We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Mental Disorder?

By Jacob Queen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Mental disorders are any kind of thinking problem that takes someone beyond the boundaries of accepted norms. In order for something to be classified as a mental disorder, it usually also has to have a negative impact on some aspect of a person’s life. Generally, each separate mental disorder has its own standardized collection of symptoms that doctors use to make a diagnosis. Mental disorders can be related to actual physical problems with the brain, such as chemical imbalances, or they can be reactions to certain life experiences.

One of the main things that separates a mental disorder from most normal mental difficulties is severity. According to most experts, a mental disorder shouldn’t be diagnosed if the problems aren’t severe enough to interrupt a person’s normal daily function in some way. For example, many people may be afraid of spiders, but they would normally only receive a diagnosis for arachnophobia if that fear was extreme enough to cause problems.

Some mental disorders are present from birth. These often include psychosis-oriented diseases like schizophrenia, along with other disorders related to compulsions. Some of these diseases are caused by actual brain damage, while chemical regulation processes cause others, but generally speaking, all of them are related to physiology.

Some other mental disorders are related to emotional problems. For example, people may have major behavior changes after going through certain extreme events, such as wars or abuse. Other people may have a temperament that makes them prone to certain disorders and then have life experiences that actually trigger the onset of these problems.

There is a large book called the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" that is used for official classification of each mental disorder. This book is updated periodically to reflect different diagnostic options for psychological doctors based on new research. Sometimes a small change in the book can lead to major changes in the way patients are diagnosed or treated.

In a few cases, these changes can be somewhat negative because doctors can occasionally jump on the bandwagon of a particular diagnosis unnecessarily. For example, some people believe that Asperger’s syndrome is diagnosed much too frequently. When it was initially added to the manual, the disorder was studied and experts suggest that it was very rare, but after being added, doctors started diagnosing it constantly to the point where many people feel it was being overused.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.