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Common Psychiatric Disorders: Causes and Treatment
Common Psychiatric Disorders: Causes and Treatment

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders refer to a group of mental health conditions characterised by excessive and persistent feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry. These disorders can significantly impact a person’s daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. Some common types of anxiety disorders include Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Selective Mutism and Agoraphobia. 


The causes of anxiety disorders can be multifactorial, involving a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Some common factors that contribute to the development of anxiety disorders :

    • Genetic Factors 

    • Brain Chemistry and Structure 

    • Environmental Factors 

    • Personality Factors

    • Medical Conditions and Substance Abuse


The treatment for anxiety disorders typically involves a combination of therapies and, in some cases, medication. Here are common approaches used in the treatment of anxiety disorders :

    • Psychotherapy 

    • Medication 

    • Relaxation Techniques 

    • Lifestyle Modification 

    • Stress Management 

    • Support Networks 

    • Self Help Strategies

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

It can be defined as a disorder in which a person has frequent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that cause the person to perform repetitive behaviours (compulsions). This can significantly interfere with social interactions and performing daily tasks. 

It can affect anyone, the average age of onset is 19 years. About 50% of people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) begin to have symptoms in childhood and adolescence.

Obsessions can be unwanted thoughts or images related to sex, the need for order, neatness, symmetry or perfection, the need for constant reassurance, fear of making a mistake, fear of coming into contact with perceived contaminated substances, such as germs or dirt, etc. 

Compulsions are arranging things in a very specific way, bathing, cleaning or washing hands over and over again, saying certain prayers or words, collecting or hoarding items that have no personal or financial value, etc.


Researchers don’t know what exactly causes OCD. But they think several factors contribute to its development, including :

    • Genetics 

    • Brain Changes 

    • PANDAS Syndrome

    • Childhood Trauma


    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

    • Exposure and Response Prevention 

    • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities. It goes beyond normal fluctuations in mood and can significantly impact a person’s daily functioning and quality of life.


The exact causes of depression are not fully understood, as it is a complex and multifaceted disorder. However, researchers believe that a combination of factors can contribute to its development. Here are some potential causes and risk factors associated with depression :

    • Biological Factors 

    • Genetic Factors

    • Environmental Factors

    • Medical Conditions 

    • Substance Abuse 

    • Personality Traits


    • Psychotherapy 

    • Medications

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterised by extreme mood swings that encompass both highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Mania is more severe than hypomania and can lead to significant challenges in relationships, employment, school, and social activities. It can even trigger a break from reality.

During a major depressive episode, individuals experience symptoms that significantly interfere with their daily functioning in various areas such as work, school, social activities, and relationships.

Mood fluctuations in bipolar disorder can have a negative impact on sleep patterns, energy levels, judgement, activity levels, conduct, and the ability to think clearly. These episodes of mood swings can occur infrequently or multiple times throughout the year. People with bipolar disorder are also more likely to have comorbid conditions such as anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders/dual diagnosis. These additional conditions can further complicate the management and treatment of bipolar disorder.


The precise cause of bipolar disorder is still unknown to scientists. However, they believe that genetic factors play a significant role in its development. Bipolar disorder is considered highly heritable, as more than two-thirds of individuals with the condition have at least one close biological relative who also experiences bipolar disorder. It’s important to note that having a biological relative with bipolar disorder doesn’t guarantee that an individual will develop the condition. Brain Changes and Environmental Factors such as Trauma and Stress also play a role. 


    • Pharmacotherapy 

    • Psychotherapy 

    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

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