Month: May 2013

Psychologist Grace Graham: Mental Disorder – A Brief Overview


For the past 21 years, Dr. Grace Graham has worked with Charis Counseling and Psychological Services as owner, clinical psychologist, and consultant. Dr. Grace Graham oversees the everyday operations of the organization and tends to patient care matters on an ongoing basis.

Mental illness takes many different forms in the modern world. Here is a brief breakdown of several of the most common types that psychologists encounter.

Mood Disorders: Such disorders, also referred to as “Affective Disorders”, are characterized by a person’s inability to properly regulate his/her mood. While some might experience mood swings, feeling from extreme happiness to sadness/anger; others’ mood might stay depressed for prolonged periods at a time like a Submarine. Not all depressed patients experience homicidal and/or suicidal thoughts. Some might not even know they are suffering from milder forms of depression. These people might feel a general feelings of emptiness, boredom, or agitation. Depressed children might act-out behaviorally or becomes socially withdrawn.

Anxiety Disorders: Many commonly known diagnoses are classified under “Anxiety Disorders”. Phobias, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety , School anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Attacks, and so forth fall in this categories.

Thought Disorders: This includes people who experience an altered sense of reality. They might have strange beliefs, behaviors, or thought patterns that are unusual to others. Common diagnoses are: Schizophrenia, Schizo-Affective Disorders, Delusional Disorders, and so forth.

Eating Disorders: Individuals who experience extreme emotions related to food and weight often suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia and bulimia.

Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse: Individuals who suffer from significant impulse control problems in their inability to stop their consumption of legal or illegal substance even when it is obvious to all around these people that their continued abuse had caused them legal, marital, social, health, and/or employment problems.

Developmental/Learning Disabilities: Common Diagnoses include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD), Asperger Disorde and Autism ( or Autism Spectrum Disorder),Dyslexia, etc.

Neuro-Psychological Issues: This type of problems are usually related to brain traumas, aging, or other neurological conditions. Symptoms might include memory problems, Dementia, problems in processing, and/or comprehending written or behavioral communication from others, inability to recognize common objects, inability to put one’s thought and ideas in cohesive manner to make sense, etc.

Personality Disorders: This is also frequently referred to as “Character Disorders”: People who have a history of extreme problems in relating, or getting along with others. Common disorders are: Anti-Social Personality Disorder (or Sociopath), Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, and so forth.

Inter-personal relationship Problems: These are common day-to-day relationship problems typically caused by communication issues,and/or a combination of the above mentioned issues.

The above mentioned mental disorders are not an exhaustive listing of all the mental issues a psychologist typically treats. They are examples of some common ones though.