Psychological Disorder

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  • A condition in which a person's thoughts, feelings, or behavior are thought to be in some way dysfunctional. Though the recognition and understanding of various disorders has changed over time, the most commonly used guideline for the classification of mental disorders is the American Psychological Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition; DSM-IV). This manual provides a comprehensive listing of psychological disorders, grouping them into 17 broad categories. According to the APA, a pattern of behavior is considered a psychological disorder if it satisfies three criteria: (1) the person experiences significant pain or distress, demonstrates an inability to work, is at an increased risk of death, and/or experiences loss of freedom; (2) the sources of the problem are internal to the ...

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