As reflected by the World Health Organization in 2016, one out of every four people suffers or will suffer some type of mental disorder throughout their life.
The human psyche is continually subjected to great tensions, environments and problematic situations that facilitate the appearance of states of great suffering or great difficulties or even inability to deal with the source of their discomfort. That is why the figure of the psychologist is will continue to be increasingly necessary worldwide, as a figure of support with which to achieve the necessary improvement or treatment.
There are many reasons that can lead a person to require psychological help, but nevertheless some of them are more common than others. That is why throughout this article we are going to reflect several of the most common reasons for psychological consultation, as well as their characteristics and symptoms.
The most common psychological consultation reasons
Find out below sixteen of the most common reasons for a client or patient to visit a psychologist. Among them we can find from mental disorders complex situations difficult to handle but not necessarily include the existence of a disorder, such as those linked to interpersonal relationships.
There are also other problems such as personality disorders, but although many are relatively prevalent, they are not usually a reason to consult.
1. Adaptive disorder
One of the most common reasons for consultation in the clinic, and that actually more than a disorder refers to a response of great anxiety, stress or emotional distress greater than expected and affecting various levels of functionality on the day subject’s day which are derived from a clearly identifiable stressful situation or event, which is the origin of the alteration and which occurs within three months (usually before the month) subsequent to the event in question.
If the person manages to resolve this situation, the discomfort ends up disappearing before six months.
This is the case, for example, of people who have lost their jobs, who suffer from work stress, who have emigrated and still do not feel the new home as such, who have separated, who suffer from mobbing or bullying, who have been evicted or who have been diagnosed with a disease.
These are painful situations in which they generate a severe and / or continuous stress which surpasses the subject and which they do not know how to cope with, although they generally do not require psychological treatment beyond support and counseling (unless complicate and develop some other type of alteration).
Major depression is the most prevalent mental disorder worldwide (along with disorders linked to anxiety).
Depression is understood as a disorder in which for at least two weeks, continuously for most of the day of most days (and a context in which the self, the environment and the future are perceived in a negative), has experienced a series of symptoms among which stands out (and at least one of them is necessarily present) the presence of a sad mood and anhedonia or loss of ability to feel pleasure in things that were previously satisfactory.
Other frequent symptoms are sleep problems (both insomnia and hypersomnia), loss of appetite and/or libido, difficulty concentrating, hopelessness, passivity, guilt or worthlessness, isolation and thoughts of death.
3. Anxiety: Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder
As we have just indicated, anxiety is next to depression (and generally comorbid) one of the most frequent problems or mental disorders. There are many existing anxiety disorders, being some common panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.
The first of them is characterized by the presence of recurrent episodes of panic attacks in which physiological symptoms appear such as sweating, palpitations, chest pain, intestinal discomfort or suffocation, often together with the fear of dying from these symptoms. to go crazy or lose control and with the feeling of derealization and depersonalization (having the feeling that the environment or the person seems to be unreal).
These attacks and the associated discomfort make anxiety and panic appear before the idea of recurrence or possible consequences, which can lead to avoidant behaviors that in turn greatly limit the subject’s life.
The generalized anxiety disorder implies the existence during at least six months of anxiety and constant worries and difficult controllable by different causes (which can vary and refer to aspects that rationally the subject itself can be considered irrelevant) and that generate fatigue, irritability, problems concentrating, tension and / or sleep problems. That’s why finding a psychologist who can treat this kind of problem is important.
Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that is extremely common in our society, and that is based on the existence of a high level of fear, fear and anxiety (at a level that the subject himself usually recognizes as irrational or disproportionate) in the face of some kind of stimulus or situation, which is even capable of causing panic attacks or anxiety attacks.
Due to the fear or fear generated, the subject will perform behaviors and actions that allow to avoid the phobic stimulus or will remain in the presence of this but experiencing extreme anxiety.
This definition makes one immediately think of specific phobias, such as blood / injection / damage, phobia to fly, the phobia of certain animals (especially frequent within these are those related to spiders, insects and dogs), the phobia of the heights or the claustrophobia. In addition to the aforementioned and other specific phobias we can find other very common cases: social phobia or agoraphobia.
5. Neurodevelopmental disorders
Although when we talk about a psychologist, we usually think about the patient who has adults or adolescents, the truth is that it is also very common (and in fact it is one of the types of population over which, in less time, a consultation, given the concern that most parents have for their children) to meet with psychologists specialized in child psychology. And while it is possible to find different mental disorders in children, some of the most consulted are the so-called neurodevelopmental disorders.
One of the most common reasons for consultation within neurodevelopmental disorders is the specific learning disorder (including, for example, dyslexia or dyscalculia), along with attention deficit disorder with (or without) hyperactivity or ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (including the old Asperger).
Also common are communication or motor disorders (such as tics or Tourette’s disorder).
6. Addictions and disorders due to substance use
An addiction is defined as the performance / consumption habitually of some type of behavior which generates physical or psychological dependence as the body acquires tolerance to it and over which control is lost, generating the attempt to stop such behavior a state of great discomfort, desire for consumption / realization of behavior and anguish (along with possible physiological symptoms that depending on the case may even lead to death) and continuing despite knowing that it has consequences on the health or functionality of the person.
In this sense, some of the most common addictions are those linked to substances, among which are the dependence on alcohol, cannabis (despite popular belief, its habitual consumption can generate dependency), cocaine or heroin. In addition to the addiction itself can be abusive consumption (without it has yet reached the addiction) or other related disorders (for example, psychosis induced).
Going back to the addictions themselves, there are also behavioral addictions such as compulsive shopping, addiction to new technologies (including mobile phones, video games), sex addiction or even socio-emotional addictions.
7. Post-traumatic stress disorder
Another reason for consultation is known as post-traumatic stress disorder, an alteration in which as a result of having lived or witnessed a traumatic experience (sexual abuse, attempted murder, armed conflicts …) the person who has suffered or witnessed it experience reexperiences of the event in intrusive and persistent thoughts and memories, nightmares, physiological reactions, sensation of shortening of the future, hyperalerthe or hyperarousal, loss of interest, possible feelings of guilt, possible dissociations such as psychogenic amnesia, depersonalization or derealization, anguish and restlessness or avoidant behavior among others.
8. Cognitive impairment and dementias
Although in this case we are talking about a reason for consultation that is usually confined mainly to neuropsychiatry and neuropsychology, not being so usual of other types of psychological consultation, it is necessary to mention the importance of cognitive impairment and especially dementias within psychology and psychiatry.
This type of afflictions usually generate great suffering for those who suffer them as well as their relatives and caregivers, given that those affected lose mental faculties over time as their nervous system undergoes a progressive neuronal degeneration.
The work usually focuses on the rehabilitation and maintenance of autonomy and functions for as long as possible, the search for compensatory strategies and cognitive stimulation in order to preserve as much as possible the impaired functions.
9. Emotion management, self-esteem and personal interaction problems
It is more usual than you think that the reason for consulting a psychologist is not a mental disorder per se, but the existence of difficulties in aspects such as managing emotions (highlighting anger or sadness), the search for ways to increase the level of self-esteem (for example in people who have suffered from continuous school or work-related harassment) or difficulties to establish stable, deep and consistent personal relationships without having to exist (although in some cases it may be) a disorder behind .
All this can be approached from different perspectives and techniques.
10. Conflicts of couple and family
Another relatively frequent reason for psychological consultation occurs with specialists in family and couple therapy. The problems treated in this sense are usually based on conflicts, lack of communication and dynamics and dysfunctional roles in relationships, not being necessary for the existence of any type of disorder (although in some cases the cause of conflict may be an organic disease or a disorder mental).
11. Sexual dysfunctions
Although it is usually something that until recently has been taboo and many people who suffer some type of sexual dysfunction live with shame (something that in many cases leads to not consult), the normalization of sexuality and the search of a satisfactory sexuality makes little by little this type of problem is increasingly being consulted with professionals.
Although in some cases we are facing a problem of organic cause, these problems often have either a cause or an important psychological component (such as anxiety). Stresses erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation as the most frequent problems in men, while hypoactive sexual desire is the most prevalent in women (followed by female orgasmic disorder).
12. Eating behavior disorders
Especially linked to the cult of body culture and the canons of beauty of our time and society, eating disorders are a reality that in recent times has increased dramatically in prevalence.
It is one of the few types of mental disorder that can lead to the death of the sufferer without direct action to that end, some of which are considered very dangerous.
Emphasize anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa as the most common, especially in pubescent and young women (although it can appear in childhood, in adulthood, and although it tends to occur to a lesser extent also in men). In addition to this there is also binge eating disorder or avoidance / restriction of food intake.
13. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is an anxiety-related disorder characterized by the presence of obsessive thoughts, which are recurrent, egodistonic and intrusive thoughts that are experienced with great anxiety and guilt by the person who suffers from it and who often They involve the performance of rituals in order to lower the level of anxiety, rituals called compulsions that although initially slightly reduce the anxiety end up reinforcing the appearance of intrusive thoughts, forming a continuous cycle between obsession and compulsion that occupies a large part the subject’s time and generates great suffering.
14. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
Another type of habitual patient of the consultations of the professionals of the psychology and the psychiatry is the one of the people with psychotic upheavals.
Among them, schizophrenia stands out, probably one of the most well-known mental disorders and the most prevalent among those that form part of the psychotic spectrum (with a prevalence of approximately 1% of the general population).
This disorder is characterized by the presence during at least six months of symptoms such as hallucinations (usually auditory) and delusions, disorganized language, agitation or derailments in language, catatonia, poverty of thought or praise, apathy or apathy, being necessary that at least one of the first three is present.
15. Bipolar disorder
Another of the most relevant affective disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by the presence of one or more manic episodes (characterized by extreme euphoria, irritability and hostility can generate fights and conflicts, thoughts and even delusions of greatness, diminished ability of judgment, alterations of sleep and intake, performance of risk behaviors and high impulsivity, among others) that can go alone or followed / preceded by depressive episodes in the case of bipolar disorder type 1 or at least one hypomanic episode ( less intense, severe and lasting than manic but sharing most of their symptoms) followed or preceded by at least one depressive episode in bipolar disorder type 2.
This disorder generates great suffering to the sufferer, and usually requires a good pharmacological treatment along with psychological treatment when the subject is stable.
16. Health Psychology: Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and other medical problems
Although the figure of the psychologist is usually associated with that of the mental disorder, the fact is that many people who suffer from medical diseases can benefit from psychological therapy, as a type of therapy that can contribute to their improvement (although without ever replace medical treatment) either through the treatment of emotional or cognitive alterations that may arise after the diagnosis or through techniques that may favor an improvement or a better prognosis.
This includes from fields such as psycho-oncology to other applications in people with heart problems, metabolic (including thyroid problems or diabetes), lung or respiratory (asthma, for example).
One of the most commonly seen examples is fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease whose main symptom is a generalized musculoskeletal pain, which until recently was not recognized (it was even doubted that it was a real illness) is highly frequent.
It is common to be associated with chronic fatigue, a syndrome characterized by the presence of fatigue or continued fatigue, problems sleeping and various pains.
Often these conditions secondary cause depression, anxiety and distress, avoidant behaviors, isolation and social and labor difficulties that can benefit from psychological treatment (in addition to trying to approach differently and more positively to pain), it being usual for affected people to go to some kind of professional psychologist.