What Are Medical Disorders?
In medical terms, a medical disorder is any change in the normal functioning of the body or mind. (1) Disorders have a wide variety of causes, including physical trauma, genetic mutations, and disease. For example, trauma to the head can cause a disturbance in brain function. Depending on the location of the injury, an individual with head trauma may lose their vision, have trouble speaking, or develop some type of cognitive impairment. (2)
Genetic mutations occur when the cells divide, causing changes in a person’s DNA sequence (3). DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, carries genetic material. Therefore, any change to a person’s DNA sequence may affect how they look, how they behave, or what disorders they develop. Hundreds of diseases have the potential to cause a change in the normal functioning of the mind or body. For example, heart disease sometimes leads to heart failure, which prevents the heart from pumping normally. (4)
Medical issues have a major impact on a person’s mental health, finances, and family relationships. In some cases, a disorder is so severe that it prevents an individual from working, making it difficult to pay for housing, food, and other necessities. Financial difficulties may lead to high levels of stress, causing the person to be irritable, depressed, or anxious.