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A List of Psychological Disorders

List and Descriptions of the Categories of Psychological Disorders


Psychological disorders, also known as mental disorders, are patterns of behavioral or psychological symptoms that impact multiple areas of life. These disorders create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms. The following list of psychological disorders includes some of the major categories of psychological disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as well as several examples of each type of psychological disorder.

Adjustment Disorders

This classification of mental disorders is related to an identifiable source of stress that causes significant emotional and behavioral symptoms. The diagnostic criteria listed by the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria included:

  • (1) Distress that is marked and excessive for what would be expected from the stressor and
  • (2) Creates significant impairment in school, work or social environments.

In addition to these requirements, the symptoms must occur within three months of exposure to the stressor, the symptoms must not meet the criteria for an Axis I or Axis II disorder, the symptoms must not be related to bereavement and the symptoms must not last for longer than six months after exposure to the stressor.

The DSM-V (released in May of 2013) moved adjustment disorder to a newly created section of stress-related syndromes.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are those that are characterized by excessive and abnormal fear, worry and anxiety. In one recent survey published in the Archives of General Psychology1, it was estimated that as many as 18% of American adults suffer from at least one anxiety disorder.

Types of anxiety disorders include:

Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders are psychological disorders that involve a dissociation or interruption in aspects of consciousness, including identity and memory. Dissociative disorders include:

  • Dissociative disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder
  • Dissociative fugue
  • Dissociative identity disorder
  • Depersonalization/derealization disorder

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are characterized by obsessive concerns with weight and disruptive eating patterns that negatively impact physical and mental health. Types of eating disorders include:

Factitious Disorders

These psychological disorders are those in which an individual acts as if he or she has an illness, often be deliberately faking or exaggerating symptoms or even self-inflicting damage to the body. Types of factitious disorders include:

  • Munchausen syndrome
  • Munchausen syndrome by proxy
  • Ganser syndrome

Impulse-Control Disorders

Impulse-control disorders are those that involve an inability to control impulses, resulting in harm to oneself or others. Types of impulse-control disorders include:

  • Kleptomania (stealing)
  • Pyromania (fire-starting)
  • Trichotillomania (hair-pulling)
  • Pathological gambling
  • Intermittent explosive disorder
  • Dermatillomania (skin-picking)

Mental Disorders Due to a General Medical Condition

This type of psychological disorder is caused by an underlying medical condition. Medical conditions can cause psychological symptoms such as catatonia and personality changes. Examples of mental disorders due to a general medical condition include:

  • Psychotic disorder due to epilepsy
  • Depression caused by diabetes
  • AIDS related psychosis
  • Personality changes due to brain damage

Neurocognitive Disorders

These psychological disorders are those that involve cognitive abilities such as memory, problem solving and perception. Some anxiety disorder, mood disorders and psychotic disorders are classified as cognitive disorders. Types of cognitive disorders include:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Delirium
  • Dementia
  • Amnesia

Mood Disorders

Mood disorder is a term given to a group of mental disorders that are all characterized by changes in mood. Examples of mood disorders include:

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Developmental disorders, also referred to as childhood disorders, are those that are typically diagnosed during infancy, childhood, or adolescence. These psychological disorders include:

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