Appendix 9: Chart of Psychic Illnesses or Disorders

1. Neurosis

It is the person’s inability to resolve internal conflicts. It is manifested in very varied external symptoms. Sometimes they are somatic ( sensory, motor nature, emotional); sometimes, they are of emotional nature (anxiety, anguish, fears, compulsions). There are several types.

1.1.            Neurosis of Anxiety

It is present in all other neurosis. Anxiety is an excessive or inappropriate, deep and internal arousal characterized by irrational fear, uneasiness, worry, anguish, of being threatened by, apprehension, uncertainty beyond the person’s control.

1.2.            Hysteric neurosis

Internal conflicts occur in a very structured and typical way. The person calls the attention of others in an excessive or disproportionate manner. The internal disorder sometimes transforms and changes itself into external somatic symptoms (falls, psychomotive crisis, fainting fit, chataleptic attacks, paralysis, heart and stomach aches, etc.). Sometimes it is characterized by separation and break of the personality: typical amnesias, walking at night, escapes, forgetfulness of oneself, double personality, trance, ecstasies.

1.3.            Phobias

Phobias are emotional and physical reactions to feared objects or situations. They are persistent, irrational fears of a specific object, activity, or situation (such as persons, animals (rats), things, situations, actions…that elicit feelings of intense and disproportionate fears and panic. The person feels that the reaction is inadequate, beyond its normal control. They can be isolated diminishing the social dealings. There are several categories, among them claustrophobia, agoraphobia…

1.4.            Obsessive-compulsive disorders

Also known as obsessive neurosis. It is typical of the anancastic personality. It is characterized by persistent presence of thoughts, feelings, impulses or images that are intrusive and interfere with the person and cause anxiety and distress. If they lead to action, they are called compulsions.

Obsessions are recurrent and persistent ideas, thoughts, related to a health problem (hypochondriacs), science (do I exist or not?), religion (scruples), phobic reactions (getting on an airplane) or impulsive (fear of killing someone). Obsessive compulsions produce repetitive behavior that cause the person to do things he dislikes (religious compulsive rituals, like hand washing, touching the ground).

2.   Psychosis

Psychosis is a mental disorder causing gross distortion or disorganization of a person’s mental capacity, emotional response, and capacity to recognize reality, communicate, and relate to others to the degree of interfering with his capacity to cope with the ordinary demands of everyday life (errors in perception, delirious ideas, jealousies, persecution mania). These persons are very dangerous to themselves and to others. Psychotic disorders may be due to somatic causes (brains tumor) or psychological (schyzophrenia, paranoia) or affective.

2.1.            Schyzophrenia

Schyzophrenia is one of the most disabling and emotionally devastating illnesses known to man. Its symptoms appear with small outbreak that progressively develop.  The person with schyzophrenia is, above all, an autist (alienation from the outside world and investment in his own). It is a characteristic trait There is an internal disorder in the thinking processes (disconnected ideas), affectivity (disproportionate sadness and aggressiveness), volition (obstinacy, negativism) and perception (hallucinations that can be heard, seen, or even felt of every kind). In addition to this, the person with schyzophrenia carries on a bursting activity, motivated by grandiose delusions of paranoic sense (persecution, mysticism, messianism, megalomania…)

2.2. Paranoia

It is based on a delirious, lasting, highly intricate and unbreakable system of ideas, thoughts, will and action. Paranoia is a suspiciousness or mistrust that is highly exaggerated or totally unwarranted. These persons are mistrustful (suspiciousness and mistrust), with extreme inflexibility (authoritarianism, inflexibility), a hypertrophied Ego (pride, haughtiness, obstinacy, fanatism), and a constant thought distortion (mistaken mental premises) and often deliriums (jealousies, delusions of persecution or grandeur).

2.2.            Psychosis of the affectivity

They are severe disorders of the affectivity that produce disproportionate changes in mood between depression and euphoria. It may be due to hereditary factors, constitution, seasonal changes, etc., and it is usually caused by a negative experience. The periods of euphoria (elation) are termed mania.

Depression is characterized by the person’s loss of vitality, interest or energy; by feeling slowed down for no reason, and loss of social relationships; he is a pessimist, with recurring thoughts of suicide and homicide of loved ones.

Euphoria (or mania) is totally different. The person has an exaggerated vitality, disproportionate and contagious happiness, excessive loquacity and easiness to communicate his deeper feelings. The person over-estimate himself and his possibilities and is over-optimistic. He commits serious mistakes in enterprises, business, etc.

3. Disorders of character

3.1. Psychopathic

They are also known as socio-pathos for its strong socio-behavioral factor. The person is someone without morals and values. He is a-social and a-moral. He is usually impulsive, intuitive, uncontrolled and whimsical. He possesses an aggravated, shameless and unconcerned narcissism. He doesn’t love, he lacks sentiments and remorses. Nothing worries him, nor produces him anxiety.

3.2. Sexual perversions

They are also known as sexual deviations and in other environments are called sexual pluralism without negative connotations. They are the following: homosexuality, fetishism, pedofilia, sadism, masochism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and travestism.

We should also bear in mind the so-called hyper-sexual condition by which persons live their own sexuality with a disproportionate pressure.

3.3.             Toxicomania

It refers to the normal use of drugs. They can produce attitudes and behavior of addiction, use, abuse and dependency on drugs. They all cause serious disorders in one’s personality.