Related topics: mental health · schizophrenia

First complete wiring diagram of an animal's nervous system

In a study published online today in Nature, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine describe the first complete wiring diagram of the nervous system of an animal, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, used by ...

Make room on the couch: Worms suffer from PTSD, too

The ability to anticipate the future is key to the survival of all living things. Like humans, worms are capable of forming associative memories—that is, memories that associate a certain sound or smell or tone of voice ...

New genes linked with bigger brains identified

A number of new links between families of genes and brain size have been identified by UK scientists, opening up a whole new avenue of research to better understand brain development and diseases like dementia.

Healing plants inspire new compounds for psychiatric drugs

Treatments used by traditional healers in Nigeria have inspired scientists at Northwestern University to synthesize four new chemical compounds that could one day lead to better therapies for people with psychiatric disorders.

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Mental disorder

A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture. The recognition and understanding of mental disorders has changed over time and across cultures. Definitions, assessments, and classifications of mental disorders can vary, but guideline criteria listed in the ICD, DSM and other manuals are widely accepted by mental health professionals. Categories of diagnoses in these schemes may include dissociative disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders, ambulatory disorders and many other categories. In many cases there is no single accepted or consistent cause of mental disorders, although they are often explained in terms of a diathesis-stress model and biopsychosocial model. Mental disorders have been found to be common, with over a third of people in most countries reporting sufficient criteria at some point in their life. Services for mental disorders may be based in hospitals or in the community. Mental health professionals diagnose individuals using different methodologies, often relying on case history and interview. Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options, as well as supportive interventions and self-help. Treatment may be involuntary where legislation allows. Several movements campaign for changes to services and attitudes.

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