A Brief Explanation for Axis I Disorders in the DSM-IV-TR
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A Brief Explanation for Axis I Disorders in the DSM-IV-TR

The DSM – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is listing of mental illnesses. This article will give a brief introduction to the various disorders found on Axis I. Axis I is the axis for the most severe types of medical disorders such as psychotic disorders where people are completely out of touch with reality.

The last article dealt with the categories of mental illness and psychosocial issues that could arise. This article will give a brief description of these categories to allow for a better understanding. 

Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence

This is a broad category which tries to define just about anything that could happen to a child such as mental retardation, separation anxiety, ADHD, and learning disorders.

Substance Disorders

This category deals with anything that could impair functioning such as alcohol and drug abuse.

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

This is the category which is the most severe of all the mental Illnesses. Sufferers of schizophrenia are not in touch with reality.  The may say or think very bizarre thoughts.  They are often tormented people who leery of the world.  They can be helped with medication and some sufferers can live a productive life.

Mood Disorders

Moods are usually classified in two categories; depression and mania.  A person suffering from just depression may have clinical depression while a person whose mood swings from depression to mania and back may have bipolar disorder.

Anxiety Disorders

Phobias and panic disorders can be found in this classification. You would also find obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder in this category as well.

Somatoform Disorders

Here you have disorders which have physical symptoms but originate in the mind.  Briquet’s syndrome and pain disorder are two examples.  There are also conversion disorders where patients can loss their ability to talk or walk.  Hypochondria where minor symptoms are exaggerated and body dysmorphic disorder where the patients are dissatisfied with the way they look.

Dissociative Disorders

The category pertains to people who suddenly disconnect; they can go for periods of amnesia known as dissociative fugue or suffer from multiple personalities known as dissociative identity disorder.

Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

This category will include voyeurism, sadism and masochism, people who identify themselves as a member of the opposite sex.

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders include insomnia, nightmares, and night terrors and so on.

Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders included in this category are anorexia and bulimia.

Factitious Disorder

This category is for people who are always complaining about being sick when no real sickness is found.

Adjustment Disorder

This category is reserved for people who are having trouble adjusting after a life stressor but their behaviour does not quality for any other mental disorder.

Impulse Control Disorder

This category is for people whose behavior becomes out of control.  The types of illness would include kleptomania, pyromania, uncontrolled anger, pathological gambling and so on.

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