Problems and Disorders

The information and definitions below are intended to make our community more aware of the different disorders, illnesses, and symptoms. It is also here to inform you of some basic definitions of psychological terminology that you may come across when seeking or participating in psychotherapy.


Psychiatric Disorders | Neurological DisordersLearning and Developmental Disorders

Psychiatric Disorders

Psychological disorders characterized by negative mood, elevated anxiety, poor sleep that effect daily functioning.

Disorders That Cause Symptoms

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

An anxiety disorder characterized by diffuse, unspecific and excessive worries and anxieties that occur over a period of six months or more, unrelated to actual threats or dangers.

Panic Disorder

An anxiety disorder characterized by debilitating anxiety and fear often resulting in physical symptoms that occur without reasonable cause, or disproportionately to stimulus.

Specific Phobias

An anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable and irrational fear of specific object or objects, which results in avoidance of such objects and severe reactions. See List Of Phobias Here

Social phobia

An anxiety disorder characterized by intolerable anxiety in everyday social situations that often results in avoidance or severe symptomology

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

an anxiety disorder that occurs in response to a traumatic event, and is often accompanied by flashbacks, avoidance, disassociation numbing and hyperarousal

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

A disorder characterized by repeated thoughts, actions and routines that need to be enacted repeatedly in order to ward off extreme anxieties

Major Depressive Disorder

An acute mood disorder characterized by consistent and persistent low mood, loss of interests and pleasures and self-esteem that significantly effects daily life for a period of six months or more


A mood disorder characterized by consistent low mood similar to depression, but less severe in symptomology, that persists for 2 years or more

Bipolar Disorder 1

A mood disorder characterized by vacillations between highly elevated and severe depressed mood

Bipolar Disorder 2

A mood disorder characterized by vacillations between slightly elevated (hypomanic) and severe depressed mood


period of hypomania with brief period of depression, which are neither as severe nor as persistent as in major Depression

Dissociative Identity Disorder

an extremely rare disorder where one individual has two or more consistent and lasting personalities, formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

persistent obsession or delusion with a perceived flaw of the body that is severely exaggerated and results in behavior change, or efforts to change or hide the body

Substance Abuse Disorder

characterized by the dependence on alcohol and/or drugs, often with cravings, compulsive behaviors and withdrawal symptoms

Schizophrenic Disorder

 characterized by misperceptions of reality that could include delusions, hallucinations, and severe disordered thinking and behavior

Personality Disorders

Chronic, inflexible and maladaptive patterns of perception cognition and behavior that exist across situations and over time

Antisocial Personality Disorder

characterized by persistent disregard or violation of the rights of others

Borderline Personality Disorder

characterized by difficulty in interpersonal relations and emotional regulation related to fears of abandonment, anger and irritability

Histrionic Personality Disorder

characterized by attention-seeking or seductive, emotional behaviors

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

characterized by excessive preoccupation with the self, power, vanity, or status

Avoidant Personality Disorder

characterized by pervasive social inhibition, low self-esteem, sensitivity to criticism and avoidance or social interactions

Dependent Personality Disorder

characterized by persistent dependence on others to meet emotional and physical needs

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

characterized by general preoccupation with perfection, order and control

Paranoid Personality Disorder

characterized by persistent and irrational paranoia, suspiciousness and general mistrust

Schizoid Personality Disorder

characterized by disinterest, avoidance and detachment from social relationships and emotional interaction

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

 characterized by extreme discomfort in social interactions, and disrupted or disordered perceptions

Identity Disorders

Gender Dysphoria

characterized by a feelings that ones emotional and psychological gender is different from their physical and biological sex. This is no longer classified as a disorder in the DSM-5.

Neurological Disorders


deficit in memory caused by brain trauma, disease or psychological trauma


deficit in language caused by brain trauma or disease


deficit in speech caused by brain trauma or disease


deficit in movement ability caused by brain trauma or disease


deficit in identifying things and people caused by brain trauma of disease

Traumatic Brain Injury

injury to the brain caused by external force that often results in mild to severe deficits in functioning

Parkinson’s Disease

a chronic neurodegenerative disorder mainly affecting motor systems but often includes depression, related to dopamine generation

Alzheimer’s Disease

a chronic neurodegenerative disorder mainly effecting short-term memory and often includes difficulties with language, disorientation, mood swings, motivation and self-care


the gradual decrease in the ability to think, remember and function typically involving language and motivation

Seizure Disorders/Epilepsy

characterized by unpredictable and/or undetectable period of intense and severe shaking of the body

Learning and Developmental Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorder

characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication and repetitive or rigid behaviors


characterized by difficulty reading and/or writing despite average intelligence


deficit in ability to understand numbers or learn math facts


deficit in reading fluency and/or comprehension, recall, writing, spelling or decoding


deficits in ability to control muscles, which results in movement and coordination difficulties that can affect learning

Auditory processing disorder

difficulty in recognizing subtly differences between sounds in words, not related to hearing ability but to the brains’ interpretation of sounds

Language processing disorder

deficit in ability to attach meaning to sounds, words sentences or stories

Non-verbal learning disability

characterized by discrepancy between verbal skills and visual-spatial, social or motor skills

Visual perceptual/motor deficit

deficits in the ability to understand visual information

Attention Deficit Disorder

characterized by difficulty focusing, attending and controlling impulsivity

Executive Functioning

deficits in the ability to plan, organize, strategize and attend


deficits in one of the three major memory areas, working memory, short-term memory or long-term memory



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