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Psychiatric Disorder - A Definition of Psychiatric Disorder

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Updated June 10, 2014

Definition: Any pattern of psychological or behavioral symptoms that causes an individual significant distress, impairs their ability to function in life, and/or significantly increases their risk of death, pain, disability, or loss of freedom. In addition, to be considered a psychiatric disorder, the symptoms must be more than an expected response to a particular event (e.g., normal grief after the loss of a loved one).
Also Known As: psychological disorder, psychiatric condition, mental illness
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