Putting It Together: Psychological Disorders

A patient meeting their doctor in a waiting room.

Figure 1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you think you need it. Psychologists, counselors, and doctors are trained to assist you.

This module covered a lot of ground and gave you a foundation for understanding psychological disorders. In this module, you learned about how mental disorders are defined and classified using the DSM-5, and how psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals identify mental illnesses. You also learned about mental health treatment in the past compared to treatment today, and how mental health professionals use diagnostic tools to assess mental disorders.

One tendency while reading through this material is for students to self-diagnose, as it is easy to identify with various descriptions of mental disorders. Be wary of self-diagnosis as you may see symptoms that aren’t there or miss symptoms or signs of something more serious. If you do think you may be suffering from a mental illness (defined as significant disturbances in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors causing impairment in one’s life), then please seek for help from a counselor, doctor, or other trained professional. Hopefully, your reading from this module has also helped you to better understand mental illness and be less inclined to judge or stigmatize those who are suffering from or managing an illness.

Watch It

Watch this video from architect and graphic designer Federico Babina to see his interpretation of various mental disorders listed in the DSM-5 that we will examine in this course. How might you change or alter his depictions? What would you add to this list? Keep this artistic representation in mind as you work through the course content and consider how you might visually or artistically represent the experience of a mental disorder.