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Mental Disorders

Misdiagnosis of Psychological Disorders

Psychology is an inexact science, in that multiple diagnoses are often considered because there are significant overlaps in the symptoms that accommodate mental disorders. Process by elimination can be the rule of diagnosis for a client or patient. It is not that psychologists wish to be murky in their diagnosis of a mental health issue; it is the problem of many presenting symptoms are the same for various types of psychological disorders. The symptom of psychosis, for example, can be the presenting symptom for schizophrenia, depression, and illegal drug usage, to name a few diagnoses. Often the psychologist or psychiatrist has to meet with the patient several times before offering a diagnosis. This is important because unlike a broken arm, a psychological or psychiatric diagnosis may stick with you and your insurance record for life....(more)

Reaction Formation: A Defensive Mental Disorder

Nearly everyone has participated in reaction formation at one time. According to Freud, this defensive mechanism is used to hide your feelings. If you have ever acted completely opposite of how you felt to cover up your feelings, then you have participated in this defense mechanism. A good example would be going out of the way to act as though you are in a good mood, even if you are having the worst day of your life, so that no one notices or questions you....(more)

Coulrophobia and Other Interesting Phobias

Virtually everyone is afraid of something. But sometimes a fear is severe enough that it is considered a phobia. A fear becomes a phobia when the fear gets to an irrational level that affects daily functioning. When a person has a phobia, he will become abnormally scared when he encounters the object of the phobia or go to extreme lengths to avoid it. Although a phobia is an abnormal level of fear, there are some natural fears that many share, such as fear of death or fear of the dark....(more)

Sources for Mental Mood Disorder Research

"Mood disorder" is an umbrella term that covers many different psychological disorders. The former term was "affective disorder," but now the two are defined differently. An "affective disorder" now refers to an acted out mental issue, while a mood disorder is an internal disorder. The links below lead to several sites that feature general information and definitions, and a few that discuss specific disorders, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia....(more)


What Is a Split Brain Operation?

We often read about the differences between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, or hemisphere laterality. The study of hemisphere laterality began when psychologists studied the outcome of the "split brain" procedure, which was performed to treat rare and dangerous cases of epilepsy. ...(more)

What Is Glutamate?

This is one in a series of articles describing neurotransmitters that are especially important to our understanding of psychological processes. In this article, we explore glutamate, the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain....(more)

What Is GABA?

This is one in a series of articles describing neurotransmitters that are especially important to our understanding of psychological processes. In this article, we explore gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA....(more)


What Is Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)?

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a treatment consisting of the application of magnetic pulses through a hand-held device touching the scalp. Its use as a treatment has been explored with a number of neurological and psychological conditions....(more)

What Is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that focuses on brain activity. It is currently considered an experimental method for the treatment of ADHD, seizures, and a number of other conditions, but clear scientific evidence supporting its efficacy does not yet exist....(more)

What Is Deep Brain Stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation, a therapy first used with patients with Parkinson's disease, is being used more frequently to treat psychological disorders, including depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder....(more)

Psychology Expert

Laura Freberg

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Laura Freberg, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she teaches courses in Introductory Psychology, Biological Psychology, and Sensation and Perception. In addition, she teaches Social Psychology and Sensation and Perception as an Adjunct Professor for Argosy University Online. Dr. Freberg is the... Read More

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