We’ve all felt sad at one point or another but depression is when the sadness is so extreme that it alters daily activities. Depression is a mental illness because it causes one to view the world pessimistically. These people often feel hopeless and lose all self-motivation.

The reason this mental disorder is an internal conflict is because it causes people to question there existence. They are constantly trying to find their purpose and have ill-natured thoughts such as self-inflicted pain and/or suicide.

Realistically, every internal thought is a conflict. Decisions are made through our internal conflict. Mental disorders harm our natural, healthy thoughts and can cause abnormal amounts of stress.

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 “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as handwashing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.”

-National Institution of Mental Health

OCD is a mental disorder because it develops a strict routine into an individual’s mind. If that routine is not exact, the individual experiences anxiety. This mental disorder is an internal conflict because the people who have it push the routine to perfection and, if not perfected, they can become angry with themselves for not pursuing the routine as planned.

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Dissociative Identity Disorder

As WebMD describes, dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder, is “a severe form of dissociation, a mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. Dissociative identity disorder is thought to stem from trauma experienced by the person with the disorder. The dissociative aspect is thought to be a coping mechanism — the person literally dissociates himself from a situation or experience that’s too violent, traumatic, or painful to assimilate with his conscious self.”

Most people who have dissociative identity disorder are aware of it. Because they expect a change in personality to occur, they are constantly thinking about it. This is an internal conflict because people are contemplating when it will happen and exactly what will happen when they lose their own memories and feelings. They are subconsciously arguing with their multiple identities and their actual personality is trying to restrict the madness.

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Drug Addiction and Mental Illness

Most of us are familiar with Britney Spears, teen-pop sensation of the late 90s. Most of us are also aware of her dramatic actions of shaving her head, flashing the paparazzi, and bad parenting. What a lot of us don’t already know is that Spears had been abusing cocaine and ecstasy; two highly addictive drugs. Consequently, she built up tolerance to the drug and became a drug addict. She was sent to rehab and now is being accused of addiction to marijuana and/or morphine.

Drug addiction is a mental illness. When an individual uses a drug and continues to use it, their body builds up a tolerance to the drug. These people seek out their first “high” and desire more of the substance to get them there. This is what leads to the addiction. Because these individuals, like Spears, take the substance consistently, their body becomes dependent on the drug. During rehab, it is hard for an addict to adjust. Over a certain period of time (during withdrawal), these people going through rehab may have to take other pharmaceutical drugs to help reregulate their physiology. However, the addict’s psychological desire for the drug is completely controlled by the individual. These compulsions, or obsessions, to the drug is the mental disorder.

The internal conflict with this mental disorder is that addicts feel like they “need” to take the drug. Their body is insulted by the drug(s) and it is harmful to their physiology, however, psychologically, these individuals love the dopamine and serotonin being released and want to continue that good-feeling. It’s a conflict between their physiology and psychological desire.    

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The Face of Fear

I once had a friend who was terrified of escalators. I cannot remember her precise reasoning but I do recall it was from an experience in her childhood. Perhaps her shoelace got caught on the escalator or it might just have been that she had a gruesome fall. Whichever incident took place caused her to fear riding escalators and, later, became a phobia. As Collins English Dictionary describes, “a phobia is an abnormal intense and irrational fear of a given situation, organism, or object” (Collins 2009). In my friend’s case, she had intense desires of avoiding an object; the escalator. She was afraid, and possibly still afraid, of repeating her childhood demise. In high school, we had a theatre class together and took a trip to a black box theatre in Kansas City. In the building where the theatre was in, there was, as expected, an escalator. The girl I knew couldn’t even look at the escalator without horror. Instead, she took the stairs.

My point to all of this is that phobias have a psychological impact on their victims. Knowing there was going to be an escalator in the theatre’s building made this girl exceptionally anxious. She panicked and couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen. A phobia, as a result of physiological alteration, is a mental disorder and, as such, is an internal conflict. Individuals with phobias are consistently reminded of these fears and develop plans to avoid them. The real fear that was created was placed there subconsciously. Meaning, these individuals are unaware that they have created this fear and the instinct to avoid it. They are victims of themselves. Now, every time they are faced with this certain situation, their conscious is battling their subconscious.

phobia. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from website:

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Is Anorexia a Mental Illness?

Anorexia is defined as an eating disorder in which one starves themselves and refuses to maintain a healthy body weight. In most cases, anorexics, in addition to their starvation, over-exercise at vigorous levels. This is considered to be a mental illness because anorexics have created a delusional idea whether they are aware of it or not. Most people, women specifically, believe themselves to be too heavy and have a high fear of gaining weight, subsequentlly deriving a poor self-body image. Another reason anorexia is developed is due to the individuals who feel as if their body is the only thing they can control. These people have created their own mental disorders because they have become obsessive over their weight and exercise. They have either developed such a poor image for themselves or have become too addicted to commanding their bodies that they can’t recognize health concerns. Anorexics have now given themselves the disability to process another’s thoughts or logic about their physical image and the dangers of starvation and over-exercise. These people continue to persuade themselves that they are “too fat” or that they have to be demanding to their bodies even if they’re false. Anorexia is an internal conflict because it is a competitive idea with one’s self that threatens their lives. When an individual becomes anorexic, something has gone chemically wrong in their mind that has evolved a mental illness which is incredibly dangerous.

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