Section I. OVERVIEW
Stress, anxiety, and depression are frequently used words in today's world. Every
living person has problems of one type or another. Some people seem to cope quite
well with stress most of the time, while other persons need assistance to make
adjustments to life. The wise use of psychotherapeutic agents has become an integral
part of assisting others to adjust to certain situations. Of course, psychologists and
psychiatrists combine other treatment means with the wise use of drugs in their efforts
to help others.
9-2. THE FOUR MAJOR CLASSES OF FUNCTIONAL MENTAL DISORDERS
Later in this lesson, certain drugs and their uses will be discussed. In order for
you to understand the use of some of the drugs, you must be aware of the four major
classes of functional mental disorders.
NOTE: Reality testing is an ego function that consists of an individual's ability to
recognize and interpret the surrounding world (that is, what's going on?). The ability to
recognize and interpret the surrounding world allows an individual to meet the demands
of life and make survival judgments.
a. Neuroses (Neurotic Disorders). Neuroses are a group of conditions
characterized by the development of anxiety because of unresolved unconscious
conflicts. The neurotic person is anxious, but he does not know the cause of his
anxiety. These conditions tend to become chronic. Reality testing is maintained. That
Is, the neurotic remains in touch with reality.
b. Psychoses (Psychotic Disorders). Psychoses are a group of disorders with
more or less severe disturbances of thought, mood, and/or behavior. Psychoses are
usually chronic, but short episodes of psychosis do sometimes occur. Reality testing is
always lost in one or more important respects. That is, a psychotic is not entirely in
touch with his environment.
c. Personality Disorders. Personality disorders are types of mental disorders
characterized by lifelong maladaptive patterns of adjustment to life. These types of
disorders tend to be chronic. Personality disorders are usually recognized by
adolescence. Reality testing is usually preserved.