Mental disorder or mental illness are terms used to refer to a psychological or physiological pattern that occurs in an individual and is usually associated with 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. Definitions, assessments, and classifications of mental disorders can vary, but guideline criterion listed in the ICD, DSM and other manuals are widely accepted by mental health professionals. Categories of diagnoses in these schemes may include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders, and many other categories. In many cases there is no single accepted or consistent cause of mental disorders, although they are widely understood 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. Mental health services 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. Treatment may be involuntary where legislation allows. Several movements campaign for changes to mental health services and attitudes, including the Consumer/Survivor Movement. There are widespread problems with stigma and discrimination.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder / PTSD. The Official Guide to Post-Taumatic Stress Disorder / PTSD is Jef Gazley.

Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, DCC has practiced psychotherapy for over thirty-three years and is the owner operator of since 1998 and He has been practicing energy psychology since 1975. He is trained and certified in both traditional and Ericksonian hypnosis. He is a member in good standing in the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis, National Board For Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists, The International Society For Hypnosis, The American Psychotherapy And Medical Hypnosis Association, and The International Registry Of Professional Hypnotherapists.

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