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An eating disorder is a behavior that is exemplified by abnormal eating habits which may involve either inadequate or extreme food intake by an individual such that it leads to detrimental effects to the physical or emotional health of that person. The exact causes of eating disorders have not yet been fully established because of their high complexities. Approximately one million males and between five and ten million females in the US are affected by eating disorders. The two major forms of eating disorders are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Binge eating disorder is a type of a category of some eating disorders that has not yet been fully specified as eating disorders referred to as EDNOS. According to a study that was carried out by McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard University, Binge eating disorder is the most widespread form of eating disorder in the US, followed by Bulimia nervosa and Anorexia nervosa respectively. Eating disorders can be treated by medicinal and psychological therapies, but treatments for more chronic cases have not been established (American Psychiatrist Association, 1994).
Substance abuse may be defined as the perilous or harmful use of substances that are psychoactive. These substances include alcohol and other illicit drugs. The use of these substances can lead to a condition referred to as dependence syndrome. This syndrome involves the development of certain psychological and cognitive habits that emerge after repeated use of these substances. The typical characteristics of the dependence syndrome include the development of a strong desire to use the drug, inability to control the use of these substances, persistence use of the drug without regarding to the harmful effects, increased tolerance of the substance, giving more priority to the use of the drug than to other responsibilities and activities, and sometimes a state of physical withdrawal. It is important for policymakers to formulate policies that can influence the trends and levels of substance use so as reduce health problems that are related to substance abuse (American Psychiatrist Association, 1994).
Sexual disorders are those things that reduce or prevent a person's enjoyment of normal sex. These things also reduce or prevent the ordinary physiological changes that are expected to occur as a result of sexual arousal. In general, sexual disorders include problems such as sexual performance, sexual aim and sexual identity. Sexual disorders are classified into three main categories. These are: gender identity disorders, sexual dysfunctions and paraphilia. Sexual dysfunctions may occur as a result of sickness, the use of alcohol and other drugs or fatigue. It is worth to note that diagnosis of sexual dysfunction is only possible incases where the disability has persisted for quite some time. According to the American Psychiatric Association's classification system (DSM-IV), there are numerous sexual disorders which include: hypoactive sexual disorder, sexual aversion disorder, female sexual arousal disorder, male erectile disorder, female orgasmic disorder, male orgasmic disorder, premature ejaculation, dyspareunia, vaginismus, secondary sexual dysfunction, paraphilias and gender identity disorder (American Psychiatrist Association, 1994).
A personality disorder may be defined as a persistent chronic psychological disorder which enormously affects an individual's life. A personality disorder can impact negatively on an individual's work, family and his/her general social life. There is a wide range of personality disorders in existence which vary from mild to severe ones depending on the pervasiveness and the extent to which an individual exhibits the characteristics of that disorder. Some people can live comfortably with mild personality disorders. Nevertheless, these disorders might gain more strength and affect their psychological and emotional functioning in situations that permit increased external pressures and stress.
People with personality disorders have diverse psychological features that may include: having trouble with their personal image, problems of having successful interpersonal relationships, a continuum of emotions, different perceptions of themselves, their world and other people, and inability to control their impulses among other features. These disturbances combine to create a persistent trend in the behavior of an individual in a manner that is not in accordance with the society's norms and cultures. As such, people with personality disorders often find themselves in conflict with other members of the society (American Psychiatrist Association, 1994).