The Four Major Classes Of Functional Mental Disorders

Later in this lesson, certain drugs and their uses will be discussed. In order for you to understand the use of some of the drugs, you must be aware of the four major classes of functional mental disorders.

NOTE: Reality testing is an ego function that consists of an individual's ability to recognize and interpret the surrounding world (that is, what's going on?). The ability to recognize and interpret the surrounding world allows an individual to meet the demands of life and make survival judgments.

a. Neuroses (Neurotic Disorders). Neuroses are a group of conditions characterized by the development of anxiety because of unresolved unconscious conflicts. The neurotic person is anxious, but he does not know the cause of his anxiety. These conditions tend to become chronic. Reality testing is maintained. That Is, the neurotic remains in touch with reality.

b. Psychoses (Psychotic Disorders). Psychoses are a group of disorders with more or less severe disturbances of thought, mood, and/or behavior. Psychoses are usually chronic, but short episodes of psychosis do sometimes occur. Reality testing is always lost in one or more important respects. That is, a psychotic is not entirely in touch with his environment.

c. Personality Disorders. Personality disorders are types of mental disorders characterized by lifelong maladaptive patterns of adjustment to life. These types of disorders tend to be chronic. Personality disorders are usually recognized by adolescence. Reality testing is usually preserved.

d. Transient Situational Disturbances (Adjustment Disorders). Transient situational disturbances (TSD) are temporary emotional disorders of any severity, which occur as reactions to overwhelming environmental stress. Reality testing may or may not be impaired during the acute phase of these disorders.

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