of depression. In most cases, the anxious moments are accompanied by physical symptoms that include muscle tension, shaking and trembling, headaches, being irritable, sweating, hot flashes, feelings of nausea and choking (psychology today, 2010). In most cases the disorder is accompanied by other psychological related disorders such as depression and substance abuse.
The diagnosis includes taking the medical and psychiatric history of the patient and a mental health exam by a mental health or psychiatrist. There are possible misdiagnoses in that the disorder can be misdiagnosed. Treatment is different for each type of anxiety disorder, the victim’s medical history, age and general health. Treatment may include psychotherapy. This includes spending time with the patient and gaining trust and the patient’s confidence. The therapy is conducted through open communication or cognitive-behavior therapy whereby the patient disclosed to the psychotherapist about his/her anxieties. Therapy includes cognitive and relaxing habits to divert the victim’s fears and anxieties from the stressor (Borkovec & Costello, 2000). The cognitive behavior therapy takes about 12 weeks for it to be effective. It has to be done with the victim’s permission as the victim’s cooperation is very important for it to be successful. Through these therapy sessions, the patient learns how to cope with the fears and anxieties. The session includes identifying the stressors, grouping them in order of the most stressing one and working on ways to eliminate these stressors. Sometimes treatment is done through group therapy with others who may be suffering from the same type of disorder. This is combined with anti-depressants medication. This can also be combined with physical exercise, yoga and deep breathing. Physical exercise is one way of dealing with anxieties and stress. Victims are also encouraged to talk to trusted friends to ease their anxieties. They are also advised to join support groups where victims offer support to each other. The victim’s family plays a big role in the treatment process as they need to understand and support the victim to healing. The family members will also need to ensure that the victim follows up on treatment.
How it developed
The development of anxiety disorder has been developing in parts. A century ago by Freud noted that anxiety was a common problem in the society. However, its resemblance to the normal anxiety has led to confusion with other types of disorders has caused delays in more research on the subject. General anxiety disorder was distinguished on its own from other disorders in 1980. Social anxiety disorder separations started in the 1900s by identifying shyness being grouped as a social neurosis. In 1950s and 1960s, social anxiety disorder was grouped separate from phobias. In 1980, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM III), that is used and published by the American Psychiatric Association named social phobia and grouped it as a psychiatric diagnosis. In 1987 the term generalized social anxiety disorder was introduced in DSM III. The introduction of DSM III saw the introduction of social anxiety disorder to be used in the place of social phobia. This grouping and categorization of different types of anxiety disorders have helped in making the correct diagnosis and treatment and in further research.
How it affects the community
According to NIMH, there are about 40 million American aged 18 years and above suffer from this disorder in one given year. Anxiety disorder develops slowly and may start from childhood and during the middle age (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2010). Causes of anxiety disorder include failure to control a stressful situation, psychoanalytical and genetics. The victims genes may have a role to play but only after there is an activity to stimulate the anxiety.
Anxiety disorder affects the victim’s everyday living. If the victim is suffering from social phobia, the fears can be so intense such that the victim may not want to go out. This may affect the victim’s social and career life as the victim is too afraid to meet people and face every day’s challenges. A victim may not be able to address a group and thus it hinders a victim from handling managerial jobs successfully as s/he is afraid to address a meeting. Some victims maybe so afraid of meeting people to an extent that they cannot go out to do simple chores on their own and they have to be accompanied by someone else. This not only affects their social lives but also the lives of those that they live with. They become a burden to their families. In addition to this the irritability of the patient during the anxious moment may lead to problems with friend and family who may not know that the patient is suffering from an illness. This creates friction and misunderstandings in the family, workmates and friends. The attacks may at times go on for a long time and during this time the victim may miss school or work, thus affecting productivity and increasing absenteeism in the workplace. Absenteeism affects the employer by lower productivity and increased costs of replacing the employee. The fear may lead to feelings of low self esteem and this may lead to depression. Anxiety disorder may be accompanied by substance abuse. Since the victim cannot control the feelings, she/he may choose a way of escaping the anxiety feelings by engaging into drugs and alcohol. This affects the family and especially when the victim has to spend money intended for other uses by buying drugs or alcohol.
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Anxiety disorders can lead to eating disorders. People choose different methods of dealing with stress; some may choose to over eat while others may refuse to eat. This may lead to other health problems, such as malnutrition, heart related diseases and other diseases that are caused by poor eating habits.
Theories of solving psychological disorders
Persons affected by psychological disorders need to be helped to overcome their problems rather than being assumed or neglected. Common psychological disorders such as dissociative disorders, anxiety somatoform, schizophrenia and mood disorders should not be left to affect the productivity of individuals instead they should be addressed appropriately (Green, & Kreuter, 1991). Given the above statements there is need to have an informed decision making plan so that the patients of the psychological disorders may be adequately helped. This will help in the boosting the morale of the individuals and giving them a reason to live. They will be able to self manage themselves and live normal and productive lives.
Four theories will be applied in this process of transforming the individuals, they include the stress and coping theory, self efficacy theory, the social support theory and learned helpless theory (Green, & Frankish, 1994). These theories will give a basis in which the group will be able to change the lives of those affected by the disorders and give them a new lease in life. The theories will also help in decision making, patient education, patient motivation, family support and behavior change in managing the psychological disorders.
Self efficacy theory
For one to recover effectively from psychological disorders one must be individually strong, i.e. the patient must understand that it starts with accepting oneself and focusing on recovery. Without individual level change the there will be a hard time recovering. Self efficacy is all about acquiring new behaviors, approaches and ideas that will help people create a positive attitude towards life (Green, & Kreuter, 1991). The group therefore must be the agents of change so that the patients will act in response to the change. Patients on the other hand may also act as agents of change to other patients through their recovery process making others desire their progress and work towards it.
The groups aim in changing the world through self efficacy is creating role models within and without the circles of the patients where they can socially learn about themselves and others like them. It also aims to change the perceptions of their health conditions from seeing it as a threat to their lives to seeing it as a challenge which after overcoming they will be triumphant. Creating inspiration to change the patients’ thinking and believe contributes a lot to this theory.
The self efficacy adopts the key component and factor of the patient to have a self perceived capability to deal with the problems they are facing (Green, & Frankish, 1994). This discernment or capability is highly influenced by their belief found in the capacity to build up inspiration, cognitive ideas and the actions and reactions appropriate in overcoming their problems.
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Self efficacy is applied in four schemes to solve the patient management problem, these include; enactive, vicarious, persuasive, and emotive. Enactive involves the instilling of the behavior to the patients; the behavior must reflect the changes needed to recover and give confidence to the patient to repeat the behavioral change (Green, & Kreuter, 1991).
Vicarious ways involve use of a psychological disorder role model; this will help the persons to manage their behavior as the role models and lead to the change in behavior. Persuasive ways include encouragement and motivating the patient to change the belief of losers and focus on recovery. This will be effective in altering the feelings of the patients with psychological disorders. Emotive ways involve use of emotions to enable the patient believe in him/herself. This arouses the patients perform tasks better and more focused since they have the inner motivation to do so.
Coping is the gradual and consistent transformation in cognitive and behavior attempts to manage specific demands that may be superseding the patients’ strengths. The idea is to enhance the ability of the patients to be able to cope with the situation at hand and ensuring a personal approach to the process of recovery (Green, & Frankish, 1994). Coping strategies such as self-control, escape-avoidance, confronting, accepting responsibility, distancing, activity, self-talk seeking social support, positive reappraisal, and distraction may be used combined to ensure they recover.
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In confrontations the patient is taught on tackling the problem head on rather than fearing the outcomes although this is least used it may be helpful in changing the attitude of the patients. Distancing involves avoiding any stressing situations that may hinder full recovery or compromise on the recovery process. The patient is taught on the potential hazards that may be hazardous to their health and asked to avoid them at all costs.
Escape avoidance will help the patient not to avoid basic treatment procedures such as therapy which to them may not be important; it stresses on the importance of every step in the recovery process whether main or supplemental to the process (Green, & Kreuter, 1991). Self control is highly encouraged among all patients since without them being in control the process of change is compromised.
To cope well the society must be involved as a whole; the patient must also seek social support. Creating a network with the same psychological disorder is very effective since they will seek to encourage each other and form a bond that makes them strong and better placed to recover. They must also be able to accept responsibility of their situation and be able to change their lives; this is achieved through proper mentoring so as to have self control and coping ability (Green, & Frankish, 1994).
Each patient must be equipped with ways of solving problems in that the patient fully understands whatever is going on and can be able to solve emergency problems. This includes the activities needed to recover or control themselves such as dieting and stress management. Persons must also be taught on reappraising themselves where they can establish their progress and be able to focus on a positive change. Coping also requires distraction of the patient from negative impacts; through this the patient is able to focus on the positive and avoid complication. Distraction measures applied include involvement in sports and hobbies so as to have less time to indulge in negative issues (Green, & Frankish, 1994).
Self talk is also applied to help the patient personally to cope with any difficulties; the patient is encouraged on positive thinking which helps them to cope with all the major conditions. The group has a comprehensive plan to address the coping mechanisms of the psychological disorders particularly anorexia.
Learned Helplessness Theory
In the group the learned helplessness theory works hand in hand with the coping theory but includes educational programs that help the patients’ have the skills to approach their problems (Green, & Frankish, 1994).
Social Support Theory
Society must be involved in the patients’ recovery process the group incorporates all necessary measures so as to ensure a quick transformation of all psychological disorder patients. The society is involved in programs such as availing resources, rewarding, comforting and approving of different policies (Green, & Frankish, 1994). The society therefore plays a very important role in contributing to both the programs and patients’ recovery. Social networks that include stakeholders in the health sector are included to ensure a comprehensive social support theory for the psychological disorder patients.
Principles of solving psychological disorders
The theories discussed above need to be interconnected with principles so as to have a comprehensive and beneficial evaluation plan of all the psychological disorders. Such principles will be effective in addressing the issues of prevention, acceptance, research and cure. They include; Principle of educational diagnosis, Principle of hierarchy, Principle of cumulative learning, Principle of participation, Principle of situational specificity, Principle of multiple methods, Principle of individualization, Principle of relevance, Principle of feedback, Principle of reinforcement and Principle of facilitation (Green, & Frankish, 1994).
Principle of educational diagnosis entails identifying the causes of the disorder. As described earlier there are neurosis and psychosis type of psychological disorders. The educational diagnosis will include learning the signs and symptoms such as confusion, erratic behavior, hearing voices, hallucinations, headaches, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and weight loss (Green, & Kreuter, 1991). With this perspective the patient is well assured that the problem is adequately addressed and the best actions are being taken.
The principle of hierarchy considers all the sequential steps that disorders take. This includes all the stages that patient’s exhibit. The groups focus is very comprehensive in dealing with anorexia where the patients are monitored to ensure they don’t reach the progressive and serious stages of the disorders which may lead to death. Serious cases are also prioritized making it easy to have best intervention measures.
Principle of cumulative learning helps to incorporate all the experiences that the patient has undergone and incorporate them in the treatment process and thus change their lives (Green, & Frankish, 1994). Cumulative learning helps the group focus on the comprehensive plans to address a single problem since enough data is collected to solve similar problems.
Principle of participation involves allowing all stakeholders to be actively involved in the transformation process of the patients (Green, & Frankish, 1994). They will be involved in all necessary processes that require their attention and contribution. Principle of situational specificity helps in treating every case as special. In the light that all people are different there is need for each case to be treated differently (Green, & Kreuter, 1991). The uniqueness of every case is useful to the patient to have a personal approach to their case thus ensuring all situations are handled effectively.
Principle of multiple methods allows the group to have different modes to deal with a similar problem that gives a comprehensive strategy to deal with any stalemate. Principle of relevance ensures that all the applied methods are relevant and related to psychological disorders so that the process is successful (Green, & Frankish, 1994). Principle of feedback ensures that there is a feedback from all parties which allows better ways to evaluate and monitor patients’ progress and changes in any programs. The principle of reinforcement stresses the need for an appropriate plan to support all programs in that there can be rewards to sustain different behavioral patterns in patients’ (Green, & Frankish, 1994). This will be effective to ensure the programs are sustainable and successful.
The principle of facilitation allows the group to intervene at the most appropriate time. The action and reaction of the programs is effective since the facilitation of the programs of patient management are already planned and effected at the right time (Green, & Kreuter, 1991). The group’s comprehensive principle guidelines allow the effective management of the program that contributes to changing the lives of those living with psychological disorders.
My personal views
In my personal view psychological disorders have a serious effect not only on the victim but in the society in general. I also believe that the disorders have not been given as much attention as they deserve. I believe there are more people suffering from disorders than the records show. In my view, there are many crimes that are committed by people who are suffering and are victims of these disorders. These people have not sought the help that they require. They have been unable to deal with their anxieties and fears. The suppressed feelings have resulted to inner anger and to release these feelings some have killed and others have committed suicide.