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Severe mental illness (psychosis)
This leaflet is aimed at:
the carers of people with severe mental illness (psychosis) who provide continuing help and support, without pay, to a relative, partner or friend;
the psychiatrists and other members of the mental health team involved in the care and treatment of the person with severe mental illness.
It suggests ways of improving communication and liaison that allow mutual respect and real working partnerships to develop from the point of diagnosis.
What exactly is a psychological disorder? How is a psychological disorder diagnosed? Defining exactly what constitutes a mental disorder can be tricky and, definitions have changed over time.
The first problem is that psychologists must first decide exactly how to define disorder. How do you determine if there is something psychologically wrong or unhealthy about a person? How do you decide what’s normal and what’s abnormal?
If you were to define disorder as something that lies outside of the statistical norm, then people who are considered exceptionally talented or gifted in a particular area would be regarded as abnormal. So rather than focus on actions that are considered outside of the normal statistically speaking, psychologists tend to concentrate on the results of those behaviors. Behaviors that are considered maladaptive and cause significant personal distress and interrupt daily functioning are more likely to be labeled as abnormal.
Today many psychologists agree that psychological disorders are characterized by both personal distress and impairment in multiple areas of life.
Learn more about how clinicians define and classify mental disorders and discover how many people are impacted by such disorders every year.
Severe mental illness is often defined by its length of duration and the disability it produces. These illnesses include disorders that produce psychotic symptoms, such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and severe forms of other disorders, such as major depression and bipolar disorder.
Illnesses that produce distortions of perception, delusions, hallucinations, and unusual behaviors are sometimes called thought disorders. Because the symptoms reflect a loss of contact with perceived reality, the disorders are also sometimes known as psychotic disorders.
Severe mental illnesses are treatable, and with proper treatment and management of the illness, people with these disorders can experience recovery.
A fact sheet in PDF format detailing symptoms, causes, and treatment for each of these disorders is available.
Most psychopaths are sadists, whether they realize it or not. Many of the traits of psychopathy are traits found in sadism according to the Sadistic Personality Disorder Criteria:
-Gets other people to do what he or she wants by frightening them (through intimidation or even terror),
-Is amused by, or takes pleasure in, the psychological or physical suffering of others (including animals),
-Enduring, pervasive, maladaptive patterns of behaviour which are usually recognised before or during adolescence.
Schadenfreude is something minor that realistically every human being has. Sadism is something major, a mental condition in fact. Schadenfreude would be when you see someone fall off their bike and find it entertaining. Sadism would be when you purposely torture and murder woodland critters
Individuals high in sadism experience greater schadenfreude for a severe misfortune.
Low sadism is associated with lower schadenfreude for a severe misfortune.
Sadism moderates the relationship between severity of misfortune and schadenfreude.
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“Most of the ground that Satan gains in the lives of Christians is due to unforgiveness. We are warned to forgive others so that satan cannot take advantage of us. (2 Cor. 2:10-11). God requires us to forgive others from our hearts or He will turn us over to our tormentors (Mt. 18:34-35). Why is forgiveness so critical to our freedom? Because of the cross. God didn’t give us what we deserve; He gave us what we needed according to his mercy. We are to be merciful just as our heavenly Father is merciful (Lk 6:36). We are to forgive others as we have been forgiven (Eph.4:31-32).
Forgiveness is not forgetting. People who try to forget find they cannot. God says He will “remember no more” our sins (Heb. 10:17), but God, being omniscient, cannot forget. “Remember no more” means that God will never use the past against us (Ps. 103.12). Forgetting may be a result of forgiveness, but it is never the means to forgiveness. When we bring up the past against others, we haven’t forgiven them.
Forgiveness is a choice, a crisis of the will. Since God requires us to forgive, it is something we can do. (He would never require us to do something we cannot do.) But forgiveness is difficult for us because it pulls against our concept of justice. We want revenge for offenses suffered. But we are told never to take our own revenge (Rom.12:19). “Why should I let them off the hook?” we protest. You let them off your hook, but they are never off God’s hook. He will deal with them fairly — something we cannot do.
If you don’t let offenders off your hook, you are hooked to them and the past, and that means continued pain for you. Stop the pain; let it go. You don’t forgive someone merely for their sake; you do it for your sake so you can be free. Your need to forgive isn’t an issue between you and the offender; it is between you and God.