Sample Research Paper on Psychological Disorders


This paper provides a deep analysis of the different psychological disorders that affect different people. First, it looks at different types of psychological disorders, the symptoms that characterize each disorder, how specific types of psychological disorders can be prevented, and how they can be treated if discovered early. It also looks at the group of people who are most vulnerable to each of the disorders and the reasons for their vulnerability.

Psychological Disorders


Psychological disorders involve patterns of thought, emotion, and actions that are maladaptive to the person who is affected and other people who are related to the person, for instance, relatives and friends. Psychological disorders have much in common with other medical disorders that affect people. They come in many forms and have various effects on the life of the patient. Psychological disorders are out of the control of the patient, and may in some cases be treated with drugs just like medical problems; psychological disorders have both biological and environmental influences. These underlying influences are seen in the bio-psycho-social model of illness, and can be categorized basing on many aspects for instance the symptoms of the disorders.

Types of Psychological Disorders

There are many feelings and conditions that are referred to as psychological disorders. They are categorized based on their symptoms, and the most common are:

Anxiety Disorder, It is a feeling of fear of being uncomfortable, and feeling in danger. It is a collection of psychiatric conditions that are characterized by anxiety to the person affected. Symptoms of this type of disorder can vary in severity and length from one person to the other.  There are many types of anxiety disorders, for instance, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) which involves excessive worrying and tension. With this disorder, there is a constant feeling of dread that characterizes the entire life of the person affected. This type of anxiety does not have the intensity of a panic attack; however, it lasts longer and makes daily life and relaxing impossible. People with GAD worry that a friendship is in jeopardy for simple reasons, for example, missing a phone call of a friend or a friend not calling back.

The most widespread forms of the disorders include Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Phobias.

The main symptoms of anxiety disorders, which are psychological in nature, include fear, apprehension, dread, sense of impending doom, Worry, rumination, obsession, Derealization depersonalization ,Nervousness, uneasiness, and distress (Fry, 2015).

Psychotic Disorders: Psychotic disorders are characterized by distorted awareness and thinking in the people who are affected. A person suffering from this disorder is not able to differentiate what is real from what is not real. They are characterized by the breakdown of normal thought, and thus referred to as disorders of cognition as they affect the cognitive abilities of a person. Psychotic persons have a breakdown in the ability to analyze their own thoughts in a rational way (Solem, Hagen, Wenaas, Håland, Launes, Vogel, P., and Himle, 2015).

The symptoms of these disorders are hallucinations where the patient experiences images or sounds that are not real, for instance, hearing voices and delusions, and false beliefs that the affected individual person sees as true, regardless of the existing evidence. Schizophrenia is an example of this type of disorder that affects patients.  Majority of patients with these disorders have poor insight into their own illness, which can make it difficult for them to fully comply with the treatment.

Delusions are unchanging false beliefs, which are modifiable by logic or experience because they are at most persecutory; they are not specific to particular disorders. They are common across a number cultures but a specific culture may influence their content and alter their symptoms.

Schizophrenia– It is a chronic and a progressive worsening disorder of thought that affect the behavior and perception of an individual. Positive symptoms of the disorders include things patients do or think, for examples hallucinations, delusions, and positive formal thought disorder that are evidenced by marked incoherence, derailment, tangentiality, or illogicality, and bizarre or disorganized behavior.

Negative symptoms include alogia which is marked poverty of speech, or poverty of content of speech, affective flattening, anhedonia or a sociality which is evidenced by inability to experience pleasure, few social contacts avolition or apathy, and anergia which is evidenced by lack of persistence at work or school and impairment in attention.

Eating disorder- it is a severe health condition concerning dietary habits, which are very unhealthful to the patient. The treatments, which are effective for the disorders, involve issues that are not only psychological but also physical with the aim of a healthy dietary lifestyle. Eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge that  arise  as a result of a variety of physical, emotional, social, and familial issues, all of which need to be dealt with for successful prevention and treatment. They are real, complex, and distressing conditions that come with severe consequences to productivity, and relations of the patients.  The conditions are complex and can lead to major physiological changes that need medical treatment in addition to psychiatric treatment. The person has an excessive desire to remain thin to control body shape and weight when affected by the above two types of eating disorders.

They are much more widespread in women than men and People with those women affected by Anorexia refuting that they have a problem. They will disguise an emaciated appearance by wearing bulky, loose-fitting clothes but   they can be prevented and treated when discovered early but are not that easy to diagnose early.   People with eating disorders tend to leave in denial that they have a problem when confronted by family members, friends, and physicians.

Impulse Control and Addiction Disorders: People with this kind of disorders are incapable of resisting urges, or impulses to do certain acts that are harmful to others and themselves. Pyromania, kleptomania, and compulsive, are examples of impulse control disorders that affect many people. Habitually, people who are suffering from these disorders turn out to be very concerned with the objects, which they are addicted to, and they pay no attention to their responsibilities and relationships.

Alcohol and drugs are common objects of addiction that people become obsessed with. People who are affected with this type of disorders become addicted to either one or several objects of addiction. They can hardly leave without the object of their addiction, and this makes them to be unaware of the responsibilities that are expected out of them.

Personality Disorders: People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are upsetting to the person, and result in problems in many places, for instance work, school or social relationships. In addition, the person’s ability and patterns of thinking and behavior are completely different from the expectations of other people in the society. They are so bad that they interfere with the person’s ability to function effectively. Examples include antisocial personality disorder, whereby a person gains pleasure by breaking laws, lying to or conning others for fun or personal benefit. Others include being impulsive and not considering the results of this behavior, picking on other people or getting in fights, ignoring the safety of self or others, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. The most common obsessive thoughts include themes of violence, fear of germs and infection, and doubts about a person’s character and behavior. Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as bad.

These disorders either push the affected person away from others because of their own fears and suspicions or push others away from the affected person because of their behavior (Black, 2015). People with such disorders seem to be less afflicted at various points in their lives, for example, when they are young; many options appear open to them and the future seems hopeful, and more afflicted at other points in life. Paranoid, schizoid, and schizo-affective are examples of cluster personality disorders, which most commonly appear in children and adolescents because of role modeling on parents. For this reason, diagnosing the presence of a personality disorder in individuals under 18 is uncertain. People who are affected with this disorder are lost in thought with doubts that others are out to cheat on them or undermine them in some way, and they therefore act in a very secretive and self-protective way. When they are hurt or offended by somebody, they patiently bear the grudges.

Mood Disorders: They are also known as affective disorders; they are characterized by persistent feelings of sadness or overly happiness, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. Mood disorders cause physical changes as well as changes in the process and content of thought of the patient. “Most people experience highs and lows but maintain a general balance of mood; it is only when these highs and lows persist for certain durations, meet a certain level of severity and meet the global criteria of causing dysfunction in a person’s life that they become mood disorders” (Päären, Bohman, von Knorring,  Olsson,  von Knorring,  and Jonsson, 2014)

The disorders are widespread because they affect one in nearly five people in the world and majority of the people have some form of unipolar depression. In these disorders, an individual experiences a range of affective, cognitive, motivational, and biological symptoms  which include persistent sadness, negative thoughts about the self and the future, lack of energy or initiative to engage in formerly pleasurable activities, too much or too little sleep, and gaining or losing weight.

Among “Biological causal factors for unipolar depression, there is evidence of a moderate genetic contribution to the vulnerability for major depression, but probably not for dysthymia’’ (Päären, Bohman, von Knorring, Olsson, von Knorring, and Jonsson, 2014. Moreover, major depressions are associated with multiple interacting disturbances in neurobiological regulation, including neurochemical, neuroendocrine, and neurophysiological systems.


Psychological disorders have an effect on the reasoning and the health of those people who are affected. They are out of the control of the affected individuals, and are treated like other diseases. There are many types of psychological disorders classified based on many aspects, such as their symptoms. Psychological disorders are common across a number of cultures, and thus are not a preserve of any particular culture. Individuals with these problems show different kinds of symptoms, which vary in severity based on the individual who is affected by the disorder.


Black, W. (2015). The Natural History of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 60(7), 309-314.

Fry, M. (2015). A Practice Nurse guide to common mental health problems: Anxiety disorders. Practice Nurse, 45(10), 25-28.

Päären, A., Bohman, H., von Knorring, L., Olsson, G., von Knorring, A., & Jonsson, U. (2014). Early risk factors for adult bipolar disorder in adolescents with mood disorders: a 15-year follow-up of a community sample.BMC Psychiatry, 14(1), 1-29.

Solem, S., Hagen, K., Wenaas, C., Håland, T., Launes, G., Vogel, P., & … Himle, J. A. (2015). Psychotic and schizotypal symptoms in non-psychotic patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. BMC Psychiatry, 15(1), 1-7