Physical And Mental Disorders For Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #61490952 Related Topics: Physical Therapy, Holistic, Mental Illness, Multiple Personality Disorder
Excerpt from Essay :

Usually, diagnosis is symptom driven, then combined with testing, forms an opinion, sometimes verified by lab tests, of a specific diagnosis. For instance, someone may have symptoms of nausea, pain, depression, anxiety, and their skin has a yellowish hue. The physician runs blood tests and finds that the liver is malfunctioning and there is likely a diagnosis of hepatitis. In this case, there are both physical and mental symptoms, but it is the physical nature that is diagnosed first. For mental diagnosis, symptoms are also important, but are based more on the functioning of the individual in social systems, or by observing the patient's behavior (How are Mental Illnesses Diagnosed? 2012). Thus, both use symptoms as a guide, but mental diagnosis is more empirical and uses observation, while physical diagnosis uses quantitative measurements.

Etiology- Etiology is the study of basic causation. We now know that there are a number of similarities between the causation of mental and physical illness, and most scholars believe that mental illness has a direct link to biological and/or chemical imbalance. We know, for instance, that depression can often be helped with the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors, but we do not know exactly why or the quantitative amount of serotonin per individual that has a direct relation to depression. For mental disorders, the causes are typically quite complex, and interact with genetics, development, trauma, drugs, disease or injury, life experiences, society and culture. For physical disorders, there is usually a traumatic event (fall, injury, etc.) or a physical manifestation caused by a virus or


Both have root causes, both can have complex and multiple causes; both are likely to originate because of chemical imbalances, but are different in responding to treatment based on the particular severity or illness as we understand it (Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 2009).

Impact- Physical disease and mental disease both have billions of dollars in impact upon society in terms of treatment, disabilities, and productivity. Physical diseases like obesity, cancer, diabetes and respiratory factors prevent people from working, tie up taxpayer dollars in treatment and diagnosis, and can play havoc with interpersonal relationships, jobs, careers, and the individual's state of mind. Mental disorders, too, have a devastating impact on society in terms of individual productivity and actualization, as well as costs to treat. Both have significant impacts on world economies, cultures, and societies. Physical disorders account for 80-90% of the measurable burden on society, while mental disorders about 15%; but this may be due to international diagnosis and belief that certain diseases are isolated as physical or mental (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009).

Treatment -- Treatment for both mental and physical disorders varies widely depending on the situation; treatment can be rest and fluid intake, certain pharmaceuticals, physical therapy, various models of psychiatric help, or a combination of techniques. Similarities include using the diagnosis to find and use the most appropriate pharmaceutical treatment available; differences include using psychological means (talking, groups, expression, etc.) to help alleviate mental disorders.


American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines. (2006). PsychiatryOnline. Retrieved from:

How are Mental Illnesses Diagnosed? (2012). WebMD. Retrieved from:

Curtis, a.J. (2000), Introduction to Health Psychology, New York: Routledge.

Dombeck, M. (2003). Blurring the Boundary Between Mental and Physical. Seven Counties Services, Inc. Retrieved from: / poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=1855&cn=74

Kendall, R.E. (2001). The Distinction Between Mental and Physical Illness. The British Journal of Psychology. 201 (4): 490-3.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2009). The Impact of Mental Illness on Society. Retrieved from: / pdf/mental_illness.pdf

Wisconsin Department of Health Services. (2009). Linking Mental and Physical Health. Madison, WI: Bureau of Health Information and Policy. Retrieved from:

Commonly used phrase, not plagiarized

Sources Used in Documents:


American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines. (2006). PsychiatryOnline. Retrieved from:

How are Mental Illnesses Diagnosed? (2012). WebMD. Retrieved from:

Curtis, a.J. (2000), Introduction to Health Psychology, New York: Routledge.

Dombeck, M. (2003). Blurring the Boundary Between Mental and Physical. Seven Counties Services, Inc. Retrieved from: / poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=1855&cn=74

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