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Psychiatric Disorders

Psychiatric disorders, also known as mental disorders, are anomalies in behavior of mental processes that impair a person’s ability to function in life. The exact causes of many psychiatric disorders are either varied or still unclear. Psychiatric DisordersIn order for a specific mental state to qualify as a disorder, it must cause some dysfunction.

The DSM-IV defines a psychiatric disorder as a pattern that causes distress, and increases the risk of death, pain, or disability. Anxiety is an example of a psychiatric disorder. Phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, and PTSD are all examples of anxiety-related disorders. Other types of disorders include mood disorders, such as major depression or bipolar disorder. Other types of psychiatric disorders include eating or sleep disorders, substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder, and even autism spectrum disorder.

The eventual outcome of any psychiatric disorder largely depends on the specific diagnosis. Treatment is often handled in psychiatric hospitals. Some disorders, such as schizophrenia, can be quite disabling, while others can be managed with medication and therapy. Most unfortunately, many individuals with some type of psychiatric disorder face social stigma and discrimination, often reflective of ignorance and fear in the larger population when it comes to mental health issues in society.

Attached is a framework for doing a psychosocial assessment. The purpose of a psychosocial assessment is to describe accurately and precisely a client(s) in transaction with salient and relevant systems. It also permits the worker's thoughts (inferences) about the relationships between these elements of the case i.e., worker's understanding of client's presenting situation. The assessment should be focused on issues or problems of concern to the clients. The choice of information gathered should relate specifically to social and psychological factors which impinge on the client's well-being. The data gathered and the plan formulated will also be influenced by the agency setting in which the assessment is done. An intervention plan should be developed based on the assessment of the client's needs, the agency context, and the social ¬environmental supports and obstacles.

There are three essential components of a psychosocial assessment:

  1. The study or fact gathering
  2. The assessment
  3. The intervention plan

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