mental disorder Any failure of mental health that is severe enough for psychiatric treatment to be appropriate. Some mental disorders can be attributed to injury or organic disease of the brain. Mental disorder may also be the result of a hereditary predisposition. Other disorders are psychogenic – without any clear evidence of any physiological cause. Schizophrenia, severe depression, and manic-depressive psychoses are the most widespread of mental disorders. Neurotic disorders, which can be severe but do not often warrant prolonged stays in hospital, include persistent anxiety, phobias, obsessions, and hysteria.
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