Kleptomania You don't need that thing, and you can afford to buy it, but you can't help yourself: you just take it. Kleptomaniacs compulsively steal items that are not needed or have little monetary value, and experience a rush of pleasure as a result.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ↓
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.
You wake up with your heart pounding, and maybe even with a shout. Isolated nightmares are normal, but when dreams resulting in extreme terror or anxiety recur often they can become a debilitating sleep disorder.
Compulsive overeaters, or binge eaters, engage in short feasts wherein they consume a large amount of calories. Unlike bulimics, they do not purge after these episodes, and thus tend to gain weight. They often struggle with feelings of shame and depression.
Malingering is the purposeful production of falsely or grossly exaggerated complaints with the goal of receiving a reward. These may include money, insurance settlement, drugs or the avoidance of punishment, work, jury duty, the military or some other kind of service. A malingerer may respond to items in a certain manner to attain release from incarceration. One example is the case of Ganser syndrome, which is when a person tailors their answers to fake psychosis. This syndrome is also known as approximation, or nonsense syndrome. Malingering can lead to abuse of the medical system, with unnecessary tests being performed and time being wasted by the clinician as opposed to those with legitimate health problems. A malingerer may attempt to raise the temperature of a thermometer through heat from a lamplight or alter a urine sample by adding sand to it; however, if the malingerer is more discreet, the clinician will have great difficulty gathering evidence for an accurate diagnosis.
Research on how to increase positive moods and capitalize on your strengths has proliferated lately thanks to the positive psychology movement, and has shed light on ongoing insights into personality, mood, and cognition. Not everyone is born with a sunny disposition, but experts agree we can all learn how to bring more meaning and satisfaction into our lives.
The face of aging America has changed dramatically in recent years. As the baby boomer generation enters the golden years, people are living longer and healthier lives. In fact, life expectancy has shot to age 85.
What Is Insomnia? ↓
What Is Insomnia?
Almost everyone goes through bouts of sleeplessness from time to time. It happens to the average person about once a year. That's the cost of being human and having the capacity to worry about the future and chew over the past.
Chronic insomnia, however, is marked by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or waking up too early. If it takes you thirty minutes or more to fall asleep, or you're awake for thirty minutes or more during the night at least three times a week–for a month or more–you're offically suffering from insomnia.
Insomnia has major effects on mood as well as alertness. It is also a classic symptom of depression.
Short-acting sleeping pills may improve sleep and next-day alertness. But the best way to handle a bout of insomnia is to do nothing; the body's sleep mechanism tends to right itself, if given the chance.
The most effective treatments for chronic insomnia are behavioral techniques that eliminate sleep anxiety and allow the body's own sleep cycle to kick in.
What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? ↓
What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
From hoarding to hand-washing to forever checking the stove, obsessive-compulsive disorder takes many forms. It is an anxiety disorder that traps people in repetitive thoughts and behavioral rituals that can be completely disabling.
Surveys conducted by the NIMH show that 2 percent of the population suffers from OCD—more than experience such mental illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and panic disorder. OCD may begin in childhood but it most often starts during adolescence or early adulthood. Scientists believe that both a neurobiological predisposition and environmental factors jointly cause the unwanted, intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors patterns meant to appease the unwanted thoughts.
Unless treated, the disorder tends to be chronic, lasting for years, even decades, although the severity of the symptoms may wax and wane over the years. Both pharmacological and behavioral approaches have proven effective as treatments, and often a combination of both is most helpful.
It's that sweet-yet-scolding note your roommate leaves about the one cup you left unwashed, or the report your colleague keeps "forgetting" to finish for you. Passive-aggression is frustrating to its targets, since it's not as easily identifiable—or unacceptable—as, say, socking someone in the jaw would be. For their part, passive-aggressors can learn to express their anger in healthier ways, and stop sneaking around.
Shyness is the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or getting approached by other people. Unlike introverts, who feel energized by time alone, shy people often desperately want to connect with others, but don't know how or can't tolerate the anxiety that comes with human interaction.
Positive Psychology ↓
Positive psychology is the study of human thriving. Psychology traditionally focused on dysfunction—on people with mental illness or other psychological problems and how to treat them. Positive psychology, by contrast, is a relatively new field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled.
Everyone procrastinate sometimes, but 20 percent of people are true procrastinators. They consistently avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions, which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our difficulty in regulating emotions and to accurately predict how we will feel tomorrow, or the next day.
Procrastinators say they perform better under pressure, but that's just one of many lies they tell themselves. Since procrastinators are made and not born, it's possible to overcome procrastination—with effort.
Multiple Personality Disorder ↓
Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a condition wherein a person's identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personalities. Sufferers of this rare condition are usually victims of severe abuse.
Alzheimer's Disease ↓
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, language deterioration, impaired ability to mentally manipulate visual information, poor judgment, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings.
AD usually begins after age 65, but its onset may occur as early as age 40, appearing first as memory decline and, over several years, destroying cognition, personality, and ability to function. Confusion and restlessness may also occur. The type, severity, sequence, and progression of mental changes vary widely. However, there are some early-onset forms of the disease, usually linked to a specific gene defect, which may appear as early as age 30.
The early symptoms of AD, which include forgetfulness and loss of concentration, can be missed easily because they resemble signs of natural aging. Similar symptoms can also result from fatigue, grief, depression, illness, vision or hearing loss, the use of alcohol or certain medications, or simply an overwhelming burden of details to remember.
Delirium Delirium is a severe but usually temporary state of confusion.
Avoidant Personality Disorder ↓
Avoidant Personality Disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by a lifelong pattern of extreme shyness, feelings of inadequacy, and sensitivity to rejection. Personality disorders are long-lived patterns of behavior that cause problems with work and relationships. About 1 percent of the population has this disorder, which is equally divided between the sexes. An estimated 14.8 percent of American adults meet standard diagnostic criteria for at least one personality disorder.
Learning Disabilities ↓
Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, affect a person's ability to understand or use language, to do math calculations, to coordinate movements, or to direct attention. They are usually diagnosed in children once they start school. Learning disabilities are disorders that affect one's ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, disorders are usually not recognized until a child reaches school age. Research shows that 8 to 10 percent of American children under the age of 18 have some type of learning disability. Learning disabilities affect one's ability to interpret what one sees and hears, or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self-control or attention. Such difficulties extend to schoolwork and can impede learning to read or write, or to do math. Learning disabilities do not reflect IQ (intelligence quotient) or how smart a person is. Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions that, in some cases, affect many parts of a person's existence: school or work, daily routines, family situations and, sometimes, even friendships and play. In some people, many overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent. Others may have a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on other areas of their lives.Not all learning problems fall into the category of learning disabilities. Many children are simply slower in developing certain skills. Because children show natural differences in their rate of development, sometimes what seems to be a learning disability may simply be a delay in maturation To be diagnosed as a learning disability, a child's condition must meet specific criteria. Dyslexia is a reading and language-based learning disability,. With this problem, a child may not understand letters, groups of letters, sentences or paragraphs. At the beginning of first grade, children may occasionally reverse and rotate the letters they read and write. This may be normal when he or she is first learning to read. By the middle of first grade (and with maturity) these problems should disappear. However, a young student with dyslexia may not overcome these problems. The difficulty can continue as the student grows. To him, a "b" may look like a "d." He may write on when he really means no. Your child may reverse a 6 to make 9. This is not a vision problem, rather it is a problem with how the brain interprets the information it "sees." Dysgraphia is a term for problems with writing. An older child may not form letters correctly, and there is difficulty writing within a certain space. Writing neatly takes time and effort; yet despite the extra effort, handwriting still may be hard to read. A teacher may say that a learning-disabled student can't finish written tests and assignments on time, and supervisors may find that written tasks are always late or incomplete. Dyscalculia is a term for problems concerning math. A child may do well in history and language, but he may fail tests involving fractions and percentages. Math is difficult for many students, but with dyscalculia, a child may have much more difficulty than others his age. Dyscalculia may prevent your child from solving basic math problems that others his age complete with no difficulty. Information-processing disorders are learning disorders related to a person's ability to use the information that they take in through their senses - seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. These problems are not related to an inability to see or hear. Instead, the conditions affect the way the brain recognizes, responds to, retrieves, and stores sensory information. Language-related learning disabilities are problems that interfere with age-appropriate communication, including speaking, listening, reading, spelling, and writing.
Delusional Disorder ↓
Delusional disorder refers to a condition associated with one or more nonbizarre delusions of thinking—such as expressing beliefs that occur in real life such as being poisoned, being stalked, being loved or deceived, or having an illness, provided no other symptoms of schizophrenia are exhibited. Delusions may seem believable at face value, and patients may appear normal as long as an outsider does not touch upon their delusional themes. Mood episodes are relatively brief compared with the total duration of the delusional periods. Also, these delusions are not due to a medical condition or substance abuse. Themes of delusions may fall into the following types: erotomanic type (patient believes that a person, usually of higher social standing, is in love with the individual); grandiose type (patient believes that he has some great but unrecognized talent or insight, a special identity, knowledge, power, self-worth, or special relationship with someone famous or with God); jealous type (patient believes his partner has been unfaithful); persecutory type (patient believes he is being cheated, spied on, drugged, followed, slandered, or somehow mistreated); somatic type (patient believes he is experiencing physical sensations or bodily dysfunctions—such as foul odors or insects crawling on or under the skin—or is suffering from a general medical condition or defect); mixed type (characteristics of more than one of the above types, but no one theme dominates); or unspecified type (patient's delusions do not fall in described categories).
Paranoid Personality Disorder ↓
he word personality describes deeply ingrained patterns of behavior and the manner in which individuals perceive, relate to, and think about themselves and their world. Personality traits are conspicuous features of personality and are not necessarily pathological, although certain styles of personality traits may cause interpersonal problems. Personality disorders are enduring patterns of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of an individual's culture. They must be rigid, inflexible, and maladaptive and of sufficient severity to cause significant impairment in functioning or internal distress. Paranoid Personality Disorder is an unwarranted tendency to interpret the actions of other people as deliberately threatening or demeaning. The disorder, surfacing by early adulthood, is manifested by an omnipresent sense of distrust and unjustified suspicion that yields persistent misinterpretation of others' intentions as being malicious. People with a paranoid personality disorder are usually unable to acknowledge their own negative feelings toward others but do not generally lose touch with reality. They will not confide in people, even if they prove trustworthy, for fear of being exploited or betrayed. They will often misinterpret harmless comments and behavior from others and may build up and harbor unfounded resentment for an unreasonable length of time.
Schizoid Personality Disorder ↓
The word personality describes deeply ingrained behavior patterns and the way individuals perceive, relate to, and think about themselves and the world. Personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts. A personality disorder has the characteristics of an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture, inflexibility and pervasiveness, an onset in adolescence or early adulthood stability over time and causing significant impairment in functioning or internal distress. Personality disorders are not isolated, atypical episodes of maladaptive behavior. Schizoid personality disorder is a pattern of indifference to social relationships, with a limited range of emotional expression and experience. The disorder manifests itself by early adulthood through social and emotional detachments that prevent people from having close relationships. People with it are able to function in everyday life, but will not develop meaningful relationships with others. They are typically loners and may be prone to excessive daydreaming as well as forming attachments to animals. They may do well at solitary jobs others would find intolerable. There is evidence indicating the disorder may be the start of schizophrenia, or just a very mild form of it. People with schizoid personality disorder are in touch with reality unless they develop schizophrenia.
Borderline Personality Disorder ↓
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of identity. Originally thought to be at the "borderline" of psychosis, people with BPD suffer from emotion regulation. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, BPD is more common, affecting 2 percent of adults, mostly young women. There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases. Patients often need extensive mental health services, and account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations. Yet, with help, many improve over time and are eventually able to lead productive lives.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder ↓
Narcissistic Personality Disorder involves arrogant behavior, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration-all of which must be consistently evident at work and in relationships. People who are narcissistic are frequently described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. Narcissists may concentrate on unlikely personal outcomes (e.g., fame) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. Related Personality Disorders: Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic. Narcissism is a less extreme version of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissism involves cockiness, manipulativeness, selfishness, power motives, and vanity-a love of mirrors. Related personality traits include: Psychopathy, Machiavellianism. Narcissists tend to have high self-esteem. However, narcissism is not the same thing as self-esteem; people who have high self-esteem are often humble, whereas narcissists rarely are. It was once thought that narcissists have high self-esteem on the surface, but deep down they are insecure. However, the latest evidence indicates that narcissists are actually secure or grandiose at both levels. Onlookers may infer that insecurity is there because narcissists tend to be defensive when their self-esteem is threatened (e.g., being ridiculed); narcissists can be aggressive. The sometimes dangerous lifestyle may more generally reflect sensation-seeking or impulsivity (e.g., risky sex, bold financial decisions).
Schizotypal Personality Disorder ↓
The word personality describes deeply ingrained patterns of behavior and the manner in which individuals think about themselves and their world. Personality traits are conspicuous features of behavior and are not necessarily pathological, although certain ones may encourage social problems. Personality disorders are enduring, persistent behavior patterns severe enough to cause significant impairment in functioning as well as internal distress. Schizotypal personality disorder is a pattern of deficiency in appearance, behavior, and thought patterns affecting interpersonal relationships, and behavior. Speech may include digressions, odd use of words or a strikingly weak vocabulary. Patients usually experience distorted thinking, behave strangely, and avoid intimacy. They typically have few, if any, close friends, and feel nervous around strangers although they may marry and maintain jobs. These symptoms may place people with this disorder at a high risk for involvement with cults. The disorder, which may appear more frequently in males, surfaces by early adulthood and can exacerbate anxiety and depression.
Sleep Apnea ↓
Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that is far more common than generally understood. First described in 1965, sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. It owes its name to the Greek word, apnea, meaning, "want of breath." There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respiration. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person's nose or mouth although efforts to breathe continue. In a given night, the number of involuntary breathing pauses or "apneic events" may be as high as 20 to 30 or more per hour. These breathing pauses are almost always accompanied by snoring between apnea episodes, although not everyone who snores has this condition. Sleep apnea can also be characterized by choking sensations. The frequent interruptions of deep, restorative sleep often lead to early morning headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness.In normal conditions, the muscles of the upper part of the throat keep this passage open to allow air to flow into the lungs. These muscles usually relax during sleep, but the passage remains open enough to permit the flow of air. Some individuals have a narrower passage, and during sleep, relaxation of these muscles causes the passage to close, and air cannot get into the lungs. Loud snoring and labored breathing occur. When complete blockage of the airway occurs, air cannot reach the lungs. Early recognition and treatment of sleep apnea is important because it may be associated with irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes, but is more common in men (though it may be under-diagnosed in women) and possibly young African Americans. It has been estimated that as many as 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. Four percent of middle-aged men and 2 percent of middle-aged women have sleep apnea along with excessive daytime sleepiness. People most likely to have or develop sleep apnea include those who snore loudly and also are overweight, or have high blood pressure, or have some physical abnormality in the nose, throat, or other parts of the upper airway. Sleep apnea seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis.
This is a sleep disorder characterized by walking or other activity while seemingly still asleep. Other names for it are walking during sleep and somnambulism.
The normal sleep cycle involves distinct stages from light drowsiness to deep sleep. in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the eyes move rapidly and vivid dreaming is most common. During the night, there will be several cycles of non-REM and REM sleep. Sleepwalking most often occurs during deep non-REM sleep (stage 3 or stage 4 sleep) early in the night. It can occur during REM sleep near morning.
Sleepwalking may include simply sitting up and appearing awake while actually asleep, getting up and walking around, or complex activities such as moving furniture, going to the bathroom, dressing and undressing, and similar activities. Some people even drive a car while actually asleep. The episode can be very brief (a few seconds) or it can last 30 minutes or longer.
It is not dangerous to awaken a sleepwalker, although it is common for the person to be confused or disoriented for a short time upon awakening. Another misconception is that a person cannot be injured when sleepwalking. Actually, injuries—caused by tripping and loss of balance—are common for sleepwalkers.Sleepwalking occurs at any age, but it occurs most often in children 6 to 12 years old. It may occur in younger children, in adults, or in the elderly, and it appears to run in families.
Nicotine Addiction ↓
Addiction is characterized by certain patterns of use. The first pattern is called tolerance. Tolerance is when the individual needs to use larger quantities of the drug to obtain the same effect. Note that most smokers start with a "few" each day and end up smoking over a pack a day.
The next characteristic of addiction is withdrawal. Withdrawal is a set of physical symptoms which occur when the person stops using the substance. Anyone who has tried to quit smoking can tell you that your body reacts poorly to the absence of tobacco. Some common withdrawal symptoms include: cravings for tobacco, anxiety, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, restlessness, headaches, depressed mood, decreased heart rate, increased appetite or weight gain, and difficulty concentrating.
The third characteristic of addiction is the presence of dependent behaviors. Once common example is the continued use of tobacco in spite of knowledge that such use is harmful to yourself or someone you care about. Other examples include an individual who refuses to accept a job they need because their work will occur in a smoke free environment or a parent who continues to smoke around a child in spite of the damage it does to the child's health. Other behaviors include preoccupation with tobacco, rituals about buying and smoking tobacco, hiding or sneaking cigarettes, or choosing friends, recreational activities, and lifestyles which revolve around the availability of tobacco.
An intervention is the action taken by family, friends, employer and/or concerned others to actively assist someone to change unacceptable behavior. The problem areas that an intervention typically addresses are addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs, nicotine, food, the Internet, sex, spending/shopping, and gambling; the need for nursing home or medical care; domestic violence issues; and chronic pain with addiction.
Chronic Pain ↓
Chronic pain generally persists for six months or more and continues after the expected cessation of the pain. Acute pain occurs in response to a specific, time-limited medical problem. Chronic pain tends to elicit severe depression as a result of long-term limitations and hopelessness. It is important to remember that one can become physically dependent upon a drug, but not addicted. Addiction is characterized by a loss of control over the substance or behavior, preoccupation with the substance or behaviors, and continued use despite emotional, physical, legal, or social consequences. A person with chronic pain may need to be withdrawn from medications in order to proceed with the next step in the pain management protocol. However, medications can be abused and lead to addiction, which may necessitate further treatment.