Kleptomania – Causes, Signs and Symptoms

Summary Kleptomania is an impulse control disorder. People with kleptomania experience irresistible impulses or urges to steal. Stealing without regard for the value of an object and taking unnecessary items are features of the disorder. Prior to stealing, patients feel increasing anxiety until the impulse to steal becomes overwhelming. After stealing, they feel relief and …

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Gambling Addiction

Gambling Addiction – Causes, Signs and Symptoms

Also called: Gambling Problem, Pathological Gambling, Compulsive Gambling Summary Many people who gamble never develop a problem with the behavior. Some, however, engage in uncontrolled gambling that can lead to serious personal, vocational and financial consequences. This condition is also known as gambling addiction, compulsive gambling or pathological gambling. Signs of gambling addiction include a …

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Impulse Control Disorders

Impulse Control Disorders

Summary Impulse control disorders involve the inability to resist certain urges. These strong, sudden impulses can lead to serious consequences such as physical injury, arrest and imprisonment. People with impulse control disorders continue to engage in the harmful behavior despite the negative consequences.   Substance abuse is an example of a common impulse control disorder. However, …

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Also called: Hypochondriasis, Hypochondriacal Paranoia Summary Hypochondria (hypochondriasis) is a somatoform disorder in which a person fears that real or imagined physical or mental symptoms indicate the presence of a serious underlying illness. These anxieties usually persist despite medical evidence to the contrary. Patients with hypochondria often become obsessed with worry over bodily functions, minor physical …

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Self Injury

Self Injury – Causes, Signs and Symptoms

Also called: Self Injurious Behavior, Self Harm, Self Abuse Summary Self-injury is any intentional act that causes harm to one’s own body for the purpose of emotional relief. Self-injury can involve a variety of behaviors, including cutting, burning, scratching, biting, pinching, hitting, head-banging and hair-pulling. Tattoos and body piercings are not typically considered self-injury. The …

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Paranoia – Causes, symptoms

Also called: Paranoid Disorder Summary Paranoia is a term used to describe feelings of suspicion or mistrust by an individual that are either highly exaggerated or completely unwarranted. For example, people with paranoia may believe that others are plotting against them. People who are paranoid often have feelings of exaggerated sense of self-importance and believe that …

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Fainting & Emotional Disorders

Summary Fainting (syncope) is a sudden and brief loss of consciousness. In some cases, the person both faints and falls to the ground (“passes out”). There are several potential causes of fainting, but the most common is a brief drop in the blood supply to the brain. People with mental disorders such as specific phobias, …

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Cutting – Causes, Signs and symptoms

Summary Cutting involves making repeated, intentional wounds to one’s own skin with a sharp instrument. It is the most common form of self-injury, and is different from a suicide attempt because there is no intent to die. Cutting may be performed in an attempt to reduce emotional tension. The person performing the act may believe there …

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Psychiatric Evaluation

Psychiatric Evaluation

Summary Psychiatric evaluations are meetings between a mental health professional (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist) and a child, adolescent or adult  in which the professional tries to glean information necessary to diagnose an emotional, behavioral or developmental disorder. The major feature of a psychiatric evaluation is one or more face-to-face interviews in which the mental health professional asks the patient open-ended and diagnosis-specific questions to …

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Lab Tests

Lab Tests & Emotional Disorders

Summary Laboratory (lab)  tests are procedures in which a sample of fluid, tissue or bone is taken from the body and analyzed in a laboratory for signs of diseases. Lab tests are often used to rule out certain disorders associated with symptoms that mimic those of mental illness. In other cases, they may be used …

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